Egg-citing end-of-year event a “smashing” success at St. Luke School

Anne-Marie Welsh

Jackson Norfolk waits for his moment as Viet Duong smashes an egg on
the head of Mrs. Haley Kolash, principal of St. Luke School, May 10. Father
John Malthaner, pastor of St. Luke Parish, right, had already been there,
done that!   Photo/Anne-Marie Welsh

ERIE — Did you hear the roar across Erie just before 2 pm on Friday, May 10? That would have been the students at St. Luke School cheering, whistling and screaming as 24 lucky students got to select an egg — without knowing if it had been hard-boiled or not —to smash on the head of either Mrs. Haley Kolash, principal, or Father John Malthaner, pastor. It was all in good fun, if not exactly good clean fun, as a reward for living out the values espoused by St. Luke School.

             Last fall, students came up with a list of qualities Crusaders should try to emulate when Father Malthaner called upon them during the year’s first school Mass. The list included everything from welcoming, loving and caring to being helpful, respectful and more.

            A few weeks later, the school issued a challenge to students: if administrators received a dozen compliments about St. Luke students living out their values from people outside the school community, Mrs. Kolash would spend the day in a bird costume. (It seems birds are not among her favorite animals.) Once she fulfilled that promise, Mrs. Kolash and Father Malthaner upped the ante:  students would have the chance to smash one egg per compliment on either of their heads at the end of the year if 24 more compliments were heard. Organizations ranging from the Knights of Columbus — who appreciated the help students offered during Lenten dinners — to Emmaus Ministries, the staff of the public library and Parker Ward employees (who offered presentations to students during a day-long event), were among those who complimented the students for the values they demonstrated.

St. Luke student Haeden Heasley
and his classmates could not have
enjoyed the event more. Photo/

            Asked about his greatest concern just as he was about to take the stage, Father Malthaner was non-plussed, quipping, “I hear eggs are good for your hair!” Mrs. Kolash admitted to being a little nervous, but kept her eyes on the bigger picture: “It’s for the kids,” she said. “The kids are what matter most. It will be memorable. We are really communicating to the students that we’ll do anything for them.”

            There was absolutely no hesitation on the part of the students selected for the honor, and their antics produced a deafening, sustained roar that reverberated through the school’s gymnasium for about four minutes straight.  

            In a quick, post-event interview with the Diocese of EriE-News, egg yolks still sliding down her face and shells stuck to her hair, Mrs. Kolash asked, “What did I get myself into?” But there was no doubt she found it worthwhile.

            “Just seeing the joy in the children’s faces was absolutely amazing,” she said, “and it’s a true testament to who they are. They worked so hard for this. They deserved it.”