High school seniors sacrifice class trip to donate to principal's cancer care

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Saturday, May 30, 2015
Seniors donate class gift to principal
The senior class of the Profile school in Bethlehem, N.H., decided to give up their class trip and donate the money to their principal's medical care.

Bethlehem, N.H. -- In a touching story worth sharing, a high school principal was brought to tears when the senior class unanimously decided to give up their class trip to donate nearly $8,000 to her medical care.

"She's just very caring, very selfless, and we wanted to be selfless, too," Ian Baker, a senior at the school, told ABC affiliate WMUR-TV.

Principal Courtney Vashaw of Bethlehem's Profile School for both junior and high school students has worked hard to teach her students about caring for others and being compassionate across her seven-year tenure, but never expected that the lesson in kindness would come back to benefit her.

"Every one of us has a connection with her, and she has given so much to us that we just wanted to give back," said Christopher Sirois, the senior class president.

Vashaw told her students that she had been diagnosed with a rare cancer of the soft tissue earlier this month, explaining that the illness would put her out of school for some time.

The heartbreaking news came just as the seniors were about to leave for their four-day senior trip to Rydin' Hi Ranch in New York. Though after hearing of their principal's health concerns, the seniors took a vote and unanimously decided to donate the trip's nearly $8,000 expenses to Vashaw as a gift.

"We decided to not go on our senior class trip this year and donate all of our funds to your cause," Baker told Vashaw as the seniors gathered around her.

Vashaw was overwhelmed by the generosity of her students, and immediately brought to tears.

"It is very hard for me to accept help, and I have no idea what to say to you," said Vashaw.

Vashaw told WMUR that she tries to teach students to do something bigger than themselves, and that this act of kindness is proof they are listening.

"I feel like this has been a beautiful experience as an educator," Vashaw told ABC News. "You work so hard to try and help cultivate not only academically astute young people but kids who care. I am just so impressed and so proud of these kids for being the embodiment of that."

The senior class said there will be more fundraisers to come for their beloved principal.