Group of students and teachers with 2022 KWES Masked Singer Unicorn poster

A singing unicorn, baby chick, and llama stole the spotlight at Kyle Wilson Elementary School in a masked singer competition. The activity was a fun, interactive Music in Our Schools Month celebration, but also offered valuable lessons.

Meagan MacHenry, music teacher at Kyle Wilson Elementary, is an avid fan of the popular television show "The Masked Singer" on Fox, where the audience tries to guess the identity of costumed singers. Inspired by the show, MacHenry coordinated the school's competition by first asking teachers and staff to volunteer to perform.

Last year, masked as a baby shark, Christopher Kurtz, first grade teacher, won the competition. Destinee Taft, also a first grade teacher, was a top finalist with her lioness mask. Kurtz and Taft served as commentators for this year's competition by sharing their thoughts of the performances via video.

This year's brave contestants included Nicole Kozar, a first grade teacher, Laura McCracken, a third grade teacher, and second grade teaching team, Jill Morgenroth and Kim Mason. Latosha Thompson, school librarian, and Tara Ouden, a school tutor, rounded out the list of contestants.

At the beginning of their weekly music class, students watched the videos of the performers who were disguised with emojis covering their faces. Using the Smart Notebook program on iPads, students voted for their favorite. The results were announced on the school announcements the following week. The identity of the performer with the least number of votes was revealed.

McCraken and Mason made it to the final round, but it was Kozar, masked as a unicorn, who was crowned the winner of the contest.

MacHenry said, "I loved having staff members involved in the competition. Having the students watch teachers be creative and silly reminds them that our school is a safe place to take risks with zero judgment." This lesson was not lost on Lydia, a fifth grader, who said, "Our teachers are not scared to go outside of the box and be themselves."

Genevieve, a third grader, shared, "The competition is so awesome. I learned it's ok to have stage fright but it's better to overcome your fears."

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