Staff welcomed back with Karaoke

MCSD video stars superintendent, teachers, mascot and more

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM SODDERS Marshalltown Schools administrators and staff starred in a welcome back Karaoke video released Monday ahead of the beginning of the 2017-18 school year on Wednesday. It stars, from back to front: Shea Hill, Creighton Jenness (as Bobby the Bobcat), Becky Jacobson, Jocelyn Frohwein, Dee Burt, Dr. Lisa Stevenson and Dr. Theron Schutte. Not pictured: Anthony Spurgetis and Pam Brewer-Michael.

“It was kind of a take off of the carpool Karaoke things the late night shows do, our little spin on it.”

Marshalltown Schools Communications Director Andrew Potter got to take on a filmmaker role as district Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte, Director of Instruction Lisa Stevenson and others packed together for carpool Karaoke.

The playlist included “Welcome Back,” the theme song of the 1970s sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter, as well as Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” Rounding out the performance was the contemporary hit “Happy” by Pharrell.

Also starring in the video were Miller Middle School teacher Shea Hill, Woodbury Elementary teacher Becky Jacobson, Jocelyn Frohwein of Marshalltown High School, and curriculum leaders Pam Brewer-Michael and Dee Burt.

“We had some good sports involved that attempted to sing,” Potter said with a laugh. “We didn’t tell Dr. Schutte what we were doing until right before that, that way he couldn’t back out … all the sudden, he was in a car, singing!”

Schutte said he had a good time, even though the video took him by surprise.

“It definitely took me out of my comfort zone, so it was probably best that it was sprung upon me last minute,” he said with a smile. “It was a lot of fun; I appreciate all the staff members that were involved in it.”

Schutte also said he’d heard good reaction to the video among district staff members.

The video was designed to go along with a pop culture trend of carpool Karaoke videos, and Stevenson said a lot of brainstorming went into the welcome video.

We knew we wanted to do something we could record ahead of time that we could play in two to three minutes to kick off things on a positive note,” she said. “I believe it was Andrew who suggested the carpool Karaoke idea, and it went from there.”

Potter said the video was a good way to begin the school year.

“It’s a kind of lighthearted way to get everyone back together,” he said of the staff. “We’re glad to have them back.”