Students celebrate good grades, behavior

Published 10:46 pm Friday, April 11, 2014

A basketball game between teachers and students at Oakland Elementary School on Friday celebrated March Madness. Amy Sing, Kristen Petrelli, Sara Sims and Kylie Smith, members of the cheer squad for the teachers, ruffle their pompoms as spectators enter the gymnasium.

A basketball game between teachers and students at Oakland Elementary School on Friday celebrated March Madness. Amy Sing, Kristen Petrelli, Sara Sims and Kylie Smith, members of the cheer squad for the teachers, ruffle their pompoms as spectators enter the gymnasium.

March Madness gripped three Suffolk elementary schools on Friday.

Oakland Elementary School fifth-graders were rewarded with a basketball tournament for good marks and good behavior.

Students who maintained a C average in all subjects and displayed good citizenship for the third nine weeks were invited to participate, playing each other and then a team made up of teachers.

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For the main event, students packed the gymnasium in the afternoon to see their friends play ball against the teachers, creating an exciting atmosphere.

Anne McCoy, Oakland’s physical education teacher, said the original plan was for the winning student team from the morning’s match-up to play against the teachers in the afternoon. But a display of all-round good sportsmanship made her change her mind.

“I sat them down and said, ‘You guys did such a great job … that I’m going to let every single one of you play,’” McCoy said.

The afternoon game was complete with cheer squads for both sides, including teachers Sara Sims, Kristen Petrelli, Amy Sing, Kylie Smith, Becky Phipps and Julianne Tise, who shook their pompoms, kicked their legs in the air and even executed cartwheels.

McCoy said the well-behaved, studious students were given the choice of joining either the basketball team or the cheer squad, which numbered nine students.

She juggled the two student teams against the teachers by rotating them on and off the court.

Meanwhile, during a half-time show, the students enjoyed “duck” races. The ducks were small rubber ducks attached to lanyards, given by the American Heart Association in thanks for fundraising efforts. Students who had raised $35 or more were allowed to participate, McCoy said.

Students shot hoops during the race, and the baskets they scored were added to their overall score in the game, perhaps giving them an advantage over the teachers.

The end score was 37-36 to the students.

Meanwhile, fifth-graders at Mack Benn Jr. and Booker T. Washington elementary schools celebrated the NCAA tournament with two basketball games of their own, according to Renee Russell, a teacher at Mack Benn.

The first game was at Mack Benn in the morning and was won by the hosts 31-25. Mack Benn also won the afternoon game at Booker T. Washington, 32-29.