Whether they were racing across the gymnasium on skis or slurping a bowl full of whipped cream, the teachers of Lynbrook High School never shied away from showing their spirit Friday afternoon.
The school prepped for Saturday's homecoming parade and ensuing football game against Floral Park with a pep rally in the gymnasium. Two new teacher-versus-student competitions debuted -- one involving balance, speed and teamwork, the other centered on gummy worms.
Three teams participated in a race to see who could work in unison and travel across the gymnasium on skis -- a complicated, invigorating 10-legged race. Teachers who have worked at the high school for several years, newer “rookie” staff members and a group of students from the homecoming court comprised the three teams.
As for the whipped cream aspect of the afternoon, art teacher Thomas Sena went head-to-head with a student to see who could slurp more gummy worms out of bowls piled high with whipped cream. Sena succeeded in the sweet yet sloppy contest.
Health education teacher Jen Kramer and social studies teacher John Cornicello collaborated to plan these games and served as the masters of ceremonies. The pair has hosted and organized the pep rallies for five years.
“We feed off each other,” Kramer said. “As much as it’s a lot of planning, we always enjoy it. We come back every year for more.”
According to Kramer, the Lynbrook pep rallies are usually held a bit later in the school year, so her time to plan was limited. She joked that each year they try to top the previous pep rally's shenanigans.
“After we do the pep rally year after year, you have to come up with new, creative ideas,” she said. “We’ve had dance parties, we’ve had singing parties, but then we figured we’d get the faculty involved and get some competition going.”
Jennifer Turner, who has been teaching art at Lynbrook for 16 years, said she couldn’t say no to Kramer when asked to participate in the race.
“I would do anything for her,” Turner said. “And I know the kids get really into it, so I do it for them as well.”
Turner's team of “veteran teachers” came in second in the ski race, while the “rookies” took home the gold. Kramer said she was happily surprised by the victory, as some of the new teachers were nervous leading up to the event.
“The rookies were great,” Kramer said. “That’s the hardest [part]: You’re new to the school, not every kid knows you, so it takes guts to get out in front of the whole entire student body and staff, and put yourself on the line.”
Sena and Turner were among the five teachers recognized at the pep rally for showing the most school spirit throughout the week.
As for the next pep rally, Kramer is already cooking up some ideas.
“A faculty flash mob?” she said with a laugh. “I don’t know, we’ll have to come up with something!”