"We just wanted to get everybody excited about reading," said Lancione. "We want them to continue to read for many many years."
This year's theme was "Salute Our Presidential Leaders." For every 275 books they read, the students honored a U.S. president by placing his picture in a window of a miniature "White House" and learning interesting tidbits about their lives and times.
Roughly a month before the school year ended, the students had honored all 43 presidents and read a grand total of 16,602 books.
The school celebrated its success June 12 with a myriad of activities.
Lancione visited every classroom dressed as a tree. Each class added a cherry to the "tree" with the teacher's name and the amount of books they read.
At 2 p.m., the closing ceremonies began. Clad mostly in red, white and blue, the student body headed for the field to sing patriotic songs, wave American flags and await the surprise from Lancione.
They were rewarded with the sight of their principal dressed as George Washington and riding a horse while surrounded by six "Secret Service" members, all dressed in black.
Lancione, who never had a riding lesson in her life, looked the picture of calm as she rode around waving to the excited students.
"She was petrified," said Bonnie Daffron, next year's PTA president who helped coordinate the program.
"It was the teachers who knew (how to handle) horses," she added.
Before the end of the closing ceremonies, she was hit in the face with a pie by Vice-Principal Kathy Arnold.
She was quickly rescued by the secret service, placed in the presidential vehicle and driven to safety.
E-mail Brianna Frederick at firstname.lastname@example.org.