A ‘Berry’ Special Assistant Principal Surprise

Assistant Principal Elizabeth Daugherty gets a surprise send-off for her retirement from Cranberry High School on May 29, 2019. (Photos by Lindsay Perry AJ Howard and Hannah Niederriter/Student contributors)

Student contributor

Silence befell the gymnasium as students and staff alike eagerly awaited the arrival of the unsuspecting Elizabeth Daugherty. For 35 years, this assistant principal has nurtured young minds in public education, 16 years at Cranberry High School. Considering all of her contributions to this community, it only felt right to surprise her with a heartfelt retirement send off, courtesy of all Cranberry staff, Senior High Band, and the student body.

Astonishment fell across her face, along with a wide smile, as the customary send-off song flooded the ears of those present. Her expectations of an emergency in the girls’ locker room had not been met, but instead, all were clapping, shouting, and congratulating both her past and future endeavors.

A cranberry-colored shirt was gifted to her bearing the phrases “Today is a great day to be a Berry” on one side and “Berry Special Assistant Principal” on the other. In addition to this gesture, a parody of “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor was written commemorating her hard work and good times yet to come. All in attendance attempted to sing the impromptu song, too.

After a brief explanation of her career and cheering from all, the microphone was handed off to Daugherty herself. Though not a woman of many words, she expressed great gratitude and pride for our high school. She was very thankful to have the opportunity to influence the lives of many at Cranberry, and is looking forward to more joyful times full of bliss and good memories.

As her unrehearsed speech came to a conclusion and students were dismissed, a crowd of many assembled, hugging her. Grins and watery eyes found their place among the huddle. Even after the large embrace tapered off, more individuals gathered to hug her one by one.

This assembly was and is more than just a send off. As witnessed by all, it was clear to see that Daugherty’s presence was and will continue to be a cherished component of our school. Retirement may offer many simple luxuries and days of leisure, but Daugherty will always be welcomed with open arms at Cranberry.

 (Video by Lindsay Perry and John Piercy/Student contributors)


AJ Howard, Lindsay Perry, Hannah Neiderriter and John Piercy are students at Cranberry High School and members of Cranberry Chronicles, the school’s journalism/publications group.