The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

November 19, 2013

VIDEO: Limestone holds first expo, pep rally for system’s 13 schools

By Kim West

— Barbara Cosby stood near her niece, Azarria Johnson, a fifth-grader at Piney Chapel Elementary School, and two of her granddaughters, Temiaa Hughes, 8, and Temaira Hughes, 6, as they clapped and danced along to a spirited rendition of “Fishin’ in the Dark” by West Limestone eighth-grader Lillian Glanton.

Cosby’s family was among hundreds of people who streamed into the Limestone County Event Center Monday night for three hours of musical performances and extracurricular exhibitions from the Limestone school system’s 13 campuses and the Ombudsman Center.

The entertainment ranged from Glanton’s guitar-picking and singing to a grand finale that featured a group performance by every school’s marching band and cheerleading squad. The harmonious sounds provided a pounding soundtrack to the system’s first expo and pep rally, which were being held in celebration of the ongoing American Education Week.

“We’ve always had American Education Week on the building level, but this is the first time to have it district-wide,” said Limestone Superintendent Dr. Tom Sisk in a speech to an estimated crowd of 1,500 before the musical finale. “Before tonight, we were 13 schools. After tonight, we are one district.”

The school displays ranged from students’ original artwork, including jewelry made using precision machinery at the Career Tech Center, and a recycling award for East Limestone High School to the five Blue Map trophies won by Tanner High School’s athletic program since 2011 for state championships won in boys basketball, girls basketball, boys track and football.

Glanton, whose mother teaches at Cedar Hill, said she had the opportunity to circle around the building prior to taking the stage. The 13-year-old said she enjoyed the camaraderie and variety of the exhibits.

“I like how they had everything set up so you could see everything,” said Glanton, who was wearing the NASCAR-style uniform of the school’s new bass fishing team. “Every school had a characteristic that was inspiring.

“It was just a big event with a ton of people, and I really liked it.”

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