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Bears Got Talent
Reporter’s Notebook
Magnolia talent

Some traditions are being sustained. That became apparent last Thursday afternoon as this Education Reporter was treated to a large display of talent at Magnolia Elementary School.

The featured entertainment – a good ol’ fashioned Talent Show. If memory serves, Magnolia is not the only campus to host such an event, last Thursday however I was not only fortunate enough to know of it prior, but to attend.

This was the first time in years I can recall sitting in an auditorium filled with not only a contagious amount of energy, but an impressive display of bravery as well as talent.

As the rows of seats began to fill, parents began whispering to one another. Compliments exchanged as some had previewed rehearsals, while others commented on their pride in one another’s children. One thing was for certain, the Magnolia student body was ready for the talent that was yet to come.

Teachers Lauren Brown and Simone Vega each took to the mic sharing the responsibility of Masters of Ceremony.

Outfitted as students, the teaching duo did a great job taking jabs at “grown-ups,” as well as breaking into trendy dance moves during act transitions.

The show was opened by a toe taping duet of Wipe Out with students Jaxx Velasco on drums and Jack Cummins on guitar, from there the show truly took off. As a reporter (and a Magnolia mom), I’d love to recount every act which followed, because in complete honesty I was impressed by each and every one.

The 45-minute show was packed with musicians, singers – a few which actually sang a cappella, gymnasts, a comedian, dancers and even a lip syncing hula hooper.

The spunk and energy demonstrated by little Hanna Greener should be bottled and sold. This little spitfire had the crowd in her hand as she twisted that hula hoop, demonstrated her gymnast skills, as well as lip synced Katy Perry’s Roar (Eye of the Tiger).

Sitting in the auditorium with my mom, we reminisced a bit to the days when I myself showcased my “talent” in the school talent show.

Later that day, a group of friends and I discussed the bravery of these students to get up and perform not only in front of a crowd, but a crowd of their peers. As an audience member, I have to say what impressed me just as much as the talent, was the positive reception each talent received from the audience.

As all the students and their director came out for the finale one thing became very clear to me – there’s still room for tradition in our schools. Sure students now are working at a pace which far exceeds the scholastic rigor I once endured. But just as monkey bars and basketball hoops still occupy the school grounds, so too can the Talent Show. And for the Magnolia Bears, thanks to the efforts of their teachers, some volunteers and a brave group of talent, the nostalgia still exists.


Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.