Principal smooches pig |

Principal smooches pig

Nicole Frey
Kira Horvath/Vail DailyPrincipal Bob Windell puckers up for a pot belly pig named Mary after the students at Vail Academy fulfilled their goal of fundraising $10,000.

EAGLE-VAIL ” Bob Windel is happily married. He’s welcomed five children and nine grandchildren into the world, and on Tuesday, he contemplated locking lips with another ” someone he had never even met.

“This will be our first date, and it just doesn’t seem like the right thing to do” Windel said with mock severity.

But he knew people were expecting some smooching, and he couldn’t let them down, even though it meant subjecting more than 150 children to his indiscretion. The temptress in question was Mary, a bristly, but charming, pot-bellied pig.

When the students of the Vail Academy in Eagle-Vail embarked on a fundraiser selling wrapping paper and chocolate, they had a carrot to lure them to bring in the money ” if they hit $10,000, Principal Windel would kiss a pig.

“I always like a good challenge,” said Windel, who is spending his first year at the school. “I didn’t know if it was achievable, but I quickly learned these kids can achieve anything they set their hearts to.”

The students at the Vail Academy, ranging from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade, far surpassed their goal.

“There was motivation because it’s really funny to see your principal kiss a pig,” 11-year-old Cindy Reyes said.

The money will be doled out for classroom necessities, but first on the agenda was honoring pledges.

“I have to make good on my obligation,” Windel said. “The kids will love it. We’ve all heard of a princess kissing a frog but never a principal kissing a pig.”

Minutes later, all the students, teachers and faculty gathered in the gym, with Mary front and center. But Windel was nowhere to be found. Suddenly, the double doors of the gym burst open and two women dragged a reluctant, snout-wearing principal into the room.

“Kiss the pig. Kiss the pig. Kiss the pig,” the children chanted.

But Windel resisted.

“Oh, but I’ve got chapped lips,” he protested. “I think I feel a cold sore coming on.”

The kids weren’t buying it and resumed their chanting with new vigor. Windel found an easy out, smooching a stuffed pig, but the crowd wasn’t satisfied.

“Boo…” the kids roared.

Finally, Windel gave up the fight.

“When your principal makes a deal, he follows through,” he said to his audience.

Then, with everyone crowded close, Windel took a knee, puckered up and laid a big kiss on the waiting Mary.

“Should I do it again?” Windel said.

Of course, the children yelled for a repeat performance, and Windel obliged again.

“It’s really weird that he kissed the pig, but cool,” said sixth-grader Kelly-Kathleen Bowman. “I don’t think anybody else would do it.”

Staff Writer Nicole Frey can be reached at 748-2927 or

Vail, Colorado

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