Page Elementary Principal Michael Gelmi was literally sky-high over his students reading more than 850 books in their Battle of the Books this year. For reaching the goal, he told his students he would reward them by skydiving over the school, and that’s what he did May 22.
Students, teachers and parents wearing TK orange lined up near the school the day of the dive to watch Gelmi. A circle with “Mr. Gelmi Land Here” was painted on the grass. He didn’t land very near the circle, but that’s not what mattered to him. Getting the students reading was the most important thing, he said.
Wearing a Thornapple Kellogg T-shirt over his jumpsuit, he admitted he teared up a bit when making the jump. He also wondered “Why am I jumping out of a plane?” he said. Skydive Hastings assisted with the dive.
While his wife Deb Weiss-Gelmi was calm as a cucumber watching him dive, she did have to call his worried mom. “Is he down? Is it over? Is he OK?” she asked, all to the answer of “yes.”