Pye takes the stageDD2 superintendent dances for Relay for Life

  • Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Monica Kreber/Journal Scene DD2 Superintendent Joseph Pye, right, donned a fluffy wig to dance the shag on stage with third grade teacher Kelley McCormick.

Every year Joseph R. Pye Elementary School hosts Faculty Follies, a talent performance put on by faculty and staff to raise money for Relay for Life.

Students and families pack the auditorium to watch their teachers get silly on stage for a serious cause – to raise funds to fight cancer.

The school held its annual Faculty Follies last Thursday night. A panel of three judges was on hand to provide commentary and points on the faculty’s performances. This year’s judges were included office staff member Jenene Gourdine and School Resource Officer Adam Malone, followed by a third surprise judge – Superintendent Joseph Pye.

As the night went on audience members placed money in buckets representing their favorite team’s performance. Last year the school raised a total of $3,200 for Relay for Life. As of this year they have matched that amount – but they are not done raising funds.

Judges teased and praised the faculty for their sketches. The school’s administrative staff opened up with an “Old School Hip Hop – Out of the Box” performance that involved the team doing the Wop dance on stage. Fourth and fifth grade teachers put choreography to a mash-up from the movie “Pitch Perfect.” Kindergarten teachers donned animal masks to dance to Youtube hit “What Does the Fox Say?”

The Special Services team, led by resource teacher Todd Handell on the microphone, sang “What Makes You Beautiful.”

Then the third grade teachers took the stage and invited Pye to participate in the performance. Pye allowed faculty to stick a giant brown afro on his head while he danced the shag to “My Girl” with third grade teacher Kelley McCormick.

Pye was well received for his performance by students and audience members.

“In the early 1950’s that’s all we did, and we just had the most fun,” he said. “That’s my favorite song and that’s my favorite dance.”

The show finished up with the second grade teachers doing “It’s a Hard Knock Life” and the first grade teachers jumping around stage to “Jump” (followed by an encore).

Pye Elementary Media Specialist Tabitha Hattabaugh said having a Pye as a judge and on-stage performer is a big deal to the school, adding that Pye enjoys coming and visiting classrooms to read to the students.

“We just thought it’d be special for him to come,” she said. “The kids love to see him. This is neat because the parents got to meet the man behind the name.”

Pye said as far as he knows all the schools in Dorchester District Two participate in raising money for Relay for Life in some way.

Pye had no idea he was going to be performing on stage that night.

“I was a very surprised judge,” he said. “The children were in awe; they didn’t know I was coming. I was very much excited.”

Pye said he noticed all the buckets of donations were full at the event. Pye praised his school district for teaching kids to learn how to give back early in life.

“The best part of my job is when I get to interact with the students and staff,” he said. “I had so much fun and it was for a good cause.”

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