Linden High School Principal Yelena Horre, center, and Vice Principals David Walker, Frank Bandinelli, Lizzie Ortiz and Kevin Thurston after competing in a pie-eating contest in the LHS gym to promote the Peer Pals class’ annual Thanksgiving pie sales.


By Gary Miller

Students in the Linden High School Peer Pals class hosted an epic – and messy – pie-eating contest on Wednesday, Nov. 1, to promote their annual Thanksgiving pie sales.

The contest had preliminary rounds for students, staff and administrators. The winners of those rounds faced off in a championship round for the trophy. The big winner was Vice Principal David Walker, below right. A close second was history teacher Eric Sheidemann, below left, who was awarded the trophy for best mess.

Eric Sheidemann and David Walker with trophies

This is the first year for the contest, but the Peer Pals have been selling pies for 16 years, since the beginning of the Tale of Two City project, which fosters a special relationship between Linden High School and Allen High School in Allen, Texas. Students and staff in Allen reached out to Linden shortly after 9/11 in a gesture of compassion and support, and the two schools have been close ever since. Students from each school have visited the other on numerous occasions.

Proceeds from the pie sales will go toward the travel costs of the two schools. The pies are $12 apiece and can be ordered from a Peer Pals member or by contacting Linden High before Nov. 15. Pies will be delivered Nov. 22. They are coming from Pinho’s Bakery in Roselle, which also supplied the pies for the contest.

Other sponsors of the contest included A&B Promotions, which supplied T-shirts to the contestants, and West Hudson Industries, which supplied trophies for the winners.

The contestants were:

three girls looking clean before contest  girls with pie on their faces after the contest

Girls: Junior Samantha Olbrys, junior Tamera Thorne, freshman Nicole Restrepo Malczynska.

boys looking clean before contest  boys with pie on their faces after the contest

Boys: Senior Nick Moreno, junior Austin Urban, freshman Pierry Gabriel.

staff looking clean before the contest  staff with pie on their faces after the contest

Staff: Kate Walker, Eric Scheidemann, Belinda Pond.

staff looking clean before the contest  staff with pie on their faces after the contest

Staff: Greg Stier, Lakhia Carter, Ryan Devaney, Mike Pekosz.

administrators preparing to begin contest with pies in front of them  administration contestant playfully threatening another with a pie

Administrators: David Walker, Kevin Thurston, Lizzie Ortiz, Frank Bandinelli, Yelena Horre

contestants before championship round

Championship Round: Scheidemann, Olbrys, Stier, Walker, Moreno