Parents

Assistant principal's song and dance makes kids smile, get to school on time

Whether he’s dancing the Whip/Nae Nae, or belting out a hit from the "Frozen" soundtrack, assistant principal Gary Logan prides himself in his ability to put a smile on the face of those around him. And his performances every morning at Woodrow Cummins Elementary in Conway, Arkansas, go a long way in improving school morale and even thwarting students’ late attendance.

Courtesy Kristine Spears
Assistant Principal Gary Logan welcomes students to school each morning by dancing in front of the main entrance.

The 29-year-old administrator spends part of his mornings dancing and singing for those in the crowded car drop-off line, something he says he does to brighten the days of parents and students alike. Logan recently captured the attention of local news station KOLR10, which filmed him on a typical morning of performing.

“Singing and dancing has always been my deal,” Logan told TODAY Parents. “With a microphone in my hand, I’m just in my element. I like to sing and crack jokes and make light of a stressful situation — so that’s what I do in the mornings.”

Logan, who is in his second year in the job, says his morning antics have received an extremely positive response from everyone within earshot.

Courtesy Kristine Spears
Kids don't like to be late to school so that they don't miss Logan's song and dance act.

“It’s all been great. I play a lot of kids’ stuff, but I play a lot of Motown and old school "Sweet Home-Alabama"-type stuff that parents know. Parents will roll their windows down and hear something they know and start singing in the car and embarrassing their kid. But the kids get a kick out of it,” said Logan.

Logan says students love his performances, too, adding they often make song requests or beg him to stop playing a song they particularly dislike.

“I play them anyway because that’s the kind of guy I am,” Logan joked.

Courtesy Kristine Spears
Sometimes students join Logan on the microphone.

Kristine Spears, who has a daughter attending third grade at the school, is among the parents who enjoy their mornings being serenaded by Logan.

“Mr. Logan’s singing and smile brightens the day,” she said. “Especially those mornings where I am struggling to get everyone out the door on time. Hearing his song and seeing his positive attitude changes the day for me as a parent, and for my daughter as she goes into school.”

Logan says he also uses his time with parents in the morning to poke fun at more serious issues.

“I’ll give parents grief about being on their phones in the car line, or if they’re late all the time, I’ll give them grief over the loudspeaker,” he said.

Dayna Lewis, the principal at the school, said Logan’s singing, dancing and playful reminders have helped parents and students be more engaged with their school.

“Mr. Logan’s morning routine of singing and dancing has strengthened our school climate…Students are connected to Woodrow Cummins Elementary from the moment they step out of their vehicle each morning, fostering their engagement in school, which in turn boosts academic achievement,” said Lewis. “As a bonus, Mr. Logan’s morning routine has also helped to decrease our tardy rate because students don’t want to miss out on the fun!”

Still, Logan holds that he’s doing nothing more than being himself.

“I’m loud and I like to have a good time,” he said.

But will Logan be putting his morning performances on hold once winter weather arrives?

“No way. Right now, I’m trying to be conservative so I don’t sweat through my shirt,” said Logan. “I love winter — that’s when I dance the most. I’ll be out there every day.”

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