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Cardozo Rally Keeps School Spirit Soaring
Special Education Teacher, Leadership Advisor and rally organizer Melissa Werner gave an energetic guitar performance during the lip sync battle that had students applauding. VIRGINIA STILL/THE NEWS

School is back in session and after two weeks of instruction the Leadership class at Cardozo Middle School (CMS) organized spirit week last week and a “Back to School” rally. The goal was to have some fun between students and staff and to keep the back to school excitement going this past Friday, Aug. 26.

“August is a month where we emphasize relationship building with our students and staff,” said Kevin Bizzini, CMS Principal. “These types of rallies, give students a chance to see their teachers through a different lens than they are used to in the classroom and hopefully aids us in making stronger connections with more of them.”

The leadership students coordinated a Balloon Pop game and a Human Ring Toss game that had sixth, seventh, and eighth graders in a friendly competition during the rally. The sixth graders and the eighth graders tied in the balloon pop game and the seventh graders won the human ring toss competition.

Last week students also participated in Disney themed dress up days.

Special Education teacher and Leadership Advisor Melissa Werner along with staff team leaders, Danielle Jensen, blue team and Jackie George, gold team planned a lip sync battle between staff for the students. To heighten the spirit levels at CMS, staff created both the blue team and the gold team, which are the school’s colors, with the teams always challenging each other to show their school spirit.

The gold team hit the floor running where Band Director, Color Guard coach, Dave Howard took the microphone and lip synced while the other staff performed a dance routine and had props.

Werner grabbed a guitar and gave the students an energetic performance which also included sliding across the floor on her knees.

“In my opinion the blue team has a lot of student support because they have a lot of extroverts on their team,” stated Werner. “They are not afraid to be super silly or loud.

“The gold team is more mellow, but many of them never miss a Friday spirit day and love to do more subtle things around campus like putting “Go Gold” signs on doors or tying gold ribbons on the blue team members’ car antennas.”

The teams are comprised of both teachers and support staff and each Friday they compete for spirit points by wearing the school colors or spirit shirts. The points are tallied at the end of each quarter and the winning team will receive a spirit trophy.

“We want to create a fun and engaging learning environment for our students by modeling school pride and school spirit,” added Werner. “Our staff, both blue and gold teams, are working hard to make sure student wants to be at school.”

The blue team had several staff members participating, performing The Little Mermaid’s “Under the Sea” for their portion of the lip sync battle where Bizzini was dressed up as Ariel. Some staff members passed out candy that really got the students excited.

“School Spirit is at a high in August and we try to structure many events throughout the year to keep school spirit high and create a positive culture year-round,” explained Bizzini. “I am on the blue team; I told my staff that I was at their mercy and would contribute anyway they thought best.”

With a show of applause students were asked to select the winner of the lip sync battle and it went to the blue team.

CMS has a new school motto, “We will, because it matters” which was shouted out by the students during the rally.

The next big event at CMS will be Red Ribbon Week at the end of October.

“The school year has started off very positive, and I am optimistic that our school year will continue this way,” stated Werner. “There is a great energy at CMS and I am looking forward to what the rest of the year will bring.

“I thoroughly enjoy coming to work each day and working alongside some of the most dedicated individuals in education, and I also get to teach some of the most interesting and spectacular students.”

The leadership class planned three days of activities and assemblies for students that focused on relationship building, teamwork, and school responsibility, according to Bizzini.

“The school year has gotten off to a good start and I am pleased with the attitudes that the students seem to have come in with,” expressed Bizzini. “We spent the first short week (Aug. 10 through 12) focusing on campus civility and teambuilding.

“I am most looking forward to really rolling up my sleeves and getting to work with what I believe is one of the most talented and dedicated teaching staffs in the county.”