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Published: Thursday, 6/6/2013

First graduating class of Central Trail Elementary hit with 'flash mob'

BY NATALIE TRUSSO CAFARELLO
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Parent Jessica Brutlag, of Sylvania, left, and her fellow dancers stuck a pose at the finale of their parental flash mob at the conclusion of fifth grade graduation at Central Trail Elementary. Parent Jessica Brutlag, of Sylvania, left, and her fellow dancers stuck a pose at the finale of their parental flash mob at the conclusion of fifth grade graduation at Central Trail Elementary.
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Parents of Central Trail Elementary's first graduating class surprised the Sylvania Schools students when they overtook the graduation ceremonies to perform a flash mob.

Graduating fifth grader Robbie MacKinnon was shocked when his mother, Cathy, rushed out of her seat with about 60 other parents to perform a 65-second dance at the end of the class' graduation ceremonies Wednesday in the school's gymnasium.

“I thought maybe they forget to hand out the choir awards,” Robbie, 11, said.

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Mrs. MacKinnon said the students did not suspect a thing, even though parents had been planning the dance to a mixed musical tape from home.

“It was very cloak-and-dagger,” Mrs. MacKinnon said. “We corresponded by email and had two night rehearsals.”

Raven Miller, 10, center, receives a certificate during fifth grade graduation ceremony at Central Trail. Raven Miller, 10, center, receives a certificate during fifth grade graduation ceremony at Central Trail.
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The parents put on the show as way to celebrate the students, which are the first class to graduate since the school opened its doors in January.

“They did a variety show for us, so we wanted to do something special and fun for them,” said the new Parent’s Club President Carrie Livingston. Her son Ethan was one of the 108 students who leave the school, most of whom will attend Timberstone Junior High as sixth graders.

The ceremonies included each student being recognized for his or her achievements by the teacher. After the students left their seats to gather on the gym floor to watch a video of the year's highlights, they were asked to return back to their seats for one more award. As they waited the students were looking around and growing anxious. Once the pounding beats filled the gymnasium, it didn't take long for them to figure out what was happening. 

During the hand waving and side-stepping performance, the students were laughing and looking to zero in on their parents.

As for Robbie, he thought his mom’s dancing skills were so-so.

“I think her dancing skills need some work, but they were good,” he joked as his proud mother stood next to him.

Principal Toni Gerber, who will retire at the end of the school year, said that this year’s class was filled with diverse students from various ethnic backgrounds across the globe.

“We often celebrate our cultural differences and also recognized our likenesses,” she said. She said that celebrating the groups differences and commonalities is just one of the gifts the elementary school bestowed on them.

Contact Natalie Trusso Cafarello at: 419-206-0356 or ntrusso@theblade.com. 



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