AISD principal working from roof to raise money for students, families in need


AUSTIN (KXAN) — An Austin Independent School District elementary school principal is taking her efforts to help her students to new heights.

Katie Pena will be working on the roof at Highland Park Elementary in west Austin when students arrive later this morning.

Pena agreed to move her office to the roof for the day if students raised $3,000 for the AISD crisis support fund.

The fund was started in March of 2020 during the pandemic through the Austin Ed Fund to help families and students with everyday basic needs.

The fund helps provide meals to students and families in need, and it also allowed the purchase of learning tools to help students and teachers stay connected to their classes during virtual learning.

“I am just super proud of this community and super proud of the kids and families for really giving towards the crisis fund and looking beyond our Highland Park Community,” Pena said.

Students didn’t just meet the $3,000 goal, they blasted through it and raised more than $9,000 as of Thursday.

“We are so grateful for communities and schools like Highland Park who have really rallied their entire community in support of needs that affect families across Austin,” said Michelle Wallis, executive director of the Austin Ed Fund.

More than $10 million has been raised for the crisis fund since it was started in March 2020.

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