PNG educator flash mob belts out the hits

Published 6:47 pm Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Educators at Port Neches-Groves Independent School District know how to get a new school year off to an exciting start, with music and dancing and a flash mob.

Superintendent Rodney Cavness was at the podium during convocation in a crowded auditorium when Jeff Kuchar, director of special education, suddenly stood up and began singing slightly different lyrics to “Stand By Me” as he walked toward the stage. Soon others stood up and joined in.

“When the bell has run, and it’s time to teach with my students all quiet in their seats; No I won’t be afraid; no I won’t be afraid just as long as somebody stands by me. So teachers, teachers stand by me. Oh won’t you stand by me? Oh stand by me, stand by me, stand by me,” Kuchar sang.

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The idea for the convocation flash mob came from Brenda Duhon, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction/technology.

“Last year after in-service the idea came up and we talked about the flash mobs you see all the time at different locations,” Duhon said. “I thought, we can pull off a flash mob.”

So Duhon pulled together music teachers in the district last October and began brainstorming all while keeping the project a secret from Cavness.

“We thought it would be fun to do and we wanted something upbeat, pop and rock and roll. We spent months tossing around the idea. They worked on the music, I’m not musically inclined,” she said.

Steve James, choir director at Port Neches-Groves High School, rewrote the lyrics to “Stand By Me,” “Give me some Lovin’” and “Shake it Off,” making the songs fit the teaching profession.

“I thought it was a lot of fun,” James said. “It took a while to solicit people to join. There was some have hesitancy on the part of some of the singers at first. Most are not the kind who enjoys being on stage and in the spotlight. I think most enjoyed it.”

James said the project gave him and others a chance to meet people from different campuses they do not normally cross paths with.

Kuchar, the first to stand up and sing, said he enjoyed the project.

“I was involved in music during high school and when I went to Lamar I was in the concert choir,” Kuchar said. “I practically lived in the music department while getting my educator degree.”

All agree the response from the public has been positive and the flash mob was a lot of fun.

The 25 people who took part in the flash mob were recognized by the district during Spotlight on Excellence at a recent school board meeting.

The performance has more than 9,400 views on Youtube and can be viewed at