An annual event at Eberwhite Elementary on the morning of the first day of school welcomes new and returning families and students back to school after the summer break.
And while it would appear to have taken weeks of practice, music teacher Jeffrey Willets had only an hour to rehearse with the performing fifth graders as eager families waited outside for the flag-raising/welcome ceremony to begin.
As younger students gathered around and families looked on from the sides, the new fifth graders sang “Hey Look Me Over” from Lucille Ball’s musical “Wildcat” (a flop of a show, Willets explains to the crowd, but the song was not), and “Grand Old Flag” (a rendition arranged by former Eberwhite music teacher Carole Hart). The flag is then raised up the pole in front of the school.
At the end of the year on the last day, Eberwhite holds a closing gathering with families and students. But this time the fifth graders sing their graduation song, as well as “Grand Old Flag” and “The Rainbow Connection.”
Notes Willets, who has become well-known in the district for his students’ exceptional performances: “It’s an incredible way to say “Hello” and “Goodbye”.