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Arts and Entertainment

Staff extends beyond classroom, shines in faculty talent show

By Bianca Ho
Published: March 2010

The teachers and employees of South traded places with the students on March 13 as they took the stage for the seventh annual Faculty and Staff Talent Show.

All proceeds went to the Newton South Faculty’s “Students in Need fund, which helps students with financial difficulties participate in school activities.

The show encompassed a variety of acts, and the emcees were a show in their own right. As in previous years, history teachers Jamie Rinaldi and Sean Turley, and English teacher David Weintraub hosted the event between acts, these three teachers captured the audience’s attention with their antics and witty banter.

Their mismatched outfits and endearing jokes were a success with the students; Rinaldi even sported a parrot suit and shaving cream pie for a few acts. Weintraub composed an amusing song for Turley that capitalized on his “arbitrary grades and lack of “pedagogy.

The annual favorites, Sharon O’Connor and Martha Moyer, thrilled the crowd by tap dancing to the classic “Puttin’ on the Ritz.

Austin Marks and Katani Sumner performed their own rendition of the old Roberta Flack song, “Where is the Love, with rich, beautiful voices.

Peppered throughout the acts were brief but funny English Department skits. These skits touched on relevant, current topics such as the repetitiveness of the new course registration system, the lack of substitute teachers, and the short blocks on early release days.

The many musical acts took center stage. Leslie Quattrini and Alan Reinstein both played guitar and sang in their respective acts; Quattrini played a pleasant original song and Reinstein performed a couple of comical pieces.

Gene Stein and Mary Kate Kasper as a duet played guitar and sang together, adding a different vibe to the solos before them.

In the last act before intermission, Bob Parlin won the hearts of the crowd with his sweeping rendition of “Beyond the Sea.

Pat McFarland told the story of “The Great Guitar Mystery, and joined Sleepyhead to perform a song about evolution, inspired by the Beatles’ “Revolution.

One of the highlights of the night was Principal Joel Stembridge’s stage appearance with Mary Scott, Donna Gordon, Josepha Blocker, and Charlie Myette. Stembridge and his partners showed a new side of themselves in a dance routine to an edited version of the Temptations’ “My Girl, substituting with “my guys.

Math teacher Hayley Teich sang her own rendition of Colbie Caillat’s “Falling For You, which was popular with the audience. The history duo of Pilar Quezzaire and Paul Estin performed two songs, one serious and one goofy, regarding real excerpts from students’ writing.

A new addition to this years show, the World Language Department performed its own take on professional development and use of technology in classrooms.

The final act, a “Guitarchestra, was a collaborative effort from all the guitarists of the night. The audience sang along to the classic “Country Roads before joining a dance party to Daft Punk’s “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger on the stage.

The show was a huge success this year with attendees nearly filling the entire auditorium. Students enjoyed seeing their teachers and faculty on stage. “It was interesting to see them not in the classroom, freshman Sam Houston-Read said. The show was also a great way to unwind after taking the SATs the same morning.

“We know that teachers have hobbies and talents besides teaching… [But] the performances were nevertheless pleasantly surprising, junior Grace Kim said.

The willingness of the teachers to get on stage and do something different positively affected South, and softened the concrete boundaries between teacher and student.

“It probably made students think of teachers in more of a cool way, Houston-Read said.

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