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Employees shine during “Big 50” talent show

Employees shine on stage during “Big 50” talent show

There was plenty of applause for our school employees who performed songs and musical acts during the “Big 50” Employee Talent Show on Tuesday, April 9 at Stuart W. Cramer High School.

The talent show was one of the last events for the 50th anniversary celebration of Gaston County Schools, which has taken place this school year.  It featured eight employee acts and included special performances by the “Big 50 Ensemble” and the Pleasant Ridge Elementary drumline.

“GC the Book Bug,” our reading mascot made a guest appearance, and with the help of the Pleasant Ridge student drummers and the Stuart W. Cramer High School cheerleaders, “GC” collected $520 for the purchase of books for classroom libraries.

The “Big 50 Ensemble,” which wowed the audience in August during our Back-To-School Convocation, opened the program by singing a medley of “Signed, Sealed, Delivered,” “We Are the World,” and “Don’t Stop Believing.”  The group closed the show by performing “A Million Dreams” and “Life is a Highway.” Ensemble members Angelique Burris of Chapel Grove Elementary performed “At Last” and Heather McKoy of Carr Elementary sang “Over the Rainbow/Home” before the grand finale by the full ensemble.

Songs from the Broadway musical “Wicked” were performed by two employee acts.  Kate Lavender and Angela Graves of Pleasant Ridge Elementary sang “For Good,” and Stacie Bell of Holbrook Middle School performed “The Wizard and I.”  All three dressed in costume for their performances, portraying the witches of Oz.

Other acts included Emily Jarrett of Forestview High School, who performed “Out Here On My Own;” Tillisha Durham of Hunter Huss High School, who performed “Summertime;” and Marilyn Hinton of Bessemer City Primary, who performed “Lean on Me.”  The Catawba Belles, a quartet from Catawba Heights Elementary, sang a medley of golden oldies songs.

While other employees performed tunes by well-known artists, Destiny Stone of Woodhill Elementary played the piano and sang a song that she wrote titled “I Wrote This Song.”  The song flipped the stereotype and emphasized that it is OK for boys to show emotion and for girls to be strong.

The talent show was one of the special events that have taken place this year for the school district’s 50th anniversary.  Other events were the Back-To-School Convocation for employees in August, the “Big 50 Parade” in September, and the “Gaston County Schools: Our Sports History and More” exhibit at the Gaston County Museum in Dallas.  The final event is the invitation-only “Big 50 Anniversary” Reception on May 29 at the Gastonia Conference Center. During the reception, business and community partners as well as school mentors will be recognized.

Eight local businesses/organizations have served as “Presenting Sponsors” for the “Big 50 Anniversary.”  The sponsors are American & Efird, Beam Construction Company, CaroMont Health, City of Gastonia, Gaston County Education Foundation, GSM Services, Scribbles Software (AIS – Advanced Imaging Systems), and Wells Fargo.

The talent show was recorded, and it will air on Spectrum Cable Channel 21 the week of April 29 - May 5 at 9:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 8:00 p.m., and 10:00 p.m. each day.