LEWISBURG — Tri-County North Middle School held an “academic pep rally” on Thursday, April 11. The students were motivated and encouraged to do their best on upcoming state testing by a flash mob. Elementary grades third through fourth also got to experience the pep rally.
According to middle school teacher Debbie Pierson, the planning originally started six years ago.
“Mrs. Lisa Galpin and Mrs. Laini Ferriell were student council co-advisers six years ago. They had seen video of flash mobs and decided to conduct an academic pep rally to fire up the students for testing. They organized an academic pep rally with student council and staff performing to excite students about state testing. We only did it once and the current middle school students had not witnessed it,” she said.
“Last year Mrs. Kenrda Brubaker, substitute teacher, and Mrs. Sylvia Adams wanted to do an academic pep rally with a flash mob performance, but there was not enough time to organize it. The testing date was too soon to have practices for a performance.”
This year, Brubaker choreographed a number to “The Greatest Show” from the Greatest Showman movie.
Practice began after school on March 15 with middle school student council members keeping it a secret. After several practices the middle school V.I.P students joined the rehearsals and participated in two thirds of the performance. Lastly, Panther Pride students joined in rehearsal to perform the last third of the song.
“Involving a larger percentage of the student body was a way to increase participation and enthusiasm for a pep rally. As a surprise to the students, staff joined in the final portion of the performance,” Pierson said.
“When Mr. Joe Finkbine, elementary principal, heard about the planning of the pep rally he requested the third and fourth graders to also attend so they could see the energy and enthusiasm and join in the fun. The students created banners for the grades to run through as they do a sports events to allow all students to participate.”
Principal Joe Hoelzle opened the pep rally with a motivational talk to encourage students to do their best not just on the testing but at all times academically. Finkbine then reiterated that concept following the performance to ignite enthusiasm in the elementary students also.
“The students enjoyed it and are still talking about how much better it turned out than they even hoped it would in practice. They want to do it again, however next time it will not have the same surprise effect as watching students suddenly stand and move to the floor in the middle or the pep rally and not know who is going to stand next,” Pierson said.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH