District official takes snow day dismissal to a whole new level!

By Erica Quednau | equednau@wcia.com

Published 02/06 2014 01:20PM

Updated 02/07 2014 09:32AM

Update: 4:14 pm, 2/6/14, Thursday
URBANA -- An assistant superintendent's YouTube video is quickly going viral. Todd Taylor created a song to announce the district's closing for Wednesday's snow day. Taylor sang to faculty to let them know school was canceled.

Thursday, the video tallied more than 14,000 hits. Taylor says the song was a way to poke fun at a normally stressful situation.
Original: 6:05 pm, 2/5/14, Wednesday
URBANA -- All the recent nasty weather could be causing the winter blues, especially for school districts. Wednesday, Urbana called off classes for the sixth day this year. WCIA-3's Erica Quednau finds out how district officials are trying to stay upbeat.

What better way to feel happy in this weather than picturing a beach and tropical drink in hand? It's the type of thinking which has District 116's administration bringing humor to a potentially stressful situation.

It's a sight which is becoming way too normal this year; snow-covered schools are empty inside.

"We have felt very sorry for our superintendent having to make this decision time and time again. It's been tough to have this many days out."

Kelsey Outlaw is a third grade teacher at Yankee Ridge. She's been getting used to this.

"He sounded almost depressed to be making the call, you know? 'This is the superintendent. We're going to have to call off school again.'"

But, news of their sixth snow day wasn't the same.

"I was expecting to hear Don's sad voice and it wasn't. It was this jingle and it's to the tune of Margaritaville, which instantly makes you think of a happy, sunny place."

Don Owen, Superintendent of District 116, and Todd Taylor, Assistant Superintendent, started working on the lyrics Monday. In a last minute decision, they were sent out over the phone to faculty.

"It made me giggle and I was up for a little bit thinking about it, just laughing because it was kind of a bummer to be out again, but such a fun way to let everybody know."

Now, Taylor's video of him singing is going viral.

"Instead of being so stressed and worried about it, he decided to have fun with it and I think that that was worth sharing."

Owen says they got inspiration from a Kentucky principal singing to a Queen song earlier this week. He says the song was a good way to relieve some of the stress this winter has caused so far.

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