As the school year at Profile Junior-Senior High School in Bethlehem, N.H. was winding down, Principal Courtney Vashaw received some unfortunate news. After having a tumor removed, Vashaw was diagnosed with a rare soft tissue cancer.
She revealed her diagnosis to her students, so that her absence wouldn’t worry them. But the 41 students in her senior class decided to take action. They voted unanimously to cancel their senior trip and donate the nearly $8,000 to their principal’s treatment.
Watch the moment Ms. Vashaw realizes what her student did for her:
The students tricked Ms. Vargas by telling her they needed her for a senior meeting, then surprised her with the news that they wouldn’t be taking their senior trip to a New York dude ranch. (Who even knew they had dude ranches in New York?) She immediately gets emotional.
The senior class had raised the money over four years, through bake sales, homecoming activities, and other fundraisers, but say they immediately knew what the right thing to do was.
"She's just very caring, very selfless, and we wanted to be selfless, too," Ian Baker, a senior at Profile told WMUR-TV. Another student, Leanza Hunt, says "Ms. Vashaw really touched us all and influenced our lives. And we know she would have done the same for us.”
"I was just astounded by their generosity," Ms. Vashaw told TODAY.com. "I know how hard they worked to try to plan a good last hurrah. For them to make that decision is really a testimonial to the character of the kids."
Now, something else wonderful is happening. Their story touched a middle school teacher all the way across the country, in Seattle, who set up a CrowdRise page to raise the $8,000 to send the kids on their trip after all.
“I was taken aback, but unsurprised at the selflessness of the senior class,” the page says. “The rest of the country needs to see what our future generation is capable of doing.” Any money raised over $8,000 will also go to Ms. Vashaw’s medical expenses.
Now watch Cobie Smulders open up to ET about her battle with ovarian cancer: