Fighting for You: Principal Demands Photography Company Pays Money Owed To School

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PRICEVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – High school is a place where life-long memories are often made. Friendships are formed, achievements are reached and pictures document it all. A few photos taken at Priceville Junior High School have created a negative memory for the school’s principal. Mary Speegle emailed WHNT NEWS 19. She wanted help to get money she claimed a company owed her through commission for photo sales.

Speegle expected to get close more than $1,000 back from Waldrup Photography. She hired the company do class photos. Speegle never got the money on the date agreed upon. She called and emailed the company. The money never came until WHNT NEWS 19 got involved two years later.

Speegle has a lot of kids. She’s not a mother. She’s an educator. Speegle leads the team at Priceville Junior High.

“Of course, with us being a county school, the money is not always there,” said Speegle.

Speegle knows about looking for a penny here or a dollar there.

“Frustrated is the word that comes to mind,” added Speegle.

She’s waited two years to get $1,432 from Waldrup Photography. The company took pictures for the school’s yearbook. A contract sealed a deal on commission from picture sales between the company and principal.

“I just look at it as cheating the students out of their educational opportunities,” added Speegle.

Speegle waited a while before calling the company. She wanted to talk to the owner.

“It took me a few months to just get a hold of her number or the correct number,” added Speegle.

Speegle was looking for business owner Kris McHugh.

“I would be told that I would give her the message to call me back. I would never get a return phone call. I emailed. I would never get a return email. It just continued to go on,” added Speegle.

Speegle got in touch with WHNT NEWS 19 a year and a half later.

“I can deal with people when they tell me the truth, but get to a point to where I get totally frustrated when I am lied to time and time again,” added Speegle.

The business owner wouldn’t talk on camera, but told said legal problems kept her from paying Speegle on time.

“I would like whatever money she owes me to be brought to me and put into the mail as it’s been claimed to be put,” added Speegle.

McHugh insists she later mailed three checks to Speegle. None of the checks cleared.

Speegle said, “I want it handed to me in my hands.”

Finally, after months of emailing and calling McHugh, WHNT NEWS 19 was able to deliver good news.

Speegle said, “I am happy to have it.”

WHNT NEWS 19 hand delivered the check. It is money that will now support the classroom.

“I am tickled to death to have this money. I am about to give it to the bookkeeper to deposit it into our account,” added Speegle.

McHugh provided a statement to WHNT NEWS 19:

“I want to thank WHNT NEWS 19 and Venton Blandin in assisting us with rectifying this matter. On three separate occasions, the monies due to the school were written and mailed to Priceville Junior High School for the 2010-2011 school year to close out the account.  As of this date (December 3, 2012), none of those checks have cleared our accounts. I want to thank Mr. Blandin for personally delivering and helping us to close this most important matter.”