It is not every day that Catonsville Middle School students get to see a concert with the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Bon Jovi and Queen.
Then again, it is not every middle school principal who will dress up to be in the spotlight, complete with dance moves and air guitar, and sing (yes sing!) for his students. Michael Thorne did just that, as he fulfilled his promise to perform a rock legends concert for the community.
The "Giant Legends" show played to a packed gymnasium at the school on Wednesday night, with parents and grandparents filling the seats on the floor and the students standing on the bleachers. The students were full-fledged rock n' roll groupies, clapping over their heads, holding their cell phones aloft, singing and cheering as alumni, teachers and the principal delivered on the Principal Challenge portion of the Giant A+ School Rewards Program.
CMS was one of five winners out of over 6,000 schools participating. In exchange, Giant will double the CMS November rewards total. A representative from the Giant A+ School Rewards program was there to present the check for $1,488.66, which, according to her was, “the highest amount ever.” In addition, Viveca Murdock and Patty Bruno were there to lend support from the customer service department at the Route 40 Giant.
“It’s a really fun show, and I’m enjoying seeing so many parents and kids I recognize from the store," Murdock said.
Laurie Burinsky, the CMS Giant Rewards parent coordinator, and the Burinsky family orchestrated the volunteers for the event. Parents created and distributed signs, flyers and posters, manned the food and drinks tables, circulated with decorated buckets for donations, created a DVD and helped with costumes, lighting, and sound.
There was more than the usual middle school energy for this school assembly.
“Mr. Thorne’s a really fun principal. I don’t know how many principals would do this for their school," said seventh-grader Amanda Voll.
“I like seeing my teachers outside of school like this. It gives me a different view of them," said sixth-grader Amylia Hoos.
Both girls agreed that raising money to send the sixth graders to North Bay was a great idea.
Laura Lake, whose son is in the eighth grade, agreed.
“It is so important that all the kids get to go to North Bay: to be outdoors, to study environmental science, and, for some, to be away from home for the first time," she said.
All in all, it was a night to remember as CMS parents, faculty, kids and community gathered to 'give it up for Principal Michael Thorne.'