The Mount Desert Elementary School teachers who coordinated the school’s Virtual Field Day and painted their faces with team colors were, clockwise from top left, Justin Norwood, Heather Graves, Shannon Westphal and Laurie Beal. PHOTO COURTESY OF MDES

Virtual field day brings fun end to school year



MOUNT DESERT — The Virtual Field Day at Mount Desert Elementary School – that actually spanned four days last week – was “a glittercovered bow on the end of a hard school year,” according to art teacher Shannon Westphal. 

Music teacher Heather Graves said it was an awesome way to end the year feeling like we are all still connected.”  

They, along with physical education teacher Justin Norwood and Spanish teacher Laurie Beal, each devised three different activities for three grade groups: K-1, 2-4 and 5-8. In each group, students and staff were split into four teams. 

Each field day activity was assigned points, and bonus points were given to students who submitted videos of their activity on an app called Flipgrid. A total of 886 videos were submitted over four days. 

“A few highlights of the week for me were seeing the number of students who participated, hearing Shannon rapping as Bob Ross and one of our interpreters completing and videoing 30 out of the 31 activities,” Norwood said.   

Beal described the field day as “a true adventure” for everyone involved. 

In a semester that has seen so many compromises, the field day was a delightful ending that provided closure and unity to students and staff alike,” she said. 

One of the music activities was to play a song on an instrument. 

I got to watch videos of 53 different students and staff members playing,” Graves said. It was very uplifting to see that the kids are still maintaining their skills and proud of what they were performing. 

Westphal added: “We miss our kids so much, and seeing so many of them smiling on the computer screen gave me some peace of mind to get ready to step away for a little bit this summer.  

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]

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