‘I survived,” said Taft principal Grishaber of his skydiving, hoping it’ll motivate his students to work hard at remote learning
by BRIAN NADIG
“I survived,” Taft principal Mark Grishaber said Wednesday afternoon after skydiving with the U.S. Army Golden Knights. He did it to motivate his students to wear face coverings and to work hard this fall during remote learning.
The following story was written prior to Grishaber’s first time ever jumping out of an airplane:
If skydiving will get students and their parents to commit to wearing face coverings and to take remote learning seriously, that’s what Taft High School principal Mark Grishaber plans to do this Wednesday morning, Aug. 12, when he will jump out of an airplane for the first time.
As of Monday afternoon, more than 600 students had taken the online pledge “to wearing a mask and honoring social distance guidelines in public and giving 100 percent effort during our online learning this fall.”
The school has about 4,000 students, and Grishaber hopes that at least half will sign the “Ever Want to Tell the Principal to Take a Flying Leap” pledge before he goes tandem skydiving with the U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute team. He will be one of 20 educators who will each be secured to a the team member when they jump out of a plane over Ottawa, Il, near the Starved Rock State Park.
Parachuting was an activity Grishaber said that he thought of wanting to try while he was recovering from leukemia a few years ago. “When I was in the hospital, it was on my bucket list,” he said.
Grishaber said that he is a little nervous, probably more than he was when going through chemotherapy treatments for his leukemia. He said that the treatments were something that he had to do, but jumping out of an airplane is not.
One parent sent Grishaber an e-mail explaining why her daughter refused to sign the pledge. “She explained to me that she absolutely was not going to agree and sign anything that puts you into a dangerous situation. …. She was completely sincere and cannot imagine life at Taft without you as the principal.”
Grishaber said that he appreciates the “sweet” remarks but that he still plans to make the jump.