FAST Program Holiday Tradition Continues ... with Video

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Students in the FAST program at High School West participated in an annual holiday tradition, this time with a twist.

In previous years, Matthew Mazza portrayed Buddy the Elf and visited classrooms and performed mini-scenes. One particular scene involved Mazza, now in his final academic year as a student, and co-star Theresa Arato traveling throughout the building while singing, “Baby it’s Cold Outside.”

In 2019, the group performed live for their peers in the school library. 

This year, instead of the typical live Christmas performance, the students created a video version of the event. The mash-up included recreated scenes from “A Christmas Story,” “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” and “Elf.”

Students worked hard to accomplish their goal of producing an entertaining show, with an important theme for their peers and the staff this holiday season. 

“It’s a mash-up of different holiday shows with the theme of working together to accomplish our goals,” teacher Paul Godfrey said.

Faculty contributed by singing, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”

Besides meeting their academic goals on their IEP, Functional Academic Secondary Transition program students complete a work-study program, which helps them to transition into a full or part-time employment after high school.

“The show also was enhanced by the support staff,” Godfrey said. “The aides were a part of the teamwork — especially my classroom aide, Jill Shin, who could not be here this week, played a huge role in the production area: costumes, set, and coming to work with a positive attitude every day, which always enhances our students’ performances.”