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Posts published in “Day: April 15, 2008

The Fab Five

By Kristan Hoffman

For Valentine’s Day, my boyfriend did not buy me chocolates or flowers. He also didn’t take me out to dinner. He didn’t give me a giant teddy bear, or a mix tape, or any of the usual romantic Hallmark-y things. No, for Valentine’s Day, my boyfriend drove me from Cincinnati to Chicago — for the Spice Girls concert. If enduring a whole weekend of Girl Power doesn’t demonstrate his love, I’m not sure what could. (Nevermind the fact that for Valentine’s Day, I made my boyfriend endure a whole weekend of Girl Power…)

In fairness, both of us agree that regardless of your age, gender, sexuality, or musical taste, those were two of the most entertaining hours you could imagine. The “Fab Five” designed a spectacular show that used their music to illustrate their professional and personal journey as a group. I must confess that I don’t remember much about their first tour in the 90s — except the heartbreak of Ginger Spice quitting just before they came to the States — ut I am quite certain that I will never forget their Reunion.

It began with a slew of their biggest hits (“Spice Up Your Life,” “Stop,” and “Who Do U Think U Are” to name a few) as well as elaborate silver costumes designed by Roberto Cavalli. There were about seven video screens, twenty male dancers, and a whole lot of screaming fans. My voice had gone hoarse by the fourth or fifth song, but of course I had no intention of stopping.

For the rest of the night, Scary, Baby, Ginger, Posh, and Sporty tore through elaborate themed sets and costumes: giant feathers and pink heart-shaped dressing room doors; red flamenco capes; dominatrix black leather, whips, and chains; and more. Each also performed solo, some electing to cover classic hits (like Right Said Fred’s “I’m Too Sexy”) while others sang their own songs (like Melanie C’s “I Turn to You”). This is when much of the crowd went silent and I began to feel like a superior fan, because I knew all the words to their solo works and their third album, i.e., I stuck by them even after they’d faded in popularity.

Then Andy rolled his eyes and said, “Don’t be a stuck-up Spice fan. That’s worse than not being a fan at all.”


One of the most popular performances of the night was “Mama,” in which the Spice Children joined the Spice Girls on stage (with protective earphones the size of their heads). A video of the Spice Mothers played on the background screen, giving the audience three generations of Spice. Tasty!

The night ended with their first #1 hit, the one that brought Girl Power to the whole world: “Wannabe.” It’s never been my favorite song of theirs, but there’s something to be said for being the start of it all, and I think that’s why they chose to come full circle and end the night with it.

If you wannabe my lover, you gotta get with my friends.

So it may not have been a conventional Valentine’s Day, but by indulging me in this, Andy “got with my friends” Mel C, Mel B, Emma, Victoria, and Geri, and definitely made me zig-a-zig-ah.

Hepworth, Willingham named Aldine ISD’s Teachers of the Year

Ivan Hepworth of Nimitz Senior High School and Shirley Willingham of Houston Academy were named Aldine ISD’s Teachers of the Year during the district’s annual Teacher of the Year Breakfast, held Friday, April 4, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.
Hepworth was named AISD’s Secondary Teacher of the Year, while Willingham was named the district’s Elementary/Intermediate Teacher of the Year.
The two were selected from six finalists chosen for the prestigious award by a committee of fellow teachers, administrators and community members.
The four other finalists were Carrie Schultz-Sellers of Johnson Elementary School, Wanda Woods of Hill Intermediate School, Edward Brimer of Grantham Academy and Sharon Kay Carlson of Lane School.
Hepworth, Willingham, the four finalists and each campus Teacher of the Year, were also honored by a number of North Houston/Greenspoint area businesses that donated gifts to them.

Continental Airlines presented Hepworth and Willingham each with two first-class round trip tickets to anywhere Continental Airlines flies in the continental United States. Halliburton presented the two winners with $600 each, while InvesTex Credit Union presented the two winners with $100 each.
The DoubleTree Hotel at Intercontinental Airport presented Hepworth and Willingham each with a complimentary weekend night stay for two, while the Houston Astros provided each of the winners with an Astros baseball cap.
The two winners also each received a $100 American Express gift card from North Houston Bank, while Charles Christiansen and the Main Event in The Woodlands awarded Hepworth and Willingham with two tickets each to the Houston Family Arts Center valued at $50 and each received a $25 gift certificate from the Downtown Tomball Merchant’s Association.
The two winners also each received four season passes to SplashTown and Greenspoint Mall awarded the two winners a $100 gift card. The Houston Rockets provided each winner with a Rockets backpack and T-shirt, while Luna’s Mexican Restaurant awarded each winner with two complimentary dinner gift certificates.
The North Houston Greenspoint Chamber of Commerce awarded Hepworth and Willingham with two complimentary tickets to the Houston Laff Stop.
The four finalists each received $100 American Express gift cards from North Houston Bank, two complimentary tickets to Splash Town, while the Houston Astros awarded the finalists players cards autographed by Brandon Backe and Chris Sampson and Astros baseball caps. The North Houston Sheraton Hotel presented each of the finalists with a weekend night’s stay, including breakfast for two, while Greenspoint Mall awarded the four finalists each with a $50 gift card.
The Houston Rockets presented each finalist with a backpack and T-shirt, while InvesTex Credit Union awarded each of the finalists $100. The Holiday Inn Houston Intercontinental Hotel presented each of the finalists with a complimentary weekend night’s stay and breakfast for two.
Hepworth said he believes it is his duty to give his students his best each and every day while teaching.
“I believe all children can learn and they have the right to my absolute best effort,” he said. “I stay current on the latest theories and philosophies of education and keep students from being bored. Most importantly, I care about my students.”
Willingham said she enjoys getting the best out of her students and challenging them each and every day in the classroom.
“I don’t only teach the basics, but I also challenge students to think, to reason, and to solve problems independently. I empower students by giving them opportunities to make decisions about what they will learn and how they will learn.”
Lisa Edwards, Title I program director, chaired the Teacher of the Year Committee. Her co-chairman was Maggie Doran, program director of elementary language arts. The committee consisted of: Carrie Durley, executive director of human resources, Richard Woods of Conley Elementary School, Evelyn Hempy of Stovall Middle School, Mary Neeley Stevens of Carter Academy, Julie Mata of deSantiago EC/Pre-K Center, Valerie Sutton of Hambrick Middle School, and parent representative Dawn Lara.

Smiley FFA livestock sale

GRAND CHAMPION STEER was purchased by the Northside Group for $5500, with $175 in add-ons for a total of $5675. The steer weighed 1320 lbs. and was raised and exhibited by Jahmar Sampson. The Northside Group included, l to r, Bill Ginder/Caldwell Companies, Bob Beasley/Beasley Tire, David Hawes/Hawes Hill Calderon, Clyde Bailey/Jed’s Hardware, Jane Grothe/North Houston Bank, and Steve Mead/Component Sales.