The Parkland School Board gave the cast of the high school musical “Hello Dolly” what amounted to a sitting ovation.
At the end of Tuesday night’s meeting, board members heaped praise on the show, which ran last weekend and featured two dozen teachers and administrators in a six-minute group cameo, singing and dancing to the title song.
“I can’t remember the last time I felt such a sense of pride of being a part of the Parkland School District,” said Board President Jayne Bartlett. “I was so proud of everyone.”
Board members complimented the student actors and crew but made a point of saying the cameo appearances by district staff sent a bigger message to the community.
With school districts like Parkland feeling the pinch from a weak economy and concerns about the governor’s budget proposal, some districts are cutting the arts, said Board Member Roberta Marcus.
“I’m very proud and honored to be part of a team that believes in a comprehensive education for our children,” Marcus said. “It’s one thing to say it but it’s another thing to walk the walk or dance the dance, so to speak.”
Superintendent Richard Sniscak, who was in the show, and administrators in the audience were in for some ribbing about their performances, with more than one person suggesting that they should not quit their day jobs.
Board Member Barry Long said the administrator/teacher participation was a great show of support for the student actors and crew who work hard to put on the productions each year. Those students might have a great future in theater, he said before provoking laughter when he nodded to the administrators: “Maybe not so much you.”
“It was a tremendous play,” Long said. “I’m voting to give it the Freddy (award).”
Sniscak said the experience was great fun.
“I always had an appreciation of what the children go through but to be there with them a few nights a week for the last couple of months enhanced that appreciation for what they do,” Sniscak said. “You need to know what a gem you have here in (musical director) Frank Anonia and (Director of Visual and Performing Arts) Mark Stutz.”