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Third-grade student Alaina Beitzel was dressed in a crown and white ballerina outfit today at Toth Elementary School gymnasium, claiming she is 88 years old.
"I overcame uncertainties whether Native American's could achieve greatness in ballet," Alaina said in a speech that was 11-note cards long before striking back into her pose.
Alaina was acting as ballerina Maria Tallchief for the annual third-grade wax museum at Toth, a Perrysburg school, because "she has always wanted to be a ballerina."
The gymnasium was crowded with mini versions of Neil Armstrong, Abraham Lincoln, Michael Jackson, Albert Einstein, and many athletes, as parents, grandparents, and teachers listened and learned about famous characters portrayed by students.
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"We are so proud of these kids," third-grade teacher Adrienne Holmes said. "We are so glad people from the public could come see them. It is great for the shy or struggling students to have a sense of accomplishment."
Several students said they had help from their mothers to make posters and outfits, but Evan Harris got help from his father with the favorite part of his display.
"My dad got this ball signed by Larry Bird and Magic Johnson," Evan said. "He also got this Wheaties box with Larry Bird on the cover."
Evan portrayed the great professional basketball forward Larry Bird from the Boston Celtics, and was able to pull off wearing a hat in school.
Nathan Managhan bragged that his footprint is still on the moon.
"That is actually him," Nathan said, pointing to a photo of astronaut Neil Armstrong. "This was really fun because I have never done this before."
Brianna Crafton portrayed Mia Hamm because she really enjoys playing soccer. She likes to play defense and goalie.
"It was a fun project because I like learning about other people," Brianna said.
Third-grade student Brynn Martinez enjoyed reading the biography that each student had to read on their subject. She read about U.S. Olympic gold-medal gymnast Gabby Douglas and said it was fun learning about her life while preparing to portray her.
"I love gymnastics," Brynn said. "I'm on the gymnastics team and my favorite event is the bars, I like to learn new stuff on the bars."
Kyle Cuhran portrayed National Football League quarterback Peyton Manning because his favorite team is the Denver Broncos, because Denver was where he was born. One of the Albert Einsteins portrayed was Carter Wilson. Carter wanted to be Mr. Einstein because he really likes science, so he said he wanted to learn about someone else who really liked science.
Some students enjoyed the project to get a break from the everyday third-grade class work.
"It was really fun because it got me a break in the morning and out of work," said Micah Thames, who was dressed in a red Michael Jackson jump suit in his portrayal of the famed performer because he likes his music and dancing.
Contact Matt Thompson at: email@example.com or 419-356-8786 or on twitter at @mthompson25.