During their Building Leadership Team meeting last spring, teachers at Cary Junior High School decided they should do something exciting and engaging for the start of this school year.
Teachers wanted to send students a message that Cary Jr. High, located at 2109 Crystal Lake Rd., is a fun and inviting place to be - in addition to serving as an institute for learning.
"We are trying to come up with ideas to build and establish a culture within our school where students truly enjoy coming here," said Assistant Principal Eric Larson. "The video shows the softer, sillier, human side of the teachers that students sometimes don’t get to see."
"Call Me Maybe" Background
For those not up to speed on their teeny bop pop culture: Carly Rae Jepsen is the young Canadian singer-song writer who co-wrote and performs "Call Me Maybe." Pop sensation Justin Bieber heard Jepsen's song, liked it and tweeted about it.
Then in February 2012, Bieber and his friends - Disney stars Selena Gomez and Ashley Tisdale among them - taped a spontaneous, goofy lip-dub video of the song. Once uploaded to YouTube, the "Bieber and friends" version inspired other people and sports teams throughout the country to tape their own parodies and lip-dubs.
Cary Jr. High's Lip-Dub
Over at Cary Jr. High, Larson said math teacher Jill Natrop pitched the idea for teachers tape their own version of the song after seeing the Harvard baseball team's lip-dub, which was taped on a school bus during the team's spring break trip.
Immediately on board with the concept, the participating Cary Jr. High teachers rehearsed on their own and at school for about one week prior to the shoot. The footage was recorded about one week before school started on Aug. 22. The shoot itself didn't take much longer than 30 minutes. Apparently quick learners themselves, the cast only needed about five takes, Larson said.
"I am really proud of the teachers for the effort they have put into this... the response from the students, community, and even the Facebook world has been overwhelmingly positive," Larson said.
Students got their first glimpse of the teachers' performance during an assembly held the first day of school. While the presentation was meant to "pump students up" for the new school year, the response was incredible, Larson said.
"The student response to the video was overwhelming," he said. "The majority of the students sang along with it in unison. Because of the nearly 1,000 students in the gym, you could barely hear the music playing. They were thrilled and excited. The parent and community response has been incredible as well."
Since its release, the Cary Jr. High video has been viewed more than 1,000 times on the Cary Jr. High Facebook page and has been shared by users over 100 times. Larson said he hopes the enthusiasm created by the video has staying power with students.
"Again, the response from students, staff, and parents was just incredible. Our goal is to keep this momentum going throughout the year."
Teachers, Participants in the Cary Jr. High Video:
Chris Thompson – U.S. History
Jill Natrop – Math
Jon Diersen – History
Erin Schurter – Science
Julie Bemis – PE
Susan Sprau – Math
Tom Kiefer – Language Arts
The dragon mascot, who donned the costume in near-100 degree temperatures, was performed by Jill Natrop’s son, Jarrett Natrop. Erin Schurter’s daughter, Rylie, helped with the video, as well. While not pictured in the video, Rylie was at the front of the bus directing the choreography and keeping the teachers in sync with one another.