Humble winnings: Thomas Palfey wins March Madness competition

Victory! Physical Education Chairperson Thomas Palfey wins the second annual March Madness Competition. 
(Courtesy of Olivia McMinn.)
Victory! Physical Education Chairperson Thomas Palfey wins the second annual March Madness Competition. (Courtesy of Olivia McMinn.)
Madison Aboud


On April 3, the Climate and Culture squad began hosting the second annual March Madness competition, where 64 teachers and staff members participated to see who would become victorious.  

Originally, Physical Education Chairperson Thomas Palfey wasn’t going to participate in the competition. 

“I wasn’t signed up until the last minute,” T. Palfey said. “I wasn’t going to do it. I saw how into it Mr. Krug is and I saw the principals put in and I thought, ‘If they put in, I’ll put in.’”

On April 17, the competition concluded, naming T. Palfey as the winner. 

“It was surprising, but happy, especially after getting knocked out by my wife [Amy Palfey] in the first round last year,” T. Palfey said. 

Last year, A. Palfey secured a victory against her husband. This year, she competed as well. 

I participated in March Madness because I did last year, and it was fun,” A. Palfey said. “I want to publicly congratulate my husband on his victory this year but now that we are even (both beat each other in this madness) it is on.”

Going into the final round, T. Palfey was comfortable with any outcome. 

“Honestly, I was just along for whatever happened,” T. Palfey said. 

Palfey secured his win after a battle against geometry teacher Kathryn Chestney. 

“I was so happy for Mr. Palfey and immediately sent a congratulatory email to him,” Chestney said. 

Neither of the finalists faced any challenges throughout the competition. 

“It was all wonderful,” Chestney said. “I just really felt amazing support from my students and that warmed my heart.”

“I didn’t pay attention, and I enjoyed everybody else’s posters,” T. Palfey said.  

This year, T. Palfey and A. Palfey had different campaign styles than what they used in competition the year before. 

“Last year, I paid too much attention so I didn’t,” T. Palfey said. “I didn’t tell them [students] that I was in it. I just let what happened, happen. Usually, I’d be out there with the trash talkers, but I was quiet this time.” 

“Last year, I campaigned hard to secure the first-round victory. This year, I decided not to campaign and let the votes fall where they may,” A. Palfey said.

Unlike T. Palfey and A. Palfey, Chestney campaigned with the help of her students.

“Students in my first period started passing out stickers and “Vote 4 Chez” stars and that kind of stuck,” Chestney said. 

Students were great advocates over the course of March Madness. 

“Everybody in my class because they want doughnuts and pizza and random people who voted for me and wanted to know if they could come down for the pizza,” T. Palfey said. 

Chestney’s students played a vital role over the course of her campaigns. 

“All of my students were SUPER supporters and many teachers were cheering me on as well,” Chestney said. “The best part was having students who I don’t even know/have in class come up to me and say, ‘I voted for you!’I definitely felt the love.” 

Over the course of the competition, T. Palfey learned a lesson. 

“I can be humble without trash-talking,” Palfey said. 

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