BROOKSVILLE — "Knock, knock."
" 'Woo' who?"
"Don't get so excited. It's just me."
The comedy team fired off one joke after another, and the crowd loved it, at the fourth annual Central High School Variety Show, a production of exceptional student education performers.
The ESE staff and teachers coordinated the show, and invited school staffers and administrators, as well as family members and friends of the students, to attend "because all of our students should be allowed to perform," ESE teacher Kim Worden said.
Worden was recently announced as this year's Teacher of the Year at Central High.
"I think it's amazing that they get up and do this and they have a fabulous time, and we couldn't be prouder of them," Worden said. "We really are big supporters of this."
She added that the event gives parents an opportunity to see their children perform, something that might not happen otherwise.
ESE teacher Wilson Sommer, who emceed the show, said, "It allows them to show a side that people don't normally get to see."
There was plenty of talent. Besides the comedy act ("What does a lawyer wear to court?" "A law suit!"), there was a tap dancer, a ballerina, a dramatic reader, a guitar player, and many singers and dancers.
"We practice with them. They practice at home," ESE teacher Elizabeth Curry said. "Anyone who wants to participate participates. It's a self-esteem booster. We just want them to have a good time. Just be themselves."
Curry said the students practice working together, collaborating.
"You see teamwork," she said. "You see the talent. I love it. It gives me goose bumps every time."
Michelle Rickheeram is a Central High alumna. Her multitalented sister, senior Catherine Rickheeram, 18, sang and danced in the show.
"I think it helps her," Michelle Rickheeram said of her sister. "It opens her up. It's good for the kids. They all get to enjoy themselves."
Catherine Rickheeram's favorite part of the show was dancing like a ballerina.
"We practiced everything and learned how to do it. It's great. I enjoyed it," she said shyly.
Gloria Ortiz was one of senior Matthew Ortiz's fans and supporters.
"It just encourages them and it enlightens them," she said. "They do have that courage to get up there and dance. I think it was awesome."
Matthew Ortiz, who was a singer, said his favorite part of the show was "having fun."
Ileana Marzan was at the show to applaud her relative, Danielle Rosado, 16.
"I found this so entertaining today," Marzan said.
Perhaps she giggled when she heard, "What do you call a fake noodle? An im-pasta!"
Five classes, as well as teachers and teachers' assistants, participated in the extravaganza. Besides Worden, Sommer and Curry, they included: teachers Patricia Greenwood and Tracy Drake; and assistants Denise Doyle, Diane Burns, B.D. Marcinowski, Terri Berger, Rebecca Neblock, Jeannette Phillips, Ron Ralph, Emilio Ladines, Lisa Bishop and Helen Stein.
By the way: "What do you do when a teacher rolls her eyes at you?"
"You pick them up and roll them back."