Mt. Ararat Middle School science teacher Gretchen Feiss lip-syncs to “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” by Taylor Swift with fellow eighth-grade teachers during a teacher lip-sync battle Friday. Darcie Moore / The Times Record

TOPSHAM — Mt. Ararat Middle School students got a surprise Friday while gathered in the school’s Orion Performing Arts Center during the school’s first Celebration Day.

Principal Josh Ottow recognized student achievements during an assembly before a group of sixth-grade teachers took the stage lip-syncing and dancing to “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift. About 600 students cheered as teachers from each grade performed songs like “Tell Me What You Want” by Spice Girls and “I Got You Babe” by Sonny and Cher.

The rest of the day students got to participate in activity sessions ranging from cooking classes like Whoopie Pie making to Japanese calligraphy to drone programming.

Assistant Principal Megan Hayes Teague said the school has a group of teachers who research and are focused on adolescent behavior, student relationships and school climate. The group organizes many events but Fridays’ event was the largest yet.

“We look at relationships as being the core of our school,” Teague said. “Adolescence is a tricky time. We know that and we know that the bond that they form with the adults in the building is really paramount to the learning they’re going to do whether it’s social learning or academic learning.”


From left, Mt. Ararat Middle School eighth-grade teachers Holly Blanc, Gretchen Feiss (rear), Anne Obery and Tricia Cherry dance and lip-sync to a Taylor Swift song. Darcie Moore / The Times Record


Mt. Ararat Middle School sixth-grader Jayden Ross wins a dice stacking contest Friday at the school’s Celebration Day. Darcie Moore / The Times Record

Mt. Ararat Middle School sixth-grader Sam Luce-Thurber carries candy conversation hearts with a straw during a competition Friday as part of Celebration Day. Darcie Moore / The Times Record

Jack Rioux, left, a physical education teacher at Mt. Ararat Middle School lip-syncs “I Got You Babe” with wife and health teacher Lisa Rioux during the school’s Celebration Day lip-sync battle. Darcie Moore / The Times Record


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