Promise kept: Teacher sleeps on roof to reward students

Bookmark and Share
Make text smaller Make text larger


Matthew Todaro is a man of his word.

Todaro, a history teacher at Canon-McMillan High School, spent the night of Feb. 6 on the roof of the school, keeping a promise he made to his students during a recent fundraiser.

In December, when the high school launched its annual school-wide Santa Fund drive – which provides Christmas presents for underprivileged children throughout the district – Todaro upped the ante: If his classes raised the most money for the fundraiser, he would camp out for a night on the roof and bring his students breakfast.

“I try to stress integrity and responsibility in my classroom, and if I expect them to meet those standards, then I need to live up to them,” said Todaro, who is also an Army chaplain with the 402nd Quartermaster Battalion, U.S. Army Reserve.

“I’ve noticed, too, that if you ask students to raise money for a good cause, they will. But if you give them a tangible motivator – if they knew I’d physically be suffering and feel miserable – it would give them more motivation to do it,” he joked.

The Santa Fund raised a total of $5,700, and Todaro’s five classes were responsible for raising $2,000, more than one-third of that amount. So on Feb. 6, Todaro made good on his promise and climbed onto the roof at 2 p.m., armed with the gear necessary to get through a cold winter’s night in Canonsburg. He brought a tent, an Army-issued sleeping bag, warm clothing and a lantern that provided some heat. The temperature was about 28 degrees when Todaro began his campout, and dipped into the teens overnight. Early on, he ran laps to stay warm, and his wife and daughters stopped by to drop off pizza.

Todaro said some of his students didn’t believe he would last the night, but he was on the roof to greet them when they arrived at school the next morning.

“I’m extremely exhausted. I’m dragging. Every five or 10 minutes, an exhaust fan or some other noise would wake me up. I want to go to bed,” said Todaro, who usually goes to bed early and rises by 4:30 a.m. “It was cold, but as long as I stayed in the sleeping bag, it was all right.”

But Todaro was happy to lose a good night’s sleep in order to hold up his end of the bargain.

“The important thing is that we raised money for an important cause,” he said. “My role in this is just a very small part of a much greater purpose.”

Bookmark and Share Make text smaller Make text larger


Published Feb 8, 2013 at 11:06 am (Updated Feb 8, 2013 at 11:06 am)

Promise kept: Teacher sleeps on roof to reward students

What you Need to Know
  • Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
  • Any poster that insults,threatens or verbally abuses or another member,uses defamatory language,or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
  • Users who violate the Terms of service or any commenting rules will be banned
  • Please stay on topic."Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted
  • To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of service
  • To report breaches of the Terms of service use the report abuse button

You must register, sign-in or Facebook Login Button to make a comment.

Most Popular
Tell us here at
The Almanac what
you think!
30 31 1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 1 2 3