He had a long journey just to get to compete. It began with an audition in his classroom. He performed two Shel Silverstein poems. He was chosen as one of two to go to the next round of auditions.
The next day at school, he performed one of the Silverstein poem's on stage in front of Mr. Medina. At this point he was competing against 31 other students (a mix of 3rd 4th and 5th graders) for one of six spots. He made it!
For the next week, he and the other 5 students worked with Mr. Medina and Mrs. Parker every morning, polishing the performances. They all got a new collection of poems to memorize and prepare. Dane got a 4 poem selection by James Stevenson. They were all themed around mother and boy. Dane's new pieces were "Ma, Don't Throw That Shirt Out, My Mother Says I'm Sickening, I'm Thankful, and I'm The Single Most Wonderful Person I Know." All funny and completely appropriate for a boy Dane's age.
On Friday of that week, each of the 6 students performed again for one of the 3 spots that would get them into the Academic Meet.
I happened to be sitting with Dane during his lunch time when his teacher came rushing in to tell us the final 3 had been announced and Dane was one of them!! Woo hoo! The final three consisted of one 3rd grader (Dane), one 4th grader, and one 5th grader.
The last week before the meet, all 3 students worked each morning with the principals and performed for various classes to get practice in front of an audience.
15 of the 18 Pflugerville elementary school's participated in the Meet. Each school was allowed to bring 3 contestants per event/category. There were 5 events/ categories.
On the day of the Meet, for the Oral Reading category, all 39 contestants- district wide, perform in round 1 and round 2. In each round, there are 7 students in front of 1 judges. Dane's teacher went in the rooms with him as his coach while I hung back in the cafeteria with other parents.
This is Dane and his teacher/coach Ms. Truong after round 1.
This is Dane being silly after round 2. Same bag of Cheetos!
Once scores had been tabulated, the 7 finalists were announced. These finalist go on to compete in round 3 against each other, in front of 3 judges.
Waiting for the finalists to be announced.
Mr. Medina begins the finalist announcement.
Look closely! Dane made it into the finals!!! We cheered like crazy!
In round 3, the final 7 are scored for places 1 through 6. So one of the finalist doesn't place. :-(
Again, Ms. Truong accompanied Dane to the round 3 room and performance while I waited in the cafeteria. When round 3 was over, Dane got some pizza and played board games with other HPES students while we waited for the awards ceremony.
A little after 1pm, it was awards time!
This is the trophy table- shiny!
The second category to have the winners announced was Oral Reading. Dane and I sat waiting to hear- the excitement was in the air!
They called the names for 6th, 5th, and 4th place- no Dane yet. Then they called the name of the 3rd place winner- Dane Limbaugh!!!!!!!! The crowd went wild! And to sweeten the pot, our 4th grader won 2nd and our 5th grader won 1st! It was a Bulldog sweep!! So exciting!!!!
Here are the Oral Reader winners in place order!
Here are the 3 HPES Oral reader winners! So proud of them all!
Dane, Kira, and Ashley!Here is proud Dane with Ms. Truong and Mr. Medina. Also in the picture, you will notice the super large trophy. That is the 1st place sweepstake trophy Highland Park won for having the most kids place in all the events!! Double woohoo!
Here are all the HPES trophy winners, coaches and principal. What a happy and excited group!! 7 out of our 15 competitor's walked away with trophies!
Dane chose Golden Wok restaurant for our late lunch celebration. So off we went! What a GREAT day!!
Here is a video of the winner's announcement! You can hear Dane say, right before third place is announced, "Did I make it or did I not?"