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Students get secret surprise from Santa

Each student got a gift from their personal wish list

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Students at the all girls’ school, Virtue Arts and Science Academy received a big surprise on Friday at a school assembly for what they thought was discussions about an upcoming assessment test.

The students were lead to the auditorium to talk about assessments and other school stuff. While watching a holiday movie in which people were being surprised with gifts, aSanta strolled in and as the movie screen was raising a stage full of presents was revealed.

One by one each student in attendance was called to stage by Santa’s elves to pick up not just a gift, but something each of them had actually wished for. ‘Well originally we have been freaking out because we were told that we were having a test,” said Ilore Cooney, a seventh grader. “Then they just surprised us with all these gifts.”

Prinicpal Michelle Knapp explained how they were able to pull off Friday’s events.

“Everybody kind of snuck around. We called it Operation Tiger,” said Knapp. “We are the Virtue Tigers and so everybody gathered their gifts and we snuck them into the building.”

Teachers gave their students a writing assignment earlier in the year asking them to detail a personal wish list. Imagine the shock of each girl as they received items from their actual list.

Cooney said the gift gesture was really a surprise.

“I’ve never been to a school where teachers care this much about the students and especially buying us presents for Christmas” Cooney said. “It’s really cool.”

There was also a raffle at the toy-giveaway, Santa played the piano and the school officials took plenty of pictures. Needless to say, the kids were sent home with smiles.

Nobody was left out the day’s events, all the teachers, assistants and cafeteria staff also received gifts.

Virtue Arts and Science Academy is a tuition-free, all girls’ public charter middle school with a student population of about 135 girls.