The ‘Celebrate Debrief’!

After kicking it off with the First Half Year in Review, we’re back for another installment of our Debrief series. (You’re welcome.) This time, we’re talking to the teachers about the Celebrate: WCDS We Can Be Heroes Gala, and boy did we have some things to say. From The Man of Quail to birthday cakes to 90 rings for 90 years at WCDS, the night was wall to wall smiles and…dare I say…super fun. Ugh, sorry about that.

As we hang up our capes and process the evening, let me take a moment to thank you all for your support, invite you to campus anytime, and share with you a toast to another 90 years.


1. Give me your tweet-length review of Celebrate: WCDS We Can Be Heroes Gala.

Liz Hofreuter: It was lightning in a bottle at its best.

Michael McDonaldIt’s always great to be able to open our doors and share with the community just some of the great things we have here at WCDS.

Mat Robinson: For my first Celebrate, it sure seemed to be a wonderful evening. I enjoyed talking to parents and people-watching.

Carly Wilson: There are so many people who support, love, and believe in us.  As a first timer, I was blown away.

Stella Boldrick: You are all heroes!  Thanks for making Celebrate 2019 a huge success!

Claire NormanCelebrate 2019: a night full of beautiful artwork, good food, and some super WCDS supporters!

Joe Jividen: Celebrate 2k19: 250 Wonderwomen. 150 Clark Kents/Supermen. Zero Phone Booths. Hundreds of generous community members!

Stephanie SkadraWe knew Celebrate was going to be amazing this year, but when Quailman entered the gym… we knew it was going to be epic!

Julie Cartwright: #YouCantMakeThisFamilyUp

Brenda Deneen: My chest heaved with pride.

Karen Mead: #WorkedLikeClockWork

Linda Krulock: Fun filled night! Welcome back!

Luke HladekMe Sunday morning.

2. What was your moment of the night?

Liz: There are truly too many to count – but when I first took the stage and was waiting for the crowd to settle, I took a long slow breath and marveled (pun intended) at the faces in the room – the support for what we are trying to do here.

Luke: I was talking to someone about this today. There is just something about that paddle raise. All the noise seems to stop and you can hear a pin drop as those numbers are announced. Plus this year we had a little Bowie in the background. It was surreal.

Linda: When I had a chance to sit down and talk to a student who I had taught one of my first years at WCDS. She wanted a pic together to share with her younger brother who lived in Florida.

Claire: My favorite moment of any Celebrate is seeing all of the artwork together on the stage for the 1st time. I loved seeing the SK students spinning in action!

Stephanie: Meeting Quailman in person.

Joe: Doubling up Mr. 5750 (aka Mikey Mac) in the live auction! Hladek/Jividen 2020.

Karen: The food was AMAZING.

Carly: So many people coming up to me and saying “OMG MISS WILSON I HARDLY RECOGNIZED YOU!” Resulting in realizing I need to step my appearance game up at school.

Michael: The video leading up to the paddle raise.

Meredith Shah: Loved the video.

Julie: Checkout baby!

Stella: Ashton Keppel’s music for the video was outstanding! It made the video even better.

3. How about the most unintentionally funny moment of the night? 

Liz: Seeing Quailman sitting on a bucket.

Michael: Seeing Mr. Hladek dressed in his underwear running around outside.

Karen: Luke, your costume!

Stephanie: When Quailman walked out from behind the screen and all eyes in the gym were on him and his tighty whiteys!

Luke: Yeah that part was awesome…

Brenda: The ‘bidder without a clue’.

Claire: My most unintentionally funny moment of the night was tripping on the train of my dress while carrying a cake, almost dropping it, but stumbling forward to recover. Luckily, the cake was saved.

Julie: “Want to know how you can help me in the kitchen?  You can get out.”

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Alumni Liz Hofreuter and Josh Miller working those mics

4. What was the most underrated moment of the night

Liz: A smile.

Luke: I loved seeing the alumni emcees of the night standing in front of their elementary selves.

Michael: The artwork, it just doesn’t seem quite possible for it to ever receive the credit it deserves.

Renee McFadden: I think Michael should be recognized as an artist. He logged a lot of hours on that bandsaw thingy.

Stephanie: Getting a photo op with Quailman.

