St. Theresa third-graders duct tape their principal, Maureen Fyan, to the wall Oct. 5. It was a reward for selling the most gourmet food items during a fall fundraiser for the Parent-Teacher Organization. (Ambria Hammel/THE CATHOLIC SUN)

Not having enough school funds can create a sticky situation. So can raising too much.

Just ask Maureen Fyan, principal at St. Theresa, 5001 E. Thomas Road. She let the class who raised the most money during a fall fundraiser duct tape herself to the wall Oct. 5.

Overall, the school sold more than $20,000 worth of gourmet food through Krista’s Gourmet Favorites.  The school netted more than $8,100. That’s double what St. Theresa students raised last year by selling wrapping paper.

Fyan’s first thought when she heard of the fundraiser: “okay, that’ll be fun.” The principal may have had second thoughts, if only fleeting, when she tried to use two typical student excuses to get out of it.

No one, especially both third grade classes would let her though. They sold 300 gourmet food items and for each item sold, earned one inch of duct tape to put their principal on the wall.

The bright blue, pink, orange, purple, white and even a pink zebra patterned strip of duct tape complimented the writing on her long-sleeved shirt perfectly: “I am stuck on STCS.” Fyan was all smiles even after someone briefly heeded a gym full of students demanding, “tape her mouth!”

Every faculty member added lengthy pieces of tape to the wall to ensure their principal stayed hoisted. It worked for about two seconds before dismissal. Fyan emerged sweaty, but smiling as parents helped her remove her colorful duct tape dress.

“To get the kids involved, it was all worth it,” Fyan told The Catholic Sun.

Third-grader Sophia Gannuscio sold about 20 items. Her incentive was to earn prizes like glow-in-the-dark laces and finger lights, but restraining her principal was also fun.

This was the first time the fall fundraiser, which aids the parent group’s self-supported budget — they must raise $100,000 annually — tried the gourmet food sale. Customers were eager to grab the decadent desserts and pastries, bake and serve breads and pizzas. Students sold nearly 1,500 items.

On top of regular sales, fourth-graders found donors who bought 62 items for My Sister’s Place clients. The domestic violence shelter run by Catholic Charities served nearly 275 Valley women and their children last year. The women will receive their gifts by Oct. 18.

Duct-taping the principal or another well-known school official to the wall is gaining popularity. It’s often been used as a reward or as a means of raising money.

A middle school principal in Kansas reportedly takes the credit for launching the “duct-tape-the-principal” fundraiser movement at least six years ago, according to The incentive was to get students to read 400,000 pages during the school year.

In 2010, Catholic school students in Wisconsin paid $1 for an 18-inch piece of duct tape that held their principal on the wall. Proceeds from the Lenten service project benefited the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society.

Last spring, a principal in the Diocese of Evansville in Indiana volunteered to become a “fly on the wall” for part of the school day. Students bought various lengths of colored duct tape — about 60 rolls total — with funds sending a “Destination Imagination” team to the global competition.

So, whether it’s for a student group, charity or, as the case at St. Theresa, for a parent group’s budget line item, “The Duct Tape Guys” with an online gallery of wall tapings say, “You bet duct tape can fix budget cuts!”