Talented Lethbridge middle school teachers 'unmasked' during pandemic
Wilson Middle School in Lethbridge are staying connected with students and families by hosting an online masked singer competition. Here, co-hosts Jenna Konschuk and Lauren Granberg get set to reveal this week's eliminated singers
LETHBRIDGE, ALTA. -- Teachers and staff at Wilson Middle School in Lethbridge have found a fun and unique way to stay connected with students and families. 13 anonymous staff members are vying for online votes, in the Wilson Middle School 2020 Masked Singer Competition.
The weekly episodes are produced by WMS Quarantine Productions, and co-hosted by Jenna Konschuk and Lauren Granberg, a pair of Grade 8 Language Arts and Social Studies teachers.
“We've accumulated over 20,000 votes in the past three weeks,” said Konschuk. “People are logging in, they're voting for their favourites, it's fantastic, I wouldn't have guessed it was going to be this big.”
Konschuk said when they emailed staff to see who would be willing to participate 13 people came forward. “Lots of them have no musical background of any kind, and they just wanted to be a part of it, and so they just brought who they are to this competition, and I think it’s amazing.”
Following last week’s voting, Principal Dean Hawkins and phys-ed teacher Cody Hall were the latest to be eliminated, and revealed. Hawkins had been dressed as Batman, while Hall was singing in the school's Wolverine mascot costume.
“I think it has really celebrated the individuality and the creativity of all the teachers here.” Hall said.
While many elementary schools are holding a “drive-by” for students and families, Wilson was looking for something that would create a connection with young teens.
“I’m not sure you are going to get grade eight students coming to wave at you,” said Hawkins. “We had to come up with something more at their level, so kids would have fun with it, and want to stay connected to their school and wonderful teachers.”
The masked singers have used their own homes, community spaces and empty school hallways to shoot their videos, try to win votes, and avoid elimination.
Hall said at a time when everything is robotic and being done online, the teachers are going out of their way to connect with kids on a personal level. “This is a great way to make kids laugh and smile and get genuine conversations out of it.”
The school is promising some big surprises in the coming weeks, when they reveal who some of the masked singers are.
“The last song was my best, and I got kicked out,” said Hawkins. “So you can’t judge what the crowd's going to do.”
You can vote, check out past performances and the most recent reveal on the competition website:https://wmsmaskedsinger.weebly.com/