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Roll out the red carpet for GMA
by Dan Eckles - Commentary
Oct 08, 2013 | 1992 views | 1 1 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The administration at Spanish Springs High School found out around mid-day Monday that ABC's Good Morning America would be on campus bright and early Wednesday. That news came on the heals of SSHS school leaders learning a parody video of pop music icon Katy Perry's hit song 'Roar,' produced by Cougar students, had been selected as one of five national finalists in a contest sponsored by GMA.

Parry announced the contest in early September on GMA, asking schools from across the country to produce their own video, mimicking her anthem. The winning school will get a visit from Perry on her birthday Oct. 25 for a live concert.

If the fact that the SSHS video is among a list of five national finalists doesn't convince you that the local school has a real shot of getting a visit from Perry, watch the video. You'll have all the evidence you need. You can check it out at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5pnOHxCytY

I would suggest watching the video on your high-resolution screen and on a device with fast download speeds. I heard about Spanish Springs putting the video together and entering the contest last week. Then I watched the video and was blown away. I couldn't have imagined how high quality of a production I was in for.

Apparently, the judges at GMA were impressed too. A Good Morning America production team will be in the Truckee Meadows Tuesday to interview the video's student actors and producers. Then, GMA will have a crew filming at the Spanish Springs large gymnasium from 3 a.m. to 5 a.m. Wednesday morning to coincide with the show's live airing on the east coast. A segment featuring the video is scheduled for roughly 4 a.m.

It's pretty cool to see our little neck of the woods get some national exposure for something positive. The Spanish Springs administration is inviting the school's 2,400-plus students on campus for an early morning session of 'be true to your school.' Additionally, SSHS athletic director Art Anderson said Monday afternoon, student parents and even Spanish Springs community members are invited for the pre-dawn taping.

"Everyone's invited. Just wear purple," Anderson quipped.

Spanish Springs needs to roll out the red carpet for ABC's signature morning news/feature program. School leaders need to build this event up. GMA doesn't come to your front door every day. In fact, it doesn't happen for many, so when it does, take advantage of it.

Hopefully, the SSHS administration can find a way to pack that large gym to capacity, 3,300. It would be a failure if the school and the district didn't find a way to promote this event, recognizing the special efforts made by Spanish Springs students. The last thing anyone wants is to see a gym that looks empty, leaving an appearance that the school's faculty and staff are apathetic.

This is a special event and it should be promoted as one. I'm sure school leaders can find a way to entice people to come out bright and early Wednesday morning. Deliver free doughnuts to students attending. Get volunteers to cook pancakes. Offer extra credit for kids who show up and show off their purple. Find a sponsor willing to help offset the costs, but get it done.

Cougars basketball coach Kyle Penney told me Monday afternoon he wanted to attend and he felt an obligation to the school and his students. He shouldn't be the only staff member who feels that way. The entire staff should.

Katy Perry songs have a theme encompassing individuality and many laud the efforts of empowering women. The song 'Roar' embodies that idea of empowering our youth and especially young women. One of the things I liked about the SSHS video is that it featured young women dealing with high school drama and insecurities, promoting them to overcome adversity and excel, to 'Roar.'

I'm a dad with a young daughter. I don't ever want her to feel sad or doubt herself. I want her to mature to be a strong, confident young woman, just like the song symbolizes. The Spanish Springs video captured that.

School spirit is not what it was 20 years ago, but the SSHS video got hundreds, if not a couple thousand, kids involved. It oozed with school spirit, 'Purple Pride' as they call it at Spanish Springs. And the school is still buzzing given the current news.

Each Washoe County high school houses a signature career program and at Spanish Springs the school boasts the district's CS3 media academy. That's not a surprise after watching the production, choreography, acting and innovative efforts showcased by the video. Somehow, video producers even got aerial footage of students, the school and the Spanish Springs community.

I just can't stress enough how cool it is to see our local students inspired and engaged and in turn honored for accomplishment. I hope Spanish Springs shows well and makes Sparks proud during its moment in the national spotlight. I hope Katy Perry and GMA recognize the stellar job done by Spanish Springs and selects it as the winner.

Congratulations Cougars on a job well done!

Dan Eckles is the Sparks Tribune's managing/sports editor. He can be reached via email at: deckles@dailysparkstribune.com



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SSHS fan
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October 08, 2013
Great article, Dan! Thanks for complimenting the students on a job well done! Way to go COUGARS, be proud!!
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