Dressed in T-shirt and board shorts, Cottonwood Elementary Principal Chris Mauger addressed the crowd of students eager to see him drenched.
"Everyone gets one ball," he said Friday morning. "If you miss, you miss. If you hit, you flush."
The students cackled as he headed to the chair located beneath the toilet mounted on a wooden frame emblazoned "Flush-A-Palooza," built by fifth grade teacher Dave Olsen. A hose ran into the back of the (never-used) toilet, filling the bowl with water looming just over Mauger's head.
"I brought a book to read," he said, waving a copy of Niccolo Machiavelli's "The Prince," "because I don't think y'all can hit that target."
Mauger and other Cottonwood administrators and teachers braved watery humiliation to motivate their students.
The incentive program is based on a similar one at Carmel Elementary School, where Mauger and Assistant Principal Matt Sheffield previously worked.
"It's basically designed for the kids who come to school and work hard, day in and day out," said Sheffield. "Not necessarily the all-stars, but it's something for everybody."
Students were eligible to participate if they had good attendance, no behavior problems and 90 percent of both homework and class work completed to the best of their ability.
About two-thirds of Cottonwood's 878 students attended Friday's inaugural program on Friday, Sheffield estimated.
As the students chanted "get him, get him, get him," it only took the fifth kindergartener to throw a tennis ball that unleashed a bowlful of water on Mauger's head — to cheers from the rest of the student body.
"It's warm," he laughed. "It's actually warm."