Weeki Wachee students animate history in faux wax museum

WEEKI WACHEE – Winding Waters K-8 second grade students dressed as famous historic figures Thursday morning, giving browsing parents brief biographical sound bytes in a “Star Wax Museum” format.

Poet Maya Angelo, presidents George Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln, civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and astronaut Neil Armstrong were among the American history pioneers portrayed on-stage in the school’s cafeteria.

Parents, school board members, school and district administrators, and student peers went around a horseshoe of presentations, pressing imaginary buttons on the students, who became animated like wax replicas of the historical figures.

“I have (upper classmen) who still talk about the Star Wax Museum,” said Dave Dannemiller, principal at the school.

They are former students of Josephine Maher’s, he said, who has for years incorporated the event in her curriculum.

Maher said the wax museum gives her the opportunity to be creative in integrating reading, math, writing, social studies, science, and art.

Students study the important people, places, and events that helped shape U.S. history, and having them research those individuals, dress like them, and tell others about them is a fun way for students to learn, and retain the information, Maher said.

School board member Cynthia Moore and School Superintendent Lori Romano joined parents in supporting the students.

“It’s the confidence,” Maher said. “The parents, and grandparents, the superintendent and school board come, and the principal. It takes a village, and the whole village was here.”

This year’s participating students were Seann Bennett, Emma Calderon, Sebasthian Deleon-Perez, Jayden Doctor, Logan Fletcher, Emily Hinton, Naviah Holland, Elaina Kirkland, Noah Ladd, Skylar Lambert, Victoria Mainella, Jianna Perez, Dimitri sabino-Feliciano, Vincenzo Sagarese, Jessica Santiago, Olivia Serralles, Natalie Strickland, and Isaiah Fuentes.

“They are all awesome, every single one of them,” said Maher.

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