This article can be found published on the Daily Local News‘ website.
WEST GOSHEN — The Late Late Show’s James Corden has brought a wave of popularity to something everyone does in a car — sing karaoke.
His “Carpool Karaoke” videos, featuring a wide range of top musicians and even first lady Michelle Obama, have become must-watch videos on his show and on YouTube.
Even school superintendents have taken notice as the West Chester Area School District’s Jim Scanlon created his own Carpool Karaoke, along with some district employees, as a surprise video during the “Welcome Back” ceremony for the district faculty, administrators and employees Tuesday morning.
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“We have to have some fun,” Scanlon said. “The last 10 years in public education has been so stressful and so test-driven. We have to remember that we’re here for the kids and not for the tests. … It’s also important to laugh with ourselves and laugh at ourselves and have some fun along the way. My Carpool Karaoke colleagues and I had a lot of fun doing that. We will destroy the tapes after.”
Scanlon did admit that the video will probably be posted to the district website for those who want to watch it again and for those who are just curious to see what a singing superintendent looks and sounds like.
Joining Scanlon in the video were Tom Cosgrove, the president of the West Chester Area Education Support Professionals Association; Michele Curay-Cramer, president of the West Chester Area Education Association; Hal Ritter, president of the West Chester Service Support Professionals; Jeff Ulmer, director of human resources; and Rory Wilson, mail coordinator.
At the end of the video, the West Chester Rustin marching band burst through the doors of West Chester East’s gymnasium and played “Sweet Caroline,” the song sung in the video, and electrified the roughly 1,300 in attendance.
“There are some of you who are parents of some of the kids in the band and they were practicing it during band camp and keeping it a secret from their parents because they knew you were going to be here this morning,” Scanlon said. “It’s probably the only secret those high school kids will ever keep in their lives.”
One of the purposes of the video was to remind the teachers to have some fun and fellow “singer” Curay-Cramer added about the ability to start anew this school year.
“For as much value as there is in being constant, there is equal value in giving someone the freedom to start over,” she said. “Our profession gives us the magical ability to start again every year, every August. We get this amazing opportunity to start over, to take risks, to try new things (and) to reach new kids. … Teaching is an amazing calling.”
During the ceremony, several district employees were recognized for their continued dedication to their profession and their years at the West Chester Area School District.
- 30-year recognition: Susan Cornelius (East High), James Woods (Spellman Administration Building), Nancy Angelucci (East Goshen Elementary), Mark Belczyk (Hillsdale Elementary), Theresa Devault (Stetson Middle), Eric Fisher (Henderson High), Donald Kelley (Stetson Middle), John Modric (Penn Wood Elementary) and Nancy O’Banion (Mary C. Howse Elementary)
- 35-year recognition: Charles Duncan (Facilities & Operations), James Soja (East High), Scott Sneddon (Henderson High) and Anthony Wesley (Henderson High)
- 45-year recognition: Patricia Green (Stetson Middle) and Louise Malady (Penn Wood Elementary)
Also in attendance were three school board members, including Ricky Swalm, Sue Tiernan and Karen Herrmann.
Swalm, who reaffirmed the board’s backing of all the faculty and their excellence in education, had a few words to share the crowd.
“As great as technology is, being in the classroom with a teacher, living the moment of learning, is so much better,” he said. “Being with your fellow students, being in the experience that brings that moment of learning to life, to connect it, to make it real, is like no other. … You are the most important change agent in a child’s life as they come through this district. With you in the classroom, making the change for the children, this school district stands on a firm foundation and I’m glad I’m able to be a part of it.”