2/24/12 Wax On

From left, Jennifer Ward, Billy Anderson and Angie Ward watch Amy Kernodle portray Elizabeth Dole during a wax museum present

Sam Roberts / Times-News

From left, Jennifer Ward, Billy Anderson and Angie Ward watch Amy Kernodle portray Elizabeth Dole during a wax museum presentation Thursday in Laura Bivins’ fourth-grade class at Altamahaw-Ossipee Elementary School.

WAX ON
Elementary school students portray famous North Carolinians
By Mike Wilder The Times-News 2/24/12     
Reprinted with permission.

Bryce Estes does his best to hold still Thursday while portraying Dale Earnhardt Sr.
Bryce Estes does his best to hold still Thursday while portraying Dale Earnhardt Sr.

   Andy Griffith sat next to Elizabeth Dole. Kellie Pickler sat next to Dale Earnhardt Sr. Ava Gardner sat next to Michael Jordan.

   The famous North Carolinians were portrayed Thursday by students at Altamahaw-Ossipee Elementary School.

   The fourth-grade students have been studying state history in Laura Bivins’ classroom. Each chose either a historic figure or living North Carolinian to portray by researching the person’s life, writing information about their choice and preparing a verbal presentation.

   “They learned about what are good sources and what are not good sources,” Bivins said, as well as other aspects of doing research.

   Ayana Philbert portrayed Star Jones, an attorney and TV personality who was born in North Carolina and moved to New Jersey as a child.

   She talked about her career accomplishments and dramatic weight loss.    The museum doubled as a fundraiser for the Altamahaw-Ossipee Community Association. To get the make-believe wax figures to come to life, parents and others put coins or bills in cups on students’ desks.

   Bivins said the museum raised $300 for the association, which will use the money to help families in need.

   This was the first year for the wax museum at Altamahaw-Ossipee Elementary. Bivins previously put together the museum while teaching in Johnston County.

   At first, Bivins said, the goal was for each student to portray someone who was born in North Carolina. She began allowing exceptions to help match students with good fits for their personalities. That allowed Abby Hughes to become Mia Hamm, the Alabama-born soccer star who played during college for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

   Appearance was a big part of the effort. As Dole, Amy Kernodle wore a red and black suit and a pearl necklace. As Griffith, Wyatt Belton brought along a small guitar. As Earnhardt, Bryce Estes wore a black-felt mustache.

   Amberly Paschall wore a tiara. She was Kristen Dalton, a Wilmington resident who was Miss USA 2009.

   John Kapp portrayed Nathanael Greene, the Revolutionary War general for whom Greensboro is named.

   “I look awkward,” he said, though he had worked hard to pull off the look of Greene’s era, with small details such as tucking his pants into pulled up socks to create the look of wearing stockings.

   Dillon Drummond was Richard Gatling, an inventor whose best-known creation was a rapid-firing gun called the Gatling gun.

   He got laughs from other students for making machinelike sounds as he rose from his desk and sat back down.