MNW staff break into flash mob to inspire kids

BARNUM – An event the staff of Manson Northwest Webster Elementary School held Wednesday was over in a flash.

School staff suddenly broke into a flash mob, in this instance a lyrical modified version of the “Hand Jive” song from the musical “Grease.”

“Iowa Assessment Crazy, Cougars will rock you baby,” they sang. “Iowa Assessment crazy, cruisin’ through them will be easy.”

Teachers Jen Pearson and Elaine Merritt organized the Flash Mob, a first for the school.

“We wanted to create some enthusiasm for the Iowa assessments,” Pearson said.

The event was a secret until they began singing.

Students appeared to have no idea what was about to happen, just that something mysterious was up.

“They knew something was up after they saw the speakers,” Merritt said, “but not exactly what.”

Grant Calmer, 10, a fifth-grade student, said he enjoyed the experience and that if he gets a little tense when he’s taking the test he can think back to the flash mob in the cafeteria.

“It will help inspire everybody,” he said.

Bailey Kenyon, 12, a sixth-grader, had no idea anything was going to happen.

“It was a complete surprise,” she said.

It was the first flash mob either student had ever seen live. Both agreed seeing it again would be great.

“It would be so fun,” Calmer said.

Justin Daggett, principal at the school, had a surprising case of stage fright before going out to sing.

“I usually don’t get nervous,” he said. “I’ve got butterflies for this.”

The staff had practiced in the morning – once, he said.

Still, there was a serious purpose behind the exercise.

“We’re doing something crazy and different to let them know we care,” he said, “They’ll definitely remember.”

Pearson and Merritt were OK with being in front of the crowd of almost 200 students.

“We’re comfortable being silly with the kids,” Merritt said. “They need to see we are human too.”