South Euclid Lyndhurst School District News Article

MJHS Cultural Diversity Day Program


The students and staff at Memorial Junior High School recently collaborated to produce a powerful and engaging virtual Cultural Diversity Day Program that was shared online on Friday, February 26th. Featuring music, poetry, dance, and even a cooking demonstration, the celebration highlights the many different cultures reflected in the South Euclid Lyndhurst Schools, our nation, and around the globe. The SEL Community can view the Cultural Diversity Day Program on the District’s YouTube Channel.

Altogether, the presentation took over a month to put together and was made possible through the dedication and talents of students and staff.  8th grader Andy Matovic served as AV Lead/Editor and came in on Wednesdays to edit the event. Mr. Zakharia helped to provide access to the editing computers at Brush and with posting the video online. Mrs. Cegelka helped to solicit participation by emailing students and staff and helped to ensure that all participants enjoyed a delicious lunch. Mrs. Johnson helped to coordinate vocal and musical performances, and along with members of her support staff, Mr. Longino and Ms. Russell, provided special needs students with the opportunity to participate in the program. 

Highlights from the program include an introduction filmed by Mr. Longino and featuring contributions from students Ethan Harper, Brendon Kraig, and Eliana Hall. Under the direction of Choir Teacher Ms. Sturdivant, Ms. Riann Brown and students Kyla Barnes, Jayda Hemphill, Terranace Hereford, Meseret Holt, Lemar Jones, Cameron Scott, Giselle Simpkins, and Saphera Webb performed a spirited rendition of the song, Rise Up. Mr. Capretta, Mr. Commander, and Officer Joe each shared about what cultural diversity means to them personally. 

Instrumental Teacher Miss Baric (piano) was joined by students Ryan Watson on viola and Brandon Watson on cello to perform the 1866 composition, The Boy with the Axles in His Hands by Thomas Greene "Blind Tom" Wiggins. The Cultural Diversity Day program also featured original compositions and performances, including poetry by Mr. Bruce, as well as a dance and poetry reading by Marialynn Ortis. Mrs. Deliberato and students Makiya Simmons, Journey McDonald, and James Chaklett performed a short play called "The Life of Wilma Rudolph", named after the gold medal winning and internationally renowned Olympic athlete. 

As food is a large part of various cultures, Mrs. Ferguson suggested the idea of having students prepare a dish in a cooking show format. The result was Brianna Baioni's Cultural Cooking Show featuring a step-by-step tutorial on how to make Italian Polenta! To conclude the program, Mrs. Johnson created a slide show featuring a quote from Jakayln Brown on what Cultural Diversity means to her, and a beautiful picture made by Ms. Russell, Allyse Dye and Brendon Kraig

The SEL Schools congratulate all participating students and staff at Memorial Junior High for their awesome work on the Cultural Diversity Day program!

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