Jacksonville ISD administrators were in for a big surprise Friday when singing and dancing interrupted the superintendent’s welcome speech.

Teachers and staff worked for several months to orchestrate and choreograph a flash mob during its annual convocation breakfast. Convocation is the first day back to work for teachers and staff.

“It’s a pep rally of sorts to try to get everyone together and get everyone excited,” said Grace Taylor, JISD administrator and board member of its education foundation. “It’s turned into a community event now, and there will be maybe 1,300 to 1,400 people there. We usually have little program and a little surprise for everybody.”

Ms. Traylor said last year’s program included six decades of former JISD cheerleaders. She said that was when the idea for a flash mob started.

In January, she talked with the principals at each campus to recruit dancers, and then the willing participants were divided into four groups. The groups started meeting in March and practiced through the summer for the big day.

The routine stared with seven dancers and grew to include more than 120, Ms. Traylor said.

“The big surprise (was) a lot of the administration (didn’t) know it was going to happen,” she said.

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