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Graduating seniors pull fun prank on principal

Panther Valley High School’s seniors traditionally spend two hours together with their principal the day before they graduate - a senior sunset.

Sunday was no different. They played games, listened to music and watched as the sun faded from the sky on the softball field following the baccalaureate service, Principal Patricia Ebbert said.

But the Class of 2023 wasn’t done.

They wanted to pull one last prank, and they did, Ebbert said

This prank, however, wasn’t about disrespect or to cause damage as some graduating seniors have done elsewhere in the country, she said.

These seniors did a senior sunrise - camping out across the road from Ebbert’s home in Lehighton.

“Apparently, they’ve been planning this for a while,” she said. “So, they contacted my husband, and my husband is like, ‘Absolutely!’”

The seniors knew that the Ebberts own the land across the road from their home, and decided to line up their vehicles and pitch tents to surprise their principal in the morning.

The teens arrived around midnight so as not to wake or alert her to their campsite, and then woke up between 5:30 and 5:45 a.m. to catch Ebbert as she pulled out of her driveway on her way to work around 6 a.m., she said.

“I pull out of the driveway, and there they are,” Ebbert said. “So, of course, I walked over.”

Often senior pranks - a last hurrah before they leave their high school - are about disrespect and cause damage, such as putting cement in toilets or letting animals run loose inside a school, she said.

“This had nothing to do with any damage,” Ebbert said. “This had everything to do with respecting me, and them having a good time.

“This is an amazing group of students that are kind to each other, and are appreciative and respectful,” she said. “It was nice.”

The morning didn’t end there, though. Ebbert took her students for breakfast at McDonald’s, and then sent them home to get some sleep before graduation that evening, she said.

Panther Valley High School seniors with their principal, Patricia Ebbert, left front, Monday morning. The graduating seniors surprised Ebbert by camping out in front of her Lehighton home. Graduation coverage on page 3. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
Panther Valley High School's Class of 2023 pranked their principal, Patricia Ebbert, by camping out across the road from her Lehighton home early Monday, the morning of their graduation. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
Panther Valley High School seniors are treated to breakfast at McDonald's after camping out at their principal's home overnight, as a senior prank, early Monday. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO