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Akron residents invited to Miller South’s Big Show

5/9/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Becky Tompkins

Miller South School for the Visual and Performing Arts holds an end-of-year musical performance each year, and this year’s Big Show, as it’s called, will celebrate the school’s 20th anniversary.

Miller South vocal music teacher Sarah Kaufman led the Akron Public Schools (APS) Board of Education in a responsive song at the board’s May 6 meeting before explaining the significance of the event and drumming up enthusiasm.

After the old South High School at 1055 East Ave. was closed because of dwindling enrollment, it was refurbished with the help of a federal magnet-school grant and reopened in the fall of 1993 as a music and art magnet school for fourth through eighth grades.

One of the teachers on the new staff that fall was Sarah Kaufman, who is retiring at the end of this school year, she said.

She issued an invitation to all of Akron to attend the show May 17 and 18. For the 20th-anniversary show, named “Back to Our Future,” the staff has chosen the best songs and dances of the past 20 years, Kaufman said.

There will be 108 children on stage for the opening and closing numbers, she said, and with the scenery, props and many costume changes, it will be “like a Broadway show.”

The show has outgrown Miller South’s 900-seat auditorium, she said, and will be held at the Akron Civic Theatre this year. Tickets are $5 for students and senior citizens and $10 for adults.

School board President Jason Haas noted that May is a very busy season at Akron schools with graduations and end-of-year performances. He encouraged Akron residents, along with families and friends, to attend these events and “see what our kids can do — you will be proud of them.”

For ticket information, call the Civic Box Office at 330-253-2488.

Board member the Rev. Curtis Walker noted that 10 outstanding students from APS were selected by LeBron James to attend his NBA Most Valuable Player presentation ceremony May 5 in Miami.

The LeBron James Family Foundation chose 10 academic “MVPs,” fourth-graders who had achieved all the goals set in James’s Wheels for Education program, which stresses good grades, good attendance, good character and good behavior, according to the APS website.

The students and one parent for each were flown all-expenses-paid to Miami for keeping their promises in the program.

Walker said, “I’m grateful that our children did an excellent job and represented us well,” along with thanking James for his support of the APS and its students.

In other business, the board accepted numerous donations, including $500 each from Akron Children’s Hospital, FirstEnergy, Goodyear, GPD Associates and OMNOVA Solutions Foundation to support the AkronReads luncheon May 28.

Members also approved the hiring of numerous summer-school teachers and the purchase of 1,230 notebook computers, which are required for state-mandated online assessment testing, at a cost of $1.3 million. They will be paid for with Race to the Top grant funds, according to Business Affairs Director Debra Foulk.

The board’s next regular meeting is scheduled for May 20 at 5:30 p.m. at the Sylvester Small Administration Building, 70 N. Broadway St. in Downtown Akron.

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