STANTON — An exotic jungle halfway across the world, deep beneath the ocean, or in a hallway towering with pieces of artwork, a walk through the doors of the 39th annual Education Showcase at the Central Montcalm High School/Middle School Complex Thursday evening was a trip that offered endless opportunities for one’s imagination to wander.
Featuring hundreds of projects created by students from preschool through 12th grade at Central Montcalm Public School, there was no end to the creativity and hard work displayed from the minds at work within the school district.
At any moment, one of the hundreds of spectators who came to take in the collection of student work could become lost in projects such as the detailed analysis of the African Elephant by sixth-grader Abigail Monzey, who constructed a massive papier mache elephant to display for everyone to see.
A look just further down the row of projects and one could find a homemade construction of the Giza pyramid complete with historical information by sixth-grader Elizabeth Conklin.
With the middle gymnasium full of individual classroom projects including dioramas, video projects, and powerpoint presentations, the high school lobby featuring presentations from school and area organizations and a media center displaying various artwork and projects from middle and high school students, the two-hour showcase offered more than enough to take in throughout the entire evening.
Superintendent Kristi Teall said she couldn’t have been more proud of the effort put forth by the students to make this year’s showcase another success.
“What this event means to everyone here at Central Montcalm and to the community is to showcase what our kids here can do,” she said. “The hard work that they put in to everything we do, we are just so proud. We want to show them off because they deserve it.”
Teall said she is excited to work together with her leadership team this summer to add future events to next year’s 40th annual showcase.
“One of the things that I think is so important is that this event has continued for so long,” she said. “It has continued because the community loves it. It’s a great way to bring the community into the school.”
Teall said with such a large amount of work on display, it was difficult but fun trying to take in all of the unique and individual projects featured throughout the school.
“We had class projects, art projects, samples of writing and video projects such as one student who performed an original African dance,” she said. “The projects went from being very minute to being life-sized, which was just incredible to see.”
Teall added that she was happy to see several community organizations involved with the showcase as well and hopes to bring in more outside organizations to next year’s event.
“We had great representation from several organizations such as the Stanton Rotary Club, Montcalm Community College, the Montcalm Area Career Center, our sports boosters, Sheridan Community Hospital and many more,” she said. “I’m absolutely pleased with the way things have gone. It has been a great night.”
In the high school gymnasium, the arts programs were spread out throughout the night for spectators to enjoy, including performances by the High School Choir, middle and high school bands, Hornet Poms and the Upper Elementary Ballroom Dancers.
High School Band and Choir Director Matthew Reed said his students may have put on one of their top performances of the year for the hometown crowd.
“I think it’s great that the community can see what is happening in the classroom and see what the arts are all about,” he said. “This was a real chance for the community, on a night when the schools are open for everybody else, to stop in and see what the bands and choirs are doing on a day-to-day basis.”
Reed said he was pleased with the way his students handled the spotlight.
“All the way through, I thought all of our groups played extremely well tonight,” he said. “Our sixth graders were nervous, but I thought our seventh and eighth graders put on their best performance of the year. The high school band did a fantastic job, which is becoming a standard here at Central Montcalm.”