The morning of their 100th day of school for the year, students at St. Francis of Assisi Elementary School in Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove had a visit from the premier.
Kathy Dunderdale began by reading from “100th Day Worries” by Margery Cuyler and taking questions from about 80 primary students in the library, before moving to the gymnasium for a Q&A with Grade 4-6 students.
There were questions about her life outside of politics — her children, grandchildren and her 10 brothers and sisters (“Whoa!”).
There were questions about her weight loss and her pet preferences. She told stories about the dog, Sailor, she had as a girl.
She didn’t placate the crowd.
Asked to name her favourite soccer team, not far from a sign emblazoned with “Home of the St. Francis Falcons,” she declared her fealty to the Burin Eagles — although it generally earned her only blank stares.
There were some visible yawns towards the end of each session but, comparatively, there were more hands still in the air.
Children could be seen holding up their one arm with the other, seated on their heels, kneeling up now and then, levering themselves higher in the hope of being pointed to and given the chance for one last question.
The bulk of the questions were about becoming premier and what the job entails.
There was a question about the fall election and how it felt to be named premier, to which Dunderdale said she was frightened.
A voice from the crowd asked: “Why were you scared?”
“You really want to do a good job,” she said, “but you don’t know how you’re going to do.”
The question was from a young girl, asking the province’s first female leader.
Dunderdale encouraged all of the young students to consider whether or not they might like to run for the premier’s chair someday.
Afterward she spoke with reporters, while children in the background waved and their arms up, trying to draw the attention of the news cameras.
“Everything we do is about these young people and ensuring they have all they need to have a healthy life and to grow up and be all they can be. And it’s wonderful and exciting and it’s inspirational and it just fills me with hope and makes me want to work even harder,” she said.