School’s Out for Summer

summerLast week marked the official First Day of Summer. Finally, as the days reach their longest, it seems that even the very latest schools are out for the season.

I’ve written before about the pros and cons of summer vacation. Free time for the kids means long hours for parents at home, but after nine long months, that final day of school always feels like a celebration.

In Matchmaker Logistics’ home state of North Carolina, some end-of-school celebrations have been less about pomp and circumstance and more about song and dance.

Take this high school receptionist, for example. It was the faculty’s final day of work before their own summer break, and she couldn’t help but sing about it. Regina Ballard and her golden voice went viral last week for her incredible rendition of Etta James’ “At Last.” With, of course, a few lyrical alterations to suit the occasion.

Just a few miles from the Matchmaker Logistics headquarters, North Brunswick High School students brought some song and dance into their own graduation ceremony. Before the diplomas were handed out one student cued the music, and like something from a movie, the 250 North Brunswick seniors began a choreographed flash mob to Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror.”

summerWhile the gesture was impressive on its own, it held a deeper meaning to dance coach and project mastermind Marissa Dunsmore and the students of North Brunswick high.

In a year where violence in schools was so often in the news, Principal Paul Price made a habit of playing “Man in the Mirror” over the intercom during days when the news seemed bleak. It became a sort of rallying cry, a reminder for students to look at themselves in the mirror and change the world with the power of positivity and togetherness.

Dunsmore and the students wanted to find a way to reach out and thank Principal Price for his positivity, and the song chose itself. Seniors rehearsed their dance in secret in Dunsmore’s classroom after hours, and the principal said he was moved nearly to tears: “I’ve been playing this song for three years to say that you have to own your own behavior,” said Price. “It seems like the kids were listening more than I thought they were.”

Now that’s the kind of lesson to take home and study over the summer.

Happy Monday,