Sad, fun, and entertaining are just a few words to describe this year's Bethel School District BBQ.
The annual event is held in June to celebrate that school's out for the summer.
"Hmmm, why did that line sound so familiar?"
All the departments at the two district administrative sites bring food to share for lunch.
The food highlight this year was the Technology Department's cake pops. One of the guys made all the wooden holders, nicely decorated in 50's memorablia, so the cake pops could stand upright. Around the dessert table were tall glass ice cream dishes also with cake pops in them to emulate ice cream scoops. Not only were the red velvet pops delicious but quite aesthetically pleasing, as well. They also had chocolate cake pops.
"Why did I talk about food first?"
I happen to be the President of the fan club for the man who emceed the event. He is the Arts, Music, Library, Health, and Fitness Director, Michael Sandner.
"Wow, I can't believe I got that title to fit on one line!"
Mr. Sandner tries to attend as many concerts and plays put on by the students, at all 27 schools, as possible. He is a very talented gentleman, who recently was bitten by the community theatre acting bug, and was amazing in The Grapes of Wrath at Lakewood's Little Theatre, this past year. He also jumped in and played a part in Bethel High's Guys and Dolls.
Each year, Michael pulls together all the schools for a Choir, a Band, and an Orchestra festival. Just putting on one would be exhausting, but he and his secretary, Laura, manage all three.
First to entertain, in this year's 50's event, was The Curriculum and Instruction Department who put together a dance routine. (Video available soon). It started off with a BBQ cadence, a few line dance routines, and waves using LAWN CHAIRS!!! It was well executed and the crowd obliged them with shouts, whistles, and applause.
Next, was a gifted young man from Russia who writes and plays his own songs on the piano. He is 9-years old and his name is Mirel. He played three of his compositions for the very thankful crowd who gave him a standing ovation.
"Can you believe English is his second language?"
Also in attendance, was a spirited group from Child Nutrition. A few of the ladies dressed up like the "Pink Ladies" from the movie, "Grease," hoping to take home the prize for best costume. Their Director spent her own money and purchased all their jackets.
"Don't worry Harvey (CFO of Bethel) I already gave her the third degree on whether she used district funds for the purchase (I work in the finance department). She reassured me, sir, she did not use a district purchasing card (Phew!)."
The most moving moment was when the Director of Elementary Schools, Roger Samples, went onstage, or rather the front porch of a portable, and congratulated Mike Brophy for getting a new job as Superintendent of Schools for West Valley School District near Yakima.
When Roger mentioned he was going to miss Mike because he was more than a collegue, but a friend, it was all over for Roger. He began choking up with emotions and the crowd followed in kind.
"Personally, I cannot deal with seeing a man lose it, and Mike Brophy has been an amazing guy to rub shoulders with, so I'm sure the crowd felt likewise."
Finally, the "Commander" spoke.
"Uhem, oh I guess you don't know my nickname for the superintendent of Bethel Public schools. I refer to him as "Commander" because he used to be the commander of a Navy ship and he STEERS BETHEL WITH EXCELLENCE. Afterall, we've never hit an iceberg! Overseeing 30 schools, 16 junior highs, 4 high schools, 2 online schools, and 1 skills center cannot be an easy task."
The highly respected, honored, warm, and friendly, Tom Seigel, gave a round of gratitude for finishing off the year well in these tough economic and uncertain times.
Mr. Seigel also added, "Now who's going to dress like that next year?" (In reference to the gentleman in attendance who dressed in drag.)
"The man in drag, you ask? Yes, there was a man who showed up dressed like a woman!!! Don't worry that was so hilarious I wrote a whole different article all about him!"
Man dressed in drag at Bethel's BBQ: http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-new
Photo Gallery of Bethel BBQ: http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-new
1200 students sing the final song at the Choir Festival 2011: http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-new