By Jonathan Blaylock
English teacher and FCDM sponsor Matthew Townsend gives orders to Executive Committee members as they inspect the activities prior to the event.
With a large committee of 80 members and 19 executive members, these students have been guided by five teachers throughout the year to put on one of the biggest events at FC.
Townsend, English teachers Tiffany Stansbury and Anne Martin, psychology teacher Katrina Uhl and math teacher Kristina Bauerla are the five teachers that oversee FCDM and help sponsor the event.
Senior Paige Muntz said the teachers’ participation has changed her and made her a better person.
“They have helped me become a confident person. Before Exec, I had self-confidence issues and now I am a MC (master of ceremonies). Without them and without their faith in me, I would not be who I am today,” said Muntz.
Bauerla explained why she decided to join FCDM and help with the event, sharing its effect on her personally.
“For me as a mother to have a child that could possibly go through something like what those at Riley [Riley’s Children Hospital], it is important for me to support the families. If I was in that role, I would want that support as well,” said Bauerla.
While Bauerla got involved for personal reasons, Martin joined after seeing how it affected the student volunteers in past years.
“My first two years, I came to volunteer as a chaperone. During the second year I stayed to watch the closing ceremony and just watching teenagers help other people in the community; that called me to help out and provide whatever I could so that they can make the most of the opportunity,” said Martin.
Stansbury has been with FCDM as a sponsor since the beginning. A personal experience with her father initiated her personal mission to begin FCDM and to keep it going.
“When I was in high school, my dad passed away from leukemia, so I sort of saw first hand what it was like to be one of those families who had to spend day after day after day in the hospital and in the end, not be able to bring him home. So for me it is for dancing for the kids and raising money for cancer and research and bring hope for those families who have to be in the hospital day in and day out,” said Stansbury.
Senior David Harbison said the support of the sponsors is meaningful to students.
“They are incredibly helpful and when we need them, they are there willing to assist us. It is a great experience to work with them outside of a student-teacher relationship,” said Harbeson.
Muntz said the teachers are an important part of the process.
“Without them, this would not be able to happen. We could say we are successful all we want but they are the ones who have been around the six years. They know exactly what they are doing and what needs to happen, and they pass that knowledge down to the new class and execs that come through. Without them, we would be clueless as what to do next,” she said.