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Students shine on stage as District 59’s Got Talent Show returns

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The lobby of the Forest View Educational Center was packed with hundreds of eager family members ready to watch their children take the stage on Saturday. It had been four years since students had the opportunity to take the stage for the largest variety show that CCSD59 has to offer.

Students responded to the anticipation with dazzling performances at the sixth 59’s Got Talent Show. The evening was filled with displays of musical prowess, athleticism, and comedic timing, with performances ranging from singing and musical instruments to gymnastics and dance routines and more.

“Words cannot describe how seeing this show take place this year filled my heart with such joy,” said Jayne Wilkins-Scott, District 59 Education Foundation Member. “We all needed this: something positive, uplifting, and to celebrate the kids. They are what it is all about. It’s a pure labor of love to help provide an experience that allows them to shine so brightly on stage.”

Age groups across the district were represented, including the first kindergarten student to perform at the show and one of the youngest overall winners ever. 

The top three award recipients were:

1st Place: Caydenn Lindsey, first grade, John Jay – “Count on Me” by Bruno Mars

2nd Place: Olive Adamo, fifth grade, Juliette Low – Gymnastics

3rd Place: Adam El-Yakin, sixth grade, Grove – “Perpetual Motion” by Bloh on violin

The event was also a display of pure generosity, being the grandest fundraiser of the year for the District 59 Education Foundation, with all proceeds going directly back to schools. Families, staff, and board of education members responded to champion the performers and give back to the district. 

Beyond ticket sales, families helped CCSD59 schools financially via a series of raffles and a silent art auction. Much of this art was on display in the lobby, including works that students submitted to be voted on as the program cover. That honor went to Grace Zing, a student at Friendship Junior High. 

Students that provided artwork were also recognized on stage at the beginning of the second act. 

Guests also created special shout out cards for the performers, while Foundation members put together gift bags and set up a red carpet and backdrop for students, families, and friends to take photos after the show.

twitter collage 2The event had been an annual tradition until the spring of 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic led to extracurricular activities being canceled across the country.

“Shining a light on the students has always been the purpose, but after this long, three-year hiatus, it was even sweeter,” said Wilkins-Scott. “All the support from the alumni announcers, the alumni volunteers, and the huge number of staff and administrators who attended spoke volumes about the District 59 family.”

We sincerely thank the work and dedication of these District 59 Education Foundation members to bring this special night back: 

  • Marlene Pasdo, Chairman
  • Sharon Lansdown, Secretary
  • Karen Osmanski, Treasurer
  • Rose Kelly
  • Jenny Randolph
  • Ann Spangler
  • Janet Weglarz
  • Jayne Wilkins-Scott
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