HARKER HEIGHTS — Around Nolan Middle School, “pie in the face for United Way” is a tradition where supporting a good cause meets the rare opportunity to smear a tin of crème into a beloved educator’s face.

Wrapping up two weeks of fundraising for the local United Way campaign, the students and staff at the new Killeen ISD middle school in Harker Heights celebrated $2,900 raised by “pie-ing” a few of their favorite teachers and administrators.

Principal Ashley York took one for the team in all three lunch periods, along with specific “winning” staff members in each of the sixth, seventh and eighth grade lunch periods on April 9.

She said she’s taken pies in the face before in various roles in past years at the former Nolan Middle School on Jasper Road in the middle of Killeen.

Students and staff members gave donations during a two-week period, designating their total toward a teacher and administrator. The educators who drew the most funds sat for pies.

Students delivering pies were chosen by drawing among those who contributed.

In the seventh-grade lunch period, Jordan Santos took a strategic approach directing a pie at the top of history teacher Antonio Montez’s smooth, shaved head before smearing it onto his face.

The teacher was good with it.

“I’ve donated to United Way in past jobs, and I definitely want to be a part,” Montez said as he wiped crème from his face, head and shirt.

“The kids get a fun reaction out of it,” he said. “It’s a good cause that makes sure people are doing alright.”

Nolan Facilitator for Special Programs Anika Stewart said she was pleased with the school’s response to the fundraisers.

The pie balloting raised $460 out of more than $2,900 raised during the school’s campaign. Stewart said she was pleased to beat the school’s $2,090 total of a year ago. “I appreciate the support,” she said.

During the sixth-grade lunch period, Lilyana Ramerotook a humanitarian approach.

“I told her ‘I did this because I love you,’” the sixth-grader said in reference to Assistant Principal Sasha Sharp, who received her pie.

“The United Way is important because it helps people who struggle,” Ramero said. “The money we raise helps so many people.”

Teachers Jerry Stutz and Ashely Barshaw, as well as Assistant Principal Jaime Stephens joined Montez, Sharp and York in the pie seat.

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