A Kentucky school principal (who isn’t shy about showing off his singing chops) used his skills to parody a classic 90s song for a snow day announcement that has now gone viral.
Principal Chad Caddell is a self-admitted Mariah Carey fan who likes to be creative whenever it’s possible—so when he needed to tell his students that school would be closed on Monday due to heavy snow, he wrote his own lyrics to the tune of Carey’s 1993 hit, “Hero,” to make the snow day announcement.
“I sat down, and in 10 minutes I wrote the lyrics, and then my wife and I went on our porch, filmed it, and it was ready to go,” Caddell, principal of Union Pointe Academy in Florence, Kentucky, tells PEOPLE. ” Honestly, I grew up a big Mariah fan—it just gives me a flashback to that slow dance in middle school where the girl at the end told you she just wanted to be friends—but the song is slow so it would be easy to put words to.”
On Monday morning just before 6 a.m., Caddell posted the video to the school’s Facebook page, and it quickly became a hit. As of Tuesday, the ballad has more than 400,000 views and 4,900 shares, with dozens of commenters gushing about Caddell’s sense of humor.
But the idea to bring some fun to snow announcements actually had its start about three years ago when Caddell was a school teacher and looking for a way to make those stale bulletins a little more enjoyable.
“We had gone through one of those two-week stints where we had snow day, after snow day, after snow day,” Caddell, 45, recalls. “My friend, who was the principal there at the time, and I were making these automated calls day after day and parents were ready to pull their hair out! So, we thought about how we could make it fun.”
The duo thought of doing something with music, so Caddell sat down and rewrote Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” turning it into his own, “Snowhemian Rhapsody.” Parents—and students—loved it.
Caddell, who is in his first year as principal at Union Pointe Academy, says he is happy to bring some happiness to his students and their families, and the video is just one piece of his “surprise and delight” philosophy to running his school.
“We live in a day where all the news is cynical and tragic and discouraging, and I think people are just hungry for something positive, and something to give them some joy,” he says. “School, when I grew up, was boring, sterile and predictable, and I wanted to create a culture where people expect the unexpected. We wanted to create a place where, as teachers, we’re being that adult we needed when we were kids.”