Courtney Vashaw

Lesson Learned: Senior Class Donates Class Trip Money to Help Principal, Courtney Vashaw, Fight Cancer

Bethlehem, New Hampshire principal, Courtney Vashaw, has always encouraged her students to live for something bigger than themselves.  Clearly, the senior class at Profile Junior-Senior High took this important life lesson to heart.

For four years, the senior class raises money to take a big overnight trip.  Through bake sales and other fundraisers over the years, the Class of 2015 raised over $8,000!  But this year, instead of spending the money on themselves, they decided to give the money to their principal, Ms. Vashaw, who is battling a rare form of cancer.

This act of kindness, generosity and compassion is a great example of putting others first.  The students said that the decision was an easy one as Principal Vashaw was a leader who always put THEM first.  Her caring, support and encouragement over the years, clearly made a big impact on them!

Check out this video that tells this inspiring story of kindness and compassion:

Additional Resources:

Topics for Discussion:

  • Do you know someone who always ‘puts others first’?  What impact have they had on your life?
  • What does it mean to ‘live for something bigger than yourself’?


  • Did you wonder what causes cancer?  See the chart below courtesy of Cancer Research UK:

cancer causes

Take Action:

  • Do you have a teacher, parent or role model who puts you first?  Take the time out to thank them.
  • Check out the Random Acts of Kindness website to learn ways you can be kind to others!

Teacher Features:

  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for elementary school students.
  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for middle school students.
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