Challenge Accepted: Winterquist Principal Kisses Pig for "I Love to Read" Month

Taylor Holt
Updated: March 06, 2019 05:24 PM

What does reading and a 100-pound pig have in common? If you're a student at Winterquist Elementary School in Esko, it had to do with the culmination of hard work in their "I Love to Read" month-long challenge.

The theme this year was "pig out on books," and that's what the more than 700 students did.

"I agreed that if they met their goal that I would kiss a pig," said Principal Brian Harker. "We set a pretty lofty goal, and I was pretty confident that they weren't going to get there."

However, the kids had another plan in mind, and at last Friday's assembly, the results were revealed. They surpassed their goal of 10,000 points by more than 800.

"I loved the theme of it and I loved that it was like a competition," said 5th grader, Ava Marline.

However, the best part by far for the students was hearing that their Principal would be puckering up with a pig.

"I was like, 'yes!' because I couldn't wait to see," said Marline.

"I thought it was crazy and he wasn't actually going to do it," said another 5th grader, Luke Tester.

Wednesday was the big day, that Harker kissed 100-pound Diesel, and both took it like champs.

"The snout was a lot drier than I expected so luckily, it wasn't as disgusting as some may think, but don't get me wrong I will not be doing this again," said Harker after the kiss.

As for Diesel, his owner Hailey Davis says he used to giving kisses. 

"He likes to go up and kiss people. He's very into snouting on shoes, legs, and cheeks," said Davis. "I think he did very well."

Harker says what's most important is that the kids loved it.

"It was really funny and gross at the same time," Marline said.

"One year, I had to shave my head. I had to spend an entire day from sun up until sun down in igloo," said Harker. "Anything for the kids, so if we can bring a pig in, and smooch it for a moment and that's going to motivate and excite kids than lets do it."

After the assembly, the class with the most points got their chance to meet, but not kiss Diesel, too.


Taylor Holt

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