LIVINGSTON, NJ - Teachers in many Livingston classrooms celebrated the number pi—3.14 (the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter), on its own special Pi Day 3/14, or March 14. The pi revelry reminded students that the math they’re learning is used every day by real people in the real world—from engineers and builders to programmers and accountants, and specifically at Mt. Pleasant Middle School (MPMS)—as a delicious convergence of food and math.

Teachers took it on the chin—and on the nose and face—on Pi Day at MPMS, where they were good sports that not only promoted mathematics education but also raised money for children with cancer.

MPMS put the (whipped cream) pie in Pi Day to raise money for middle school classmates fighting cancer. Students donated money for the chance to “pie” teachers, principals, guidance counselors, and Livingston Police Officer Joy Klapal. In a school that regularly celebrates Puma Pride, teachers wore Puma Pi T-shirts donated by local business, ZapGo as well as raincoats, goggles and shower caps in this slapstick comedy act for charity.

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The first toss went to Gabby DeFilippo, an MPMS student in consolidated remission from leukemia. She missed on her first try, but had a direct hit on the second. “I got to pie Officer Joy and I didn’t even get arrested,” DeFilippo joked.

Editor's Note: DeFilippo's family has been involved in various events to raise awareness and money for children with leukemia. Gabby’s Gift on Saturday, March 29, will be a blood drive from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at St. Philomena’s Church in the Parish Center, 386 South Livingston Ave. That event will benefit the Goryeb Children's Hospital and Valerie Fund.

The event was organized by math teacher Susie Hamano Ferguson and math and science teacher, Christina Ness, who found strength in the number of their colleagues who would actually sit for a creamy slap in the face.

"It's amazing how so many selfless staff members were willing to endure a little humiliation in the name of charity," Ferguson said. "We have an amazing, supportive staff that is literally willing to take one in the face!" 

Social studies teacher, Audrey Giordano put it simply, "It's for kids with cancer. Of course I'm going to volunteer.'"

The finall MPMS tally was 23 direct hits, two  misses and a total of $1,453 raised for cancer research. And like pi, 3.14—a messy MPMS tradition that will go on, infinitely.

See a slide show of photos from the event by clicking HERE.