East Elementary Students Welcomed By Trolls Tuesday Morning

Sheldon, Iowa — Tuesday was the final day of classes for Sheldon students before the start of the Christmas break, and a traditional welcome was on display for the students at East Elementary School Tuesday morning when they arrived for class.

Each year the faculty and staff at East Elementary greet the students in a special way, from atop the school building. Principal Jason Groendyke tells KIWA what greeted the school’s students Tuesday morning.

(As above) “We decided we wanted to do ‘Trolls’ this year. It was a combination of the original ‘Trolls’ movie, that was released in 2016 and the ‘Trolls World Tour’ that was released in 2020.”

Groendyke says eight of the ‘Trolls’ characters greeted East Elementary students from the school’s roof Tuesday morning.

(As above) “So it’s really grown from that first year when it was myself, as the ‘Elf on a Shelf.” It’s really become quite the tradition for us here at East Elementary.”

He says that tradition is something the kids look forward to each year.

(As above) “When we have students that are telling their parents, ‘I wonder what they’re going to do this year,’ and they’re excited to come to school and see what we’re going to do, that’s what it’s all about. It’s about the students and about them being excited to come to school. And as always, it’s just a great way to start the day with some cheer and then obviously send the kids on their way, at the end of the day on a positive note before Christmas Break.”

We asked Mr. Groendyke how they come up with a new idea each year.

(As above) “It’s not easy. We start planning quite early in the school year. We just look for something that’s going to be kid-friendly, something that the kids are going to recognize the different characters and all that. But my office staff do a great job. My secretaries, Steph Wolf and Amber Beukelman, created pretty much all the costumes themselves, so they’re good sports about it, too. They’re the ones that are kind of behind the scenes, you don’t get to see them, but it would be impossible to do it without them.”

The annual tradition began a few years ago when Mr. Groendyke dressed as the Elf on a Shelf, and greeted the kids in that costume from the roof of East Elementary. In other years they’ve had Santa and Friends on the Roof, Minions on the Roof, and others. While the kids never know for sure what will be greeting them from the roof of East Elementary on the final day of classes before Christmas Break in any given year, it’s obvious that whatever the greeting, it’s very popular with the kids and the tradition will continue for years to come.

Some images from Tuesday morning at East Elementary may be viewed below……….

Images courtesy of East Elementary School