Our Lady of Hope Catholic School students surprise their principal in South Philly

The students at Our Lady of Hope Catholic School in have been dearly missing one person since the COVID-19 pandemic has ended their school year early.

That one person happens to be their principal Patricia Cody who they decided to give a special surprise Friday afternoon.

At least 20 families planned the surprise car parade for Ms. Cody with many more attending the car parade outside of the school in South Philadelphia. 

Ms. Cody has been a part of the institution for 15 years and hasn't seen her students since March 12, which has been difficult since they are "one big family". 

They gathered at a nearby parking lot at 8:30 a.m. before driving by the high school one-by-one to show Ms. Cody that all of her efforts have not gone unnoticed.


"It's the best school ever!" one family told FOX 29's Kelly Rule who was at the heartwarming scene as an endless stream of cars drove by to show their support. 

While students have been participating in distance learning, Ms. Cody has been working at the school essentially alone. Still, she has been working tirelessly to answer emails and letting parents into the school to get books for their children.

"I can't even believe that they put this together, I'm just so touched," Ms. Cody told Kelly Rule. Her students told FOX 29 that they cannot wait to return to school.

The surprise left Ms. Cody visibly emotional as cars drove by with signs of cheer and support passed by and she made sure to wave to all the families that participated even though she had to pause numerous times to wipe joyful tears from her eyes.

All throughout, Ms. Cody even collected "get well" cards for a sick faculty member, which further proved how close the community is to one another. 

The school's "We Have Hope" slogan truly resounded in spite of these difficult times.


Wolf orders shutdown of all non-essential businesses in Pennsylvania

How COVID-19 has impacted Delaware Valley so far

Interactive map tracks spread of COVID-19 globally

Restaurants, bars closed in 5 Pa. counties due to COVID-19

For the latest local news, sports and weather, download the FOX 29 News app.