Yukon principal reaches new heights in ‘roof sit’

Parkland’s school fund-raising effort exceeds $20K

Parkland Elementary Principal Heather Mitchell (right) is joined by physical education teacher Mariah Sullivan as they wave to passers-by and well-wishers from atop the school, 2201 S. Cornwell. Parkland’s principal agreed to stay overnight on the roof after her school exceeded its goal in a “booster-thon” fundraiser. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

Parkland Elementary Principal Heather Mitchell stayed overnight on the school’s roof after they far exceeded expectations in a “booster-thon” fundraiser.

The goal was to collect $8,000. The school already had raised more than $15,000 when Mitchell went atop the roof about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.


“I thought it would be really fun for the kids to get excited about something different that we’ve never done,” Parkland’s principal said. “It was a little scary, but I’m glad that it worked out so well.

“It was an adventure! It all turned out really great.”

Parkland physical education teacher Mariah Sullivan joined her principal on the roof until about 9 p.m. Tuesday. They waved to passers-by and well-wishers in front of the school on South Cornwell.

Many motorists honked their horns in appreciation and support during the “roof sit.” Some people dropped off donations.

“We had a lot of students and parents come by,” Mitchell said. “We read them a book, and we did some singalongs and karaoke.

“We just had fun!”

The principal stayed on the roof until Wednesday morning, when she greeted her students as they arrived to start a new school day.

Parkland Elementary Principal Heather Mitchell gets her tent ready before she “camps out” Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday morning on the school’s roof. Parkland’s school fundraiser also featured a “fun run” Thursday and assembly Friday, with more than $20,000 raised. (Photo provided)


Parkland Elementary has been raising funds to buy new whiteboards, basketball goals and other materials.

The school had surpassed the $20,000 fund-raising mark by Friday.

“Thank you and we appreciate everyone’s support,” Mitchell told school patrons. “We were blown away with the donations. Thank you for supporting Parkland students and teachers.”

All Parkland students have participated in the “fun”-raising event.

They learned character-building traits with this year’s theme, “Grand Land Adventure” and got donations from family and friends leading up to a big celebration event day, school officials said.

On Thursday afternoon, students completed laps in a “Parkland Fun Run” to help the school. A Friday morning assembly celebrated completion of the fundraiser.

Parkland Elementary School, 2201 S. Cornwell, has 340 students in pre-kindergarten through third grade. The school opened in 1979 and was named after the adjacent Parkland housing addition.

This week’s Parkland roof sit reminded some Yukon residents about a popular Oklahoma Special Olympics’ fundraiser in the late 1990s and 2000s.

Yukon police officers would scale the Yukon’s Best Flour grain elevators on Route 66 to camp out for several days in the spring. Volunteers would collect donations from passing motorists and visitors near Third and Main during what became known as the Yukon Police “mill sit.”