June 19, 2013 at 1:16 PM ET
The end of the school year has teachers and students everywhere singing in the streets, but one retiring middle school principal in Mass. got a particularly celebratory send-off when his students surprised him with an epic flash mob.
Hingham Middle School principal Roger Boddie is retiring at the end of the summer, after 36 years of being an educator. And to say goodbye, students and teachers orchestrated a choreographed flash mob set to Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" on June 7. A local TV station accompanied Boddie on a "tour" of a construction site on campus; when they got to the roof, they filmed the elaborate show which took place below. The video of the flash mob and Boddie's heartfelt exaction has since gone viral , with nearly 50,000 hits on YouTube.
Boddie and some of his students appeared on TODAY Wednesday, and the principal said he was pretty surprised by the event.
"That's exactly why I have to retire. I knew nothing about what was going to happen," he joked. "There's over a thousand people in the building, you think somebody would slip me a hint."
But he was also touched, particularly when students held up a banner reading, "Thank you for believing in us." "It meant everything. You could tell how choked up I was," he told TODAY.
According to Boston.com, the idea for the flash mob came from the school's assistant principal, David Riordan, and was choreographed by a dance instructor at the town's community center. Boddie's last day as principal is August 19.
"I absolutely believe in these children around me and the ones that I've had over my 36-year career," he told TODAY. "They're just the best group of kids a principal could work with."