Students cheer teacher as she kisses a goat

Schools: Jenna McConaughy follows through on her promise following fundraiser

of the GatewayJanuary 8, 2014 

Teacher Jenna McConaughy kisses Celia the goat on Monday. The kiss was part of an assembly at Harbor Montessori School after McConaughy reached a fundraising goal.

KAREN MILLER/GATEWAY PHOTO

Albert Knowles of Cantata Farms told gathered Harbor Montessori students that kissing a goat wasn’t really a big deal.

Then he turned to Jenna McConaughy, a nervous middle school teacher.

“But she doesn’t know that,’” Knowles said.

McCounaghy’s kiss is the follow-up to a fundraising campaign. She plans to run in the memory of her husband’s nephew, Colin, during the Tinkerbell Half-Marathon at Disneyland later this month.

Colin died of neuroblastoma when he was 2 in January 2012. McConaughy’s funds will go to the Leukemia and Lymphona Society.

McConaughy has passed the date for which she can accept additional donations, but another one of Colin’s relatives is starting his own challenge: Running the Pacific Crest Trail.

McCounaghy’s goal was to raise $4,000 for the half-marathon, and she surpassed it with $4,482. She sent a letter home with students’ families to ask for small donations.

If she met her goal, she promised she would kiss a goat on the first day back from winter break.

McConaughy kneeled next to her smooching partner, Celia the goat, in the parking lot on a frosty Monday morning.

Although she was up all night worrying about the kiss, she said it wasn’t too bad.

Afterward, she thanked the students, staff members and their families for supporting her cause.

Her kiss with Celia wasn’t toothy, thankfully.

“She was pretty closed-lipped,” McConaughy said.

Reporter Karen Miller can be reached at 253-358-4155 or by email at karen.miller@gateline.com. Follow her on Twitter, @gateway_karen.

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