'Flash Mob' Serenades Retiring Principal

Hundreds of teachers, parents and students planned a fake fire drill that turned into a group performance honoring their retiring Principal.

Hundreds of students, teachers, parents and, yes, even firemen turned out for a surprise “flash mob” Friday morning at Sierra Madre Elementary School.

Planned by teachers and parents, and rehearsed for weeks ahead of time, what seemed to be an early morning fire drill quickly turned into a massive surprise of song and dance for retiring Principal Gayle Bluemel. 

After the rendition of the Beatles' "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da," a visibly emotional Bluemel told the group of performers that she “knew something was up,” but that she had been caught completely unaware by the seemingly impromptu performance. Bluemel thanked the group for their choice of song, shouting in agreement with the refrain, "life goes on."

Bluemel of this year, following more than 20 years at Sierra Madre Elementary and Middle Schools. Her retirement will take effect on June 30, 2011.

For her years of service to the children of Sierra Madre, Bluemel was also recently of the upcoming Fourth of July Parade.

lisa June 17, 2011 at 05:41 PM
that was awesome! sorry I missed it.
Tonia Biely Patino June 17, 2011 at 06:47 PM
AWESOME, I could feel the excitement just watching! Good Luck Ms. Bluemel, life does go on!!!
Jennifer Hull June 17, 2011 at 08:09 PM
Congratulations to the teachers, parents, staff and the Sierra Madre Fire Dept. for pulling this off!! You did a tremendous job and Gayle's expression was priceless!! This is why I love being a part of this school. The support and sense of community are outstanding. We wish Gayle the best in her retirement, and thank her from the bottom of our hearts for being such an amazing part of our children's lives!!
Kaleen Harfman June 17, 2011 at 08:51 PM
I live across the street and 3 of my nephews attend there, so I walked down and watched it. Was VERY cool!
Lori A. Webster June 17, 2011 at 09:48 PM
That's the best PDA (public display of affection) that I've ever seen! Fabulous!
Monica Cuellar June 17, 2011 at 09:55 PM
That made me cry! It was awesome! Just like Ms. Blumel! We wish her the very best!
Timothy Rutt June 17, 2011 at 10:57 PM
Great video of a wonderful event. Good job over there!
Genevieve Miller June 17, 2011 at 10:58 PM
It was so amazing to be a part of this fantastic tribute and send-off for our wonderful principal, Ms. Bluemel!!
Cindy McLoughlin June 17, 2011 at 11:38 PM
What a great tribute!!! I don't even know Ms. Bluemel, and I cried through the whole thing. Well done teachers, parents and students of SMES!!!
Lynn Kornmann June 18, 2011 at 05:01 AM
This was awesome in person as well. This is why we LOVE Sierra Madre!
D Shelley June 18, 2011 at 09:33 PM
Wonