Shane Wright (center) performs at last year's Stillwater Talent Show to the tune of Ghost-busters with his friends.
Photos by laurie Gordon
Katie Williver sings at last year's Talent Show. She is now in seventh grade at Kittatinny Middle School but is back to help coach the younger kids.
By Laurie Gordon
STILLWATER — Justine Mahon's dedication to making sure a talent show goes on each spring at The Stillwater Township School is uncanny. She commits countless hours of her personal time to coordinate, choreograph and orchestrate the event which is coming in on March 24. The children in the show are working hard as each Monday they gather to rehears as well preparing on their own. “The show must go on,” and in the case of this event, it has for the past four years thanks to a lot of dedication.
The Stillwater mother of two adds the talent show to her own work schedule plus taking her daughters to Irish Dance classes. “This a year is our fourth year doing the talent show,” Mahon said, “I have seventh and eighth graders helping as peer leaders. These are Summer, Katie, Aylia, Emily, Shannon, Harley and Aby. To be a peer leader means playing it forward and leading by example.” Mahon said that some of the parents who have been helping include: Trish Hendershot, Charyl Williver, Lee Whitby and Tim Rielly. “Other parents stay to help with their child's acts which is very nice this year,” she added.
For Amanda Chadwick, a sixth grader at the school, this will be her third year in the Talent Show. “I enjoy doing it because I get to hang out with friends and do what I love,” she said. “I love singing and dancing and by being part of the talent show, I get to do both with my friends.”
This year, there will be 46 students performing and a DJ will facilitate the evening. “The peer leaders will be announcing the acts and have been spending time coaching and encouraging the participants,” Mahon said. “This started when two students asked how they could help and came to me with an idea. Cheryl and I thought it was a great way to play it forward. I wish I could use everyone who volunteered. I actually have student on 'back up.'” She added, “The peer leaders have been helping in their area of specialty for example one student who competition dances will be helping the dancers, a student who sings in the Kittatinny Choir is helping the singers and so on. The group begins each meeting in a circle and ends with one. The peer leaders do team building activities.”
Fifth grader Paige DeCaro, this will be her fourth year in the Talent Show. “I like going out there and giving it all that I have,” she said. “I just want to try my best.” This year, she plans of “wowing the crowd.”
Her sister, Reagan, is in sixth grade and it's also her fourth year in the show. “As always, I am doing something with my sister,” she said. “I am also going to do something never seen before with two of my close friends. This is my last year at Stillwater so I hope I can come back next year to help out.”
“We have had a full house for the last four years which is nice,” Mahon said.
The group bonds as the weeks go by and it's a wonderful thing to see student helping student. That is what makes our school stand out.”
From now unitl the 24th, these hard-working students will continue to practice on Mondays at The Stillwater School from 3 to 4:30 pm plus rehears on their own at home. “Stillwater School administration is very supportive, and each year the show grows bigger and stronger,” Mahon said. “Students have reached person goals and shown off their talents. We have parents preforming with students students preforming in groups and students preforming alone. Come see our show. It is an amazing night of courage, friendship, and the power of possibility.”
The show will be held on Friday, March 24 at The Stillwater Township School on Route 521 in Stillwater. Admission is free.