Singing to Success

English teacher Nikki Northcutt won over the crowd by singing “All of Me” by John Legend.

“I knew kids would like it,” Northcutt said, “because when I drive my team on the volleyball bus, they all sing along. I was listening to the song. It started to become for me an extended metaphor for my job and my relationship with the students. I started to notice—because I’m dorky and an English teacher— all the literary devices and it was all about paradox. My job is all about paradox; it’s super-draining but it’s also super-energizing.”

Teachers and staff showcased their talents at the Teachers in Tiaras pageant Jan. 28.  The show benefited the AV Club and was planned by students in the club. The show included a talent portion, the question and answer portion where teachers answer funny questions written by students in AV, and the evening wear portion where, according to AV Club sponsor Ken Rogers, teachers could interpret this to mean whatever they wanted. Northcutt placed first, special education teacher Jason Hiatt placed second place and data processer Andrea Roger placed third.

Hiatt played an original song he wrote called “Fishing for Compliments”. Rather than trying to become a famous artist, Hiatt who has been writing music since he was in second grade, plans to sell music he has written.

“I came up with the song because I had an uncle who used to take me fishing,” Hiatt said. “I was just thinking about the life lessons that can come out of something like that and how when you do something because you love it, it’s not necessarily the rewards you get from other people but just the reward that comes from doing a good job in and of itself.”

Hiatt said he was surprised when he won second place.

“I was shocked,” Hiatt said. “I was really excited and so happy. It was the first year that I had done it. I knew that most of the students that might have been there don’t have classes with me. I thought that nobody really knows who I am. I’ll just go out and have fun with it.”

Rogers played guitar with her two sons Andrew and Elliot. Both are McCallum graduates who were part of the Fine Arts Academy. Rogers has been playing guitar for 20 years. Rogers said she enjoys playing with her sons, and it made her talent more unique.

“I have terrible, terrible stage fright,” Rogers said. “Having them [her sons] there with me, having people that I know that I saw backstage and on the sides, that really helped me and knowing that it was for a really good cause.”

Northcutt, Hiatt and Rogers agreed they enjoyed participating because it meant that they were able to work with teachers they may not have gotten a chance to otherwise.

“My favorite part of the show was when Ms. Georgia was singing.” Rogers said.  “She is so charismatic. She has such a fantastic personality. It just shines through. She is just a beautiful person inside and out, and that just blew me away.”

After winning the pageant, Northcutt was given gift cards from the parent association as a prize.

“I love this event. It’s hysterically funny,” Northcutt said. “I really encourage other teachers to participate because I won like really nice prizes. It’s super-fun and I get to know teachers on campus that I don’t know because we don’t have time to talk to each other.”

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