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School district staff shows off talent in ‘Faculty Follies’ Sunday

Variety show raises funds for education foundation
By VICKI TILLIS, Ledger lifestyles editor | May 02, 2013
Photo by: STACI ANN WRIGHT/Special to The Ledger Fairfield Middle School teachers, sans goggles and swim caps, practice their synchronized swimming routine for the “Faculty Follies” show set for 2 p.m. Sunday in the Fairfield High School Auditorium.

Everyone knows the Fairfield school district has many talented teachers, administrators and board members, but they might not know those same people have singing, dancing and comedic talents they will be using to benefit the Education Foundation of Fairfield Public Schools during “Faculty Follies” at 2 p.m. Sunday in the Fairfield High School Auditorium.

About half of the more-than-a-dozen entertaining acts dreamed up by the participants gathered to rehearse Wednesday evening in the FHS Auditorium.

The rehearsal looked more unorganized than a substitute teacher trying to wrangle a class of unruly students, but director Jeri Kunkle assured me: “It all gets thrown together in two rehearsals, and it happens.”

Each of the acts I watched Wednesday was entertaining, and everyone who sees the show Sunday will have their own favorites, just as I did.

If I handed out trophies, I would present the most-original award to the Synchronized Swimmers. Creativity knows no bounds with this indoor version of the popular Olympic sport, and the Fairfield Middle School teachers in goggles and swim caps make it look graceful and artistic, but they also have some fun — watch for the big leaps by Brent Blakely!

The best musical performance trophy would have to be cut up into pieces and shared by several people because there are quite a few of these acts in the “Follies.”

My favorites were:

• “A Man of Constant Sorrow” from the movie “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” performed by John Grunwald, Kevin Hosbond, Fred Hucke and guitarist David Owen, in costume, complete with long beards and floppy hats, as the Soggy Bottom Boys.

• Washington Elementary School teacher Shawna Applegate putting her personal touch on the Patsy Cline classic “Crazy,” and

• The 4-Chord Song by the Faculty Five. FMS teachers Aaron Adam, Mary Andersen, John Grunwald and David Owen perform a version of the “Four Chord Song” made popular by Axis of Awesome. The song combines a great many songs that can all be sung using the same four-chord harmonic progression. It was fun trying to catch the little snippets of songs, such as “Poker Face,” “Let It Be” and “Jingle Bells.”

The trophy for best comedy routine would go to FHS teacher Kevin Hosbond, who performs “Thank You Notes” in the style of Jimmy Fallon on “Late Night.” FHS teacher Fred Hunke provides some commentary, and his son Coren sets the thank-you note-writing mood with piano music. I don’t want to spoil their routine, so I won’t tell you who all gets thanked, but it is really funny.

The show also includes Washington Elementary School’s music video “Gotta Keep Reading” using the music track from Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling”; Pence Elementary School’s educators dancing behind unsuspecting students in a nod to Ellen DeGeneres’s Dance Dare; Libertyville Elementary School’s own video parody of Carley Rae Jepson’s “Call Me Maybe”; FHS administrators Aaron Becker and Brian Stone and activities director Jeff Courtright back for an encore of their homecoming dance debut of “The Harlem Shake”; and “Oreo Illusions,” a black-and-white optical illusion dance, which creates some odd-looking moves; and many more for everyone to pick their favorites.

Staci Ann Wright, a Fairfield High School teacher and former Fairfield Ledger staff writer, contributed to this article.


Variety show raises funds for education foundation

By VICKI TILLIS, Ledger lifestyles editor

Fairfield school district teachers, administrators and school board members are putting the final touches on their acts for “Faculty Follies” set for 2 p.m. Sunday in the Fairfield High School Auditorium.

“Faculty Follies,” which has been held periodically since its inaugural show in 2002, isn’t just an opportunity for school personnel to get on stage and show off their musical, acting and comical talents. It’s a fundraiser for the Education Foundation of Fairfield Public Schools Inc.

“‘Follies’ generates about $10,000 in one Sunday afternoon, with admissions and the raffle,” said Jeri Kunkle, a retired elementary music teacher, who serves on both the foundation and school boards, and is directing the Sunday show. “Not a penny is spent on the ‘Follies.’ Everything is donated. Everything we raise goes into the endowment fund [and interest from the fund is] used for grants to teachers.”

The education foundation, a nonprofit entity formed in 1997, grants money to Fairfield schools and teachers for educational materials outside of what the district can fund. It has awarded more than $257,000.

Twice a year, teachers and staff can apply for grants to enhance learning in their classrooms.

Just last month, the foundation awarded $14,090 to 19 teachers to purchase iPads, LeapFrog items for preschoolers, mellophones for middle school band, microphones for FHS choir, classroom library materials and much more.

Information about the foundation, past grants and making tax-deductible contributions is available on its website at www.fairfieldeducationfoundation.org.

“Faculty Follies” is the foundation’s biggest fundraiser. Tickets for the show — $10 for adults and $5 for students — are available in advance at any school and the Administration/Curriculum/Technology Center and then at the door Sunday afternoon.

Raffle tickets also are being sold in advance by foundation board members and also will be available Sunday. A limited number of tickets, which cost $20 each, will be sold. The grand prize is $2,500, with $1,000 and $500 cash prizes also being awarded. Winners do not have to be present at the drawing during the show to collect their prize.

Education foundation board members in addition to Kunkle are: Chad Thompson, president, Bev Nelson, secretary, Beth Greiner-Ward, treasurer, Margaret Kelly, Ben Huff, Doug Kuehl, Gary Henry, Terri Kness, Glenn Perkins, Steve Lamb, Detra Dettmann, Cathy Kaska, Hanna Kerr, Craig Foss and Art Sathoff.

Staci Ann Wright, a Fairfield High School teacher and former Fairfield Ledger staff writer, contributed to this article.



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