Sunday, April 6, 2014

First night of Dancing with the Staff full of fun - By Jessilyn Austen

On Thursday night, Windham High School's Project Graduation 2014 along with the RSU14 staff put on an outstanding performance in round one of "Dancing with the Staff". With staff members from a variety of schools and one member of local law enforcement participating, it was a night to remember for those in attendance. Eighth grade teacher Lisa Hodge and Raymond Elementary School Math and Reading Interventionist Brian Rounds kicked off the evening with a bang as they danced to Surfing USA. For their efforts, they received a score of 9, 7 and 7 from the evening's judges, teachers Jennifer Breton, Rob Juergens and Kim McBride.

Throughout the evening's eight performances, the audience was treated to the hysterical commentary from the judges along with their scores on the evening's dances, but ultimately the top-four of round one was decided by those in attendance. Besides school employees, the students also did not miss their opportunity to perform as several students showed off their dance skills with performances from several local dance studios, culminating with a special dance at the end which included students, staff and the audience all dancing to YMCA, the Chicken Dance and the Macarena. 

As the show went on, the audience was treated to a variety of dances from country line dancing by fifth grade teacher Andrea Lavigne and fourth grade teacher Adam Beal to hip hop with second grade teacher Aileen Pelletier and her husband Kurt Pelletier, who is the former Windham wrestling coach, just to name a few. Officer Rob Hunt of the Windham Police Department joined ELL teacher Darcie McDuffie on stage. Officer Hunt was a wonderful sport dressing up in a hula costume for the show but at the end of the night, only four could claim top spots, which will offer them an advantage at the April 10th finale. Claiming the top-four spots in round one were fifth grade teacher Lavigne and fourth grade teacher Beal, teachers Beth Bubier and Tianna Burton, Shelly Cook and Jason Lanoie, and secretary Debbie Hall and Windham Adult Education director Tom Nash. 

Now the countdown is on to the April 10th finale and the wait begins to see who will bring home the trophy and the "Dancing With the Staff" title. This year's WHS Project Graduation 2014, like many before it, would not be able to put on this wonderful production and raise the money needed for this year's Project Graduation without the continued support of RSU14 staff, parents, students and the local community, who put in countless hours with every fundraiser that they put together. The finale is Thursday, April 10th at 7 p.m. Be sure to come out, see the show and support WHS Class of 2014!

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