By Misty DUPLESSIS
On May 29, the decorations of the Mountain Avenue Elementary School auditorium harkened back to the days of George Washington. The stage was reminiscent of a Broadway theater, under the direction of longtime teacher Margo Ewing.
It was not the first time that Ewing presented her vision of the bygone era. For the last 30 years, Ewing’s fourth grade classes have been entertaining students, staff and parents with the musical, “Let George Do It” by John F. Wilson and Marti McCartney.
Ewing first learned of the play over 34 years ago and chose to introduce it to her students because she liked the music, it was kid friendly and had solid historical content.
“I always try to find things that match the curriculum and I like plays because it gets the children into different modes of learning. Then they don’t realize that they’re learning because they’re having so much fun,” Ewing said, adding that her secret agenda is getting the kids to learn without them knowing that they’re actually learning.
“[The play] could not have been any better. She has put many years and lots of love into her plays,” said sixth grade teacher Kelly Schroeder, who was especially excited to see the play after recently returning from Washington D.C. with her class.
George Washington was played by student Eric Kruegermann who had to play a part and sing a song to earn the prestigious role.
“I was very nervous when she started announcing the roles. Am I going to be George Washington or not?” recalled Kruegermann. Although he was anxious to hear the role assignments, he was not nervous to perform because he had already performed in other plays – one at the school and another through a theater company.
Fourth grader J.P. Pitney was chosen to play News Reporter No. 4 and, like all the cast, had been rehearsing for the previous six weeks.
“I have been practicing really hard,” said Pitney who, after the first performance, was ready to do it all again for the second show.
Though well received by its audiences, the performances were bittersweet as they marked Ewing’s final bow. She ended her 34-year teaching career this June, however the veteran teacher has many plans to catch up on some hobbies she has not had time to do.
“I’m going to do some reading. I’m a musician so I am going to practice the piano. I’m playing in a concert next year,” Ewing said. Though she retired from teaching in the public school setting, she also plans to help her grandchildren with their homeschooling.