District 300 holiday greeting far from ho-ho hum
By Suzanne Baker firstname.lastname@example.org December 19, 2013 10:38AM
Sydney Olson, a student at Dundee Highlands Elementary School, joins District 300 Superintendent Michael Bregy in a 2014 holiday tribute to the 1984 Christmas classic Do They Know Its Christmas? as part of Bregy's video seasonal greetings to the community. This is a screenshot from the video.
http://tinyurl.com/d300-SeasonsGreetings - Holiday video
http://tinyurl.com/d300-SnowAlert - Mobile App Minute
Updated: January 21, 2014 11:11AM
Superintendent Michael Bregy’s 2014 holiday tribute to the 1984 Christmas classic “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” is catching on in the School District 300 community.
Since Bregy took over as superintendent, he has sent out an annual holiday email to district staff and families. But this year, Bregy wanted to try something a little more, according to Allison Strupeck, director of communication services for the district.
The idea for a YouTube music video to the 30-year-old song sprouted from work on other video projects such as the announcement promoting the district’s new D300 mobile app that alerts students (also parents, teachers, staff and the community) of emergency notifications.
“While filming, we shot footage for several videos on a variety of topics which will be edited and released gradually over the next few months,” Strupeck said. “The first such video was the first edition of our ‘Mobile App Minute,’ which we released in early December about snow day announcements and other emergency notifications.”
The unscripted holiday video, which starred Bregy and middle and high school students, was so popular that more than 600 people downloaded the app in just a couple of days, so district officials knew the video produced a positive impact.
In his holiday email, Bregy notes, “If you’re from a certain generation like I am, this hit song will be familiar to you. I feel this song is full of the holiday spirit that I see shining brightly in our schools and our communities.”
The video itself features Bregy — dressed in a red plaid vest, green tie and Diesel jeans — and students from around the district lip-synching, dancing and shooting hoops to “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” as a Santa Claus bobblehead figure wobbles in the background.
“Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or another occasion, I hope this video lifts you up, makes you smile, and reminds you that the children in our lives are the greatest gifts we can ever receive. Have a warm, safe and restful holiday,” Bregy’s message goes on to say.
The video was produced and directed by Strupeck and filmed and edited by Casey DeFauw.
“Altogether, it took about two weeks to complete the project from start to finish,” Strupeck said. “We filmed for nine hours straight one day at Westfield Community School just before Thanksgiving, which required a detailed, fast-paced schedule to ensure that students from all of our schools were included. It was an intense but incredibly fun day.
“I think people love seeing the excitement on the faces of our students from preschool to high school. And they seem to really enjoying seeing Superintendent Bregy have such a blast. After all, how many superintendents do you know who would make a video that required them to dance, sing, jump around, and hang out with Santa bobbleheads?”
Now the only question is will Bregy’s holiday greetings go viral?
“In just the first few hours since the holiday music video went online, we are already receiving a steady flow of extremely positive feedback,” Strupeck said. And after a few days, the number of views is already in the thousands.