PHOTOS: Payback Time As JFK Teacher Gets Tattoo At Assembly

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Story and Photos by Michael Brunk

Something a little different happened this past Friday (Feb. 26th) at John F. Kennedy Catholic High School in Burien. As the end of the school day approached, students and faculty gathered in the gymnasium.

That part isn’t so unusual for a high school.

It’s not often though, that they assemble to see a teacher get tattooed. At school. During the assembly!

The event was an outgrowth of the school’s recent “Every Lancer Against Cancer” awareness week. Part of the activities included raising money for several cancer-related funds. To spur the students on, American Government teacher Walt Kostecka issued a challenge (as we first reported here):

Raise $10,000 and he’d get inked.

The students threw themselves into the fundraising effort and Walt put himself in the hands of tattoo artist Bryan Kachel from Emerald City Tattoo & Supply – here’s a Photo Slideshow I shot at the event:

Click to View Michael Brunk’s Photo Slideshow

That the students met their goal shouldn’t surprise anyone. As Principal Michael Prato noted, it’s difficult to find a family that hasn’t been touched by cancer in one way or another. Their enthusiasm for learning about cancer and its affects, and collecting donations, carried over into the assembly. As Walt sat onstage with Bryan and his buzzing tattoo needle, the students conducted a pep rally around him. Complete with the school’s band, shouting cheerleaders and plenty of spirited applause.

Asked afterward how it felt getting his first tattoo, Walt replied:

“It felt like being stuck in a blackberry bush… for an hour!”

Walt shared that the real experience was watching his students get involved and raise the $10,000. He’s already thinking about next year and kicking around the idea of sky diving. Based on the response of his family members in attendance, Walt may have a challenge himself meeting that goal!

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