Second grade students dancing at the 2019 Rosedell Elementary Dance Festival on Friday. Lorena Mejia/The Signal

Rosedell Elementary holds 28th annual Dance Festival, honors retiring principal

Rosedell Elementary held its 28th annual Dance Festival Friday, concluding the assembly with a special tribute to their retiring Principal Kathy Stendel.

All the parents and families of the students were also invited to attend the school-wide assembly, and as everyone gathered around the basketball courts on the school campus, the dances began.

First grade students dancing to “Kidz Bop Shuffle” at the 2019 Rosedell Elementary Dance Festival on Friday. Lorena Mejia/The Signal

From TK through 6th grade, the students performed in front of the other onlooking grades and families, with dances ranging from the youngest doing a Tony Chestnut song, to the third graders performing a dance mashup of “It’s a Hard Knock Life” and “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” to the sixth graders performing in a hip hop remix.

“I was a little bit nervous,” said Sophie Avagliano, a 4th grader at Rosedell Elementary, whose class had done “The Sid Shuffle” from the children’s movie “Ice Age.” She added, though, that it was still fun for her, despite the nerves, because she was able to perform alongside her friends.

Sixth grade students dancing to a hip-hop remix at the 2019 Rosedell Elementary Dance Festival on Friday. Lorena Mejia/The Signal

“It always makes me proud,” said Avagliano’s mother Morgan. “I love watching her perform because she’s a performer at heart.”

Event organizer Becky Mastrobuomo said she has been organizing the event for the last decade, and although she is retiring at the end of the 2018-19 school year, she says the festival is in good hands.

Fourth grade students dancing to the “Sid Shuffle” at the 2019 Rosedell Elementary Dance Festival on Friday. Lorena Mejia/The Signal

“It warms my heart and I hope it continues once I retire,” said Mastrobuomo.

After the ceremony, the students and staff of Rosedell Elementary surprised their principal — who is retiring after working in education for 30 years — with a special send-off. As some of the school staff spoke kind words about Stendel, a handful of kids unraveled a banner that had been signed by all the students at the school and read, “Rosedell will miss you, Mrs. Stendel.”

Principal Kathy Stendel is presented a banner with student signatures, that reads “Rosedell will miss you Mrs. Stendel,” for her retirement. Lorena Mejia/The Signal

“The students at Rosedell have such a special place in my heart because they are truly very caring students, very special, very kind and I feel very fortunate to have had this last part of my career be spent here,” said Stendel after the surprise was presented to her. “It’s such a family-oriented community from the parents, to the students, to the staff, the teachers, everyone …  it’s just like one big family.”

“I just want to thank them for all the love, the pleasure they’ve given me as their principal,” she added. “It’s truly been an honor to be here and I feel very fortunate to just be a part of their lives. I’m going to miss them so much.”

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