Gloucester High School Principal William Goodwin, who had, unknown to school's students, unexpectedly left building around midday Thursday, was told he had to come back to address an unknown "emergency." And when he arrived, seeing the students outside the building led him to believe there had been an evacuation.
Alas, the occasion was merely the last-minute twist that student organizers had put on a surprise party they had long planned to honor their principal, who is stepping down at the end of this school year.
The party — incredibly kept as a secret despite invitations to and appearances by Mayor Carolyn Kirk, Superintendent Richard Safier, state Sen. Bruce Tarr, state Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante and others — had everything accounted for right down to the surprise on them — when the big moment came, Goodwin was not on site.
When he was summoned back by school staff, and as he approached Newell Stadium, he was routed through a corridor formed by the entire, applauding senior class. He made his way through— high -fiving and shaking hands with each one — until he reached the field.
There, he received some gifts — a fishing pole from the freshman and sophomore classes and a golf driver from the junior and senior classes, and a plaque from the student council.