Picture: Principal Renee Elmore, Melanie Meredith and Tami Attebury with students during their lunch period.


Students at Justiss Elementary were in for a surprise today when characters from Whoville showed up at parent drop-off early in the morning.

Four years ago Academic Coach Tami Attebury recognized that not every student was able to purchase their photo after visiting with Santa. She decided to dress up as a friendly Grinch and surprise the kids throughout the day at Justiss Elementary, offering a photo to each kindergarten student to take home free of charge.

The tradition has progressed each year as more characters have appeared and spent the day with the students throughout the campus. On Wednesday, Cindy Lou Who (Math Academic Coach Melanie Meredith) and The Grinch (played by Attebury) were waiting at parent drop-off to welcome the students for the day.

“It’s really something that the parents enjoy just as much as the kids,” said Principal Renee Elmore. “We even had one parent who said their daughter who attends another school jumped out of the car to grab a photo this morning too.”

The Grinch and Cindy made their way through the school to classroom Christmas parties and visited the kids throughout lunch.

“Each and every kindergarten student gets to take home their photo,” said Melanie. “They really seem to enjoy it and, of course, we have fun doing it.”

As students entered the lunchroom you could see their faces lighting up waiting to hug both teachers with a smile on their faces.

“The staff always go above and beyond to make things special for these kids,” said Elmore. “They are all amazing and work very hard for each and every student.”

Parents and students will have another surprise today as Santa directs traffic, keep an eye out for him at Justiss Elementary.  

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