DANVILLE -- Sad news for Will Ferrell fans: The Hollywood comedian will not be attending the San Ramon Valley High School prom.

Determined teacher Chad Cochran, who with his leadership students launched two videos over the past month in a bid to lure Ferrell to chaperone the school's May 10 senior ball, finally heard from Ferrell's publicist yesterday -- and got a dispiriting "no" to the invitations.

Their quest ended Monday, when the video-production and animation teacher got a phone call while he was setting up computers in his classroom for the day.

"I saw the area code and had a nauseous feeling in my stomach," he said. "That is pretty much how I have felt when I have received a call from an unknown area code for the past few weeks."

San Ramon Valley High School video production teacher, Chad Cochran, sports a Will Ferrell t-shirt along with some DVD covers on Wednesday, March 5, 2014
San Ramon Valley High School video production teacher, Chad Cochran, sports a Will Ferrell t-shirt along with some DVD covers on Wednesday, March 5, 2014 in Danville, Calif. He along with his students created a video invitation to the comedic actor, hoping he will be a chaperone at the school prom dance on May 10. (Jim Stevens/Bay Area News Group)

When he answered it, the gentlemen on the other line identified himself as Ferrell's publicist.

"He told me that he heard about our video and that Mr. Ferrell thought it was amusing," Cochran said. "However, he told me, Mr. Ferrell will be in Europe for two months around that time. And my heart sunk."

It was a very disappointing end to what had been a whirlwind of media coverage for the videos, the first one having crisscrossed the globe from Seattle, New York to Australia, and even landing on the popular website Buzzfeed.

"I understand that Will has a life and I am just some guy harassing him on the Internet," Cochran said. "That is not lost on me. ... But it was a letdown to hear it from a publicist. I can't lie about that."


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It would have been nice to get even "an email from Will Ferrell that the school would have framed," he said.

"Or they could have sent a picture of Will that says 'leave me alone,'" he quipped.

Despite the sad news, his school was been amazingly supportive, he said: "They were all very sad to learn that my mission had failed."

Yet "a lot of people are helping me see how awesome this endeavor has been for me and for the students," he said.

"This was a wonderful roller-coaster for me and the students," he said. "They learned that the social media that they use can be a tool for a specific goal, either positive or negative."

Yet, the school won't be looking to any other celebrities to fill the void, he said. Rather, "I think my best option is to start asking my wife's coworkers to switch nights so that she can attend with me after all," he said. "Besides, she is way cooler than any celebrity, and hotter, if I do say so myself."

Contact Joyce Tsai at 925-847-2123. Follow her at Twitter.com/JoyceTsaiNews.