Urbana closes schools with style

It's been a long winter, and everybody's stressed.

Why not lighten things up with a little Jimmy Buffett?

The school-closing announcement sent to Urbana school staff at 5:40 a.m. today was anything but routine.

Assistant Superintendent Todd Taylor posted a video with his own version of "Margaritaville," aka "Winter Weatherville."

"We're havin' a snow day, it's gonna be OK, I know you're all tired of canceling school ... " Taylor sang, wearing his Minnesota Vikings trapper hat.

The inspiration came from a Boone County, Ky., district that had announced yet another school closing Monday to the rousing tune of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody."

Taylor forwarded the link Monday night to Superintendent Don Owen, and "we spent from 11 p.m. to midnight exchanging lyrics and joking about how we'd never have the nerve to do that," Owen said.

This morning, when Owen started contacting administrative staff about today's cancellation, Taylor texted Owen asking, "Do you want me to sing?" Owen agreed, just for the employee announcement.

"This has been a pretty rough winter, and people have been getting stressed," Owen said. "We thought we'd lighten up the mood a little bit."

So Taylor fired up his karaoke machine. Among the better lyrics: "People will say that Dr. Owen's to blame, but I know ... (ba-ba-ba-ba-ba) ... it's Polar Vortex's fault."

Taylor said the song "just came into my head," and the original beach theme made it even better.

"It's kind of a northern climate we're in here, in the middle of the worst winter in the 15 years I've been here," Taylor said.

The Vikings hat was fitting: Taylor is not a native Minnesotan like Owen, but did live there for 10 years.

Reaction from other employees has been positive, he said. Even though school closings are serious for employees and parents, he said, "I think they got a little bit of a laugh out of it."

Owen didn't want to mess with the announcement to parents "because it was such a late call. If I'd have known for sure last night, I probably would have done it," he said.

He actually came up with a song he'd like students to do but didn't have time to organize it.

That's being kept under wraps until — heaven forbid — the next snow day.

(Editor's note: If you're craving a little actual Buffett, well, this song could be appropriate.)

Sections (2):News, Local
Topics (2):Education, People

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sweet caroline wrote on February 05, 2014 at 4:02 pm

Now THIS will put a smile on even the grumpiest person's face!  Thank you, Todd, for your humor and wit!