Science, silly string, and school deputies: DES students celebrate successful fundraiser

Savannah Chastain
DES first grade teachers laugh after being covered in silly string by their students; School Resource Officer, Sonya Shepard looks on.

First grade students at Destin Elementary School went head-to-head with School Resource Officer Sonya Shepard Thursday during the competition, “Is Deputy Sonya Smarter than a 1st Grader?"

 “The kids held a school-wide fundraiser to help send me to School Resource Officer training this summer and raised almost $1,000 towards my tuition and fees,” said Shepard. “The grade that raised the most money got to challenge me in this competition.”

One student from each first class was chosen to participate on stage with Shepard. The trivia questions were chosen from four categories — Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies. Shepard was given three life-lines. If stumped by a question she could peak at the opponents answer, choose to copy the opponents answer with no choice of changing it, or phone a friend.

“My assistant principal is my ‘phone a friend,’” Shepard said. Sure enough, when at a loss for the answer to the math question, “What is the answer in an addition sentence,” Shepard radioed Assistant Principal Dawn Massey for the correct reply, “The Sum.”

A giggling audience of first graders watched as the deputy and their classmates battled through each round. Cheers went up when the kids were ahead, and boo’s when Shepard edged her way to the top.

“The first graders have been telling me for two weeks that I am going down,” said Shepard, “The winners get to spray the losers with silly string.”

It was a close match-up as the competition ended in a tie, 23-23. A three-round tie-breaker was held with first grader, Emmy Chandler representing the students. It all came down to the last question, “What four things do all living things need?” Chandler put up a good guess, scoring two of the four answers, but Shepard came out ahead with her answer, “Food, air, water and space.”

In the end, all 10 student participants were given cans of silly string, as their teachers took the stage to be slimed.

“This school is amazing and totally committed in their support of the School Resource Officer Program,” said Shepard. “It was fun; amazing what those kids did for me.”