Lisa Scherer, a social studies teacher at John F. Kennedy High School, is a fan of 1940s musicals. She said she saw her chance to learn to move like Ginger Rogers and other stars of the era’s lavish productions at her school’s twist on a more modern show, “Dancing with the Stars.”
After eight one-hour lessons and a performance to “Mr. Saxobeat” in Kennedy’s decorated gymnasium, Scherer, 43, was named the winner of the 2013 Dancing with the Teachers competition.
“I just wanted to not fall and remember the routine,” she said. “Beyonce makes it look easy, but it’s not. ”
Kennedy, in south Bellmore, takes in students from both Bellmore and Merrick. Scherer wasn’t the only winner at the school’s biannual event, sponsored by the student government and the PTA. Thousands of dollars were collected to support scholarships for Kennedy students and the Cougar Nation Hurricane Relief Fund, which benefits Bellmore-Merrick families still in need after Hurricane Sandy.
Bradley Seidman, a social studies teacher and student government adviser, said that about 650 students, faculty and community members attended the third Dancing with the Teachers on Feb. 28. Between ticket sales, raffles and donations, the student government raised $3,500 for the hurricane relief fund. PTA Co-President Stace Thea said that $1,000 was also collected for the PTA’s scholarship fund.
The student government established the Cougar Nation Hurricane Relief Fund when Kennedy students returned to school after Sandy tore through many of their homes on Oct. 29. Seidman said that guidance counselors have identified Bellmore-Merrick families in need in the wake of the disaster, and they will be offered money from the fund.
The PTA has a strong connection to the student government, Thea said, adding that she thought the establishment of the fund and connecting it to Dancing with the Teachers was a great idea.
“Our community was hit pretty badly” by Sandy, she said. “I think that showing the students that they were able to do something to help in their community is character building.”