Mat: Luke Hladek in Quail Man form fixing the lights outside on the numbers.

Luke: We’ve been through this, Mat!

Julie:  Key to the city.

Karen: All the RGB!

Linda: The importance of the video.

5. Who was best dressed?

Claire: Best Dressed goes to Katy McKinley dressed as Edna from the Incredibles.

Liz: Edna! Who, ironically, made my cape!

Linda: The whole faculty. I wish we would have taken a pic together.

Meredith: Renee!

Renee: Justin Seibert and Claire Norman were my faves. I very much enjoy a good costume party, and I love looking at what everyone put together.

Michael: Well, I feel like this is a loaded question….so I’ll answer this – best costume was hands down Mr. Hladek.

Brenda: The foul fowl.

Stephanie: Loog Haladeg aka Quailman aka rich man’s Captain Underpants.

Mat: Luke Hladek.

Joe: Quailman…Change my mind.

Stella: Quail Man, of course.

Julie: Julie Joseph

Carly: Yeah, Julie Joseph rocked her Wonder Woman costume well. But Quailman was soOoOooOo nostalgic.

Luke: I’m pretty interested in a Nude Dude origin story…

6. How about that weather, though, am I right?

Brenda: You sure are!

Liz: It’s the one event that I don’t want to try in a monsoon, or hail storm, or Snowmaggedon.

Michael: I think you just jinxed the next 13 events with rain… way to go, Hladek.

Stella: Thanks for making the weather work, Luke.  It was spot on. (You’re welcome.)

Luke: I’m not really supposed to talk about the weather anymore…

Claire: The weather! Nothing like going from sun to rain to hail back to sun again.

Joe: After experiencing all four seasons the day before, I was happy to have sunshine and warmish weather. I thought Quailman went overboard wearing shorts though.

Julie: Can we get a “70”? (always a critic)

Karen: BEST EVENT EVER…and I’ve been for 18 years!

7. There’s always an 11th hour panic at these type of things and we tend to handle them in stride pretty well. What was your ‘power through/handle it’ moment?

Liz: Ice Ice Baby.

Karen: The loud and super busy registration table.

Stephanie: “I’m so stressed at the sign-in table right now, who can help me get through this?! Maybe an unsung superhero that has the power of flight, intelligence, and the Quail Eye.”

Claire: My power through/handle it moment was just getting as much done as I could in the preschool room and maker’s space without stepping on any toes, especially those still needing to use the tools. It wasn’t perfect, but a divider wall sure does wonders.

Julie: Stupid signs.

Luke: ‘Oh the sound isn’t working. Cool cool cool. This is fine.

Joe: Realizing that Ryan Murray and I had the same costume two years in a row, and he looked better both years. (facepalm)

Linda: LOL, The fact that I should have gotten my roots colored before the event at the salon.

Stella: At 2:00 am Saturday morning when Matt and I read the directions to the Gorilla Glue just as we were gluing the fidget spinners. “Takes 24 hours to set up.”

Mat: When Mrs. Seibert knocked Jadon off the SK art piece. What is she, a black belt? (see: Gorilla Glue directions)

WCDS Celebrate14
We’ll be hanging up our capes for Celebrate: WCDS 2020

8. What theme should we do next year?

Liz: Monopoly

Joe: Monopoly. Hear me out. You’re given $500 when you walk in. Attendees are given a chance to make a series of wagers throughout the night. The attendee with the most money at the end of the night wins a prize. Think Creed Bratton from the Casino Night Episode. (you really had to shoehorn The Office in here somehow, didn’t you?)

Michael: Celebrity and or professional athlete red carpet attire.

Mat: Sports.

Carly: Sports. comfy clothes and shoes all day.

Karen: Baseball theme “A League of Our Own”.

Claire: I have a couple of themes that I think could be fun…70s disco, Viva Las Vegas (think Elvis movie), or old Hollywood.

Stella: “Forever Young” based on the song by Rod Stewart, dress as your younger self.

Luke: So no one likes my outer space ideas, huh?

So there you have it. A brief, cherrypicked recounting of a night to remember. Of course, we hope to see you next year but here’s hoping you make it back on campus well before then. Another Debrief will be here before you know it, maybe after wiping away tears of pride in our newest class of graduates.

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