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Thanks to principal and restaurant, students get their calamari after catastrophe

Union Leader Correspondent

February 07. 2018 11:07PM
Epping Middle School Principal Coby Troidl made arrangements to bring calamari to the students who missed out after their science class experiment went awry last week. (Courtesy)

Epping Middle School student James Le, a calamari fan from way back, enjoys some of the appetizer donated by Telly's Restaurant and Pizzeria. (Courtesy)

EPPING — A calamari calamity at Epping Middle School had a happy ending after all.

Telly’s Restaurant and Pizzeria donated six orders of fried calamari for seventh-graders to enjoy Tuesday afternoon to make up for what they missed out on when overheated cooking oil smoked up parts of the school as a teacher tried to cook up some dissected squid during a science experiment last week.

Principal Coby Troidl had planned to purchase some calamari for the kids, but she got a big surprise when she called Telly’s to place the order and was told the Epping restaurant would donate it instead.

“I didn’t expect that,” she said. “I was planning to pay for it myself.”

Nearly 70 students got to sample the calamari. Some were a bit reluctant to try it, while others couldn’t wait.

“Even the students who were a little shy about it did try it, and I did not hear any complaints,” Troidl said. “It was delicious.”

The calamari offered some closure to the crisis that brought firefighters from Brentwood and Epping to the school on the morning of Jan. 30.

Students in a science class were dissecting squid purchased from Market Basket and were then going to cook it so that nothing would be wasted, Troidl said. But the oil became too hot and smoke began filling the classroom.

The pot with the oil and squid was quickly removed and taken outside, but the smoke alarms soon activated and the school had to be evacuated. Epping High School is housed in the same building, meaning students and staff there also had to leave. The evacuees waited at the nearby elementary school for about an hour while firefighters vented the building.

On Tuesday, student and regular calamari consumer James Le, 13, was excited to have the delicacy in class.

James said he’s always loved calamari, eats it every few weeks, and made sure none of it went to waste when some students didn’t finish eating.

“A lot of my friends just gave it to me,” he said, smiling.

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