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Jordan School District vice principal prepares students for new school year with song

Posted at 7:10 AM, Aug 01, 2023

WEST JORDAN, Utah — Most Utah students have been away from the classroom for more than two months for summer break.

Their absence from the hallways in one school inspired an administrator to craft a song letting the children know how much they are missed.

“We are really missing the kids,” said David Hullinger, the vice principal at Westvale Elementary. “This is where all the magic happens. When they aren't here in the building it's a totally different feel.”

Hullinger used the tune of the well-known song “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” and penned new lyrics like “Westvale’s the place to be.” 

He uploaded his music video to social media where it became a hit with the school's followers.

"It got a lot of the laughing face emojis, lots of texts saying, 'That's so funny,'" he said.

The song likely won’t win any awards.

“It's super cheesy, even a little cringe-worthy, but great for a campfire guitarist like me,” Hullinger said.

More importantly, he hopes it sends a message to students.

“We want to build a partnership with our community and if they see a fun side of us, then they feel like they can work together with us more,” Hullinger said.

The school’s principal believes a simple gesture like this exemplifies the connection between the school and the community.

“We are here because of the kids, because of the community,” said Odette Desmaris, Westvale’s principal.

While the school is quiet now, except for the quiet rustling of books being reshelved, desks being put into place, and the sound of guitar strings emanating from the assistant principal’s office, students will soon be back.

They’ll find administrators, teachers and staff welcoming them with open arms and ready to get to work, while having a good time.

“Something that we stress is that we work really, really hard, but we want to play hard too,”  Hullinger said.

Westvale Elementary students return to the classroom on August 22.