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Green schools’ staff show off their follies for charity

3/14/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Joyce Rainey Long

Teachers wearing giant paper hats form a dance line to “Footloose” for their “Gallon Gals on the Loose” performance.
Greenwood kindergarten teacher Ryan Flinn is shown practicing his ribbon dance at a dress rehearsal for Faculty Follies.
Greenwood Early Learning Center Counselor Erica Bauer is shown above adjusting Greenwood secretary Diana Props’s hat before a circus-theme dance number at the Faculty Follies held at Green High School March 8-9.
Photos: Joyce Rainey Long
GREEN — Green elementary school teachers often perform in the classroom, but last weekend, they used their talents to entertain families at the sixth annual Faculty Follies held March 8-9 at the Green High School auditorium.

Staff members at Greenwood Early Learning Center and Green Primary School sang, danced and acted in skits, with all of the proceeds from the two sold-out shows and sales of Faculty Follies T-shirts to be donated to three charities, said Cindy Sarver, a first-grade teacher and an organizer of the event.

According to event officials, the show raised more than $5,000 that will benefit: the American Cancer Society, Green High School scholarships for students who will study education in college and Blessings in a Backpack, which is a program that provides backpacks full of ready-to-eat food for weekends to students in need.

“I’ve always said we’ve had an extremely talented staff, and anyone who watched the show can see that,” said Green Primary Principal Kevin Finefrock. “It’s great for kids and parents to see our staff in a fun and exciting environment.”

Retired primary school teacher Kimberlie Humphrey started the Faculty Follies six years ago as a way to showcase staff talent and generate donations to charity. This year, more than 100 people were involved in the Follies, from performers to ticket sellers, said Greenwood Counselor Erica Bauer.

Some elementary school students were chosen from drawings and also appeared in skits at the talent show, which featured 17 acts.

Bauer said she enjoys seeing “everyone out of their regular roles.”

Staff members practiced for the show before and after school and during their lunches and had two dress rehearsals, according to Bauer.

“It’s a bonding experience and the show is a big commitment, but everybody’s willing to be involved,” Sarver said.

“People put so much time and effort into it. They really do a nice job,” Bauer added.

Greenwood kindergarten teacher Ryan Flinn agreed.

“This is a good camaraderie for the staff and gives everyone a common purpose,” he said. “How much the kids love it [the show] keeps everyone coming back.”

Last year, Flinn twirled a baton at the Follies and said he wanted to top last year’s performance. He added that this year’s routine was inspired by women’s rhythmic gymnastics at the summer Olympics, and he performed a ribbon dance to “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion.

“I thought, whatever would make this big guy look funny would work,” Flinn said. “I make up the routine as I go just to make people laugh.”

Both the students and staff enjoy the show, said Green Primary secretary Karen Durkey, who helped organize the Follies.

“It’s exciting and fun not just for the kids. We have fun, too,” she said.

Next year’s Faculty Follies will be held sometime in March.

“Any time an event with two buildings, kids, parents and the community come together, that’s really a good thing,” Finefrock said.

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