Mrs. Margaret Chatham was a tall woman with wide shoulders. Nick compared her to a football linebacker because she had a large body and was as tall as his dad. When she went to the Allen house to talk to Nick's parents, she wore "a long black raincoat with a red silk scarf tied loosely around her neck."
Lincoln Elementary School had had Mrs. Chatham as their principal for eighteen years. She was a serious person. When speaking, she chose her words carefully. Nick saw Mrs. Chatham as "the black queen."
When Judy Morgan, the reporter, came to the school, Mrs. Chatham "was not comfortable talking about" the frindle situation. Mrs. Granger had created a poster "about the punishment for using the word frindle." When Judy Morgan asked Mrs. Chatham about the poster, the principal laughed and brushed it off as if it were not a big deal. The reporter thought that Mrs. Chatham's "laugh sounded phony." When Judy Morgan asked more questions, the principal became uncomfortable and "squirmed a little in her chair."