Port Alberni teachers dress up in 1980s outfits for lip sync challenge

Music teachers challenge others in SD70, around the Island to do the same

The music teachers from School District 70 (Alberni Valley) are at it again.

Dressed in their most outlandish garb channeling the 1980s, they have assembled a lip sync video to singer Tiffany’s one-hit wonder, I Think We’re Alone Now.

Naomi Boutwell, a music teacher at EJ Dunn Elementary, came up with the idea and choreographed the video among other music teachers.

“She did a lip sync challenge with her theatre program and her students at EJ Dunn,” explained Megan Paterson, a music teacher at École Alberni Elementary.

Boutwell brought the idea to SD70’s music teachers and asked if they wanted to put together a lip sync video and challenge other employees in the district to do their own.

“I wanted to find a way of creating community at a time when we don’t have one,” Boutwell explained. “To find a way to come together while we’re apart.”

The seven music teachers had several virtual meetings about the challenge; Paterson broke the song into segments and gave everyone so many seconds to dance and so many to lip sync to the music. “It took five or six hours to put the website together and create the poster,” Boutwell said.

“We performed it ’80s style to challenge our entire school district to a district lip sync battle,” music teacher Elizabeth Platz said.

“Our goal is to raise money for our community COVID-19 response efforts. At a time of uncertainty, we wanted to provide a fun outlet for our colleagues and students.”

Boutwell created a website, nboutwell.wixsite.com/SD70lipsyncchallenge, where details of the challenge are laid out. Anyone who participates by making their own lip sync video is asked to make a donation to the Alberni COVID-19 Community Response team through a link on the website or the team’s Facebook page.

Paterson put together the music teachers’ video, which has been posted on YouTube and on Boutwell’s website. All videos submitted for the challenge will be posted on the site.

Boutwell said she has already received one submission and “I’ve got a lead on three people that are going to send me something, but it’s a matter of time.”

She said there likely won’t be an encore of the large group of music teachers, but she knows of a couple besides herself who are planning on submitting individual lip sync songs. She stressed that the challenge is not a competition—it’s for fun.

“I’m excited for people to hear about it and can’t wait to see their submissions. It was a really neat collaborative experience with a great group of creative people.”

READ: Teachers in Port Alberni show the love for their students

This isn’t the first time Paterson has conspired to bring an enlightening message to students in the district. In late March she organized teachers at École Alberni Elementary to write and decorate words that together sent a message to students telling them they were missed. The teachers all took selfies with their signs and Paterson assembled them all into a collage.


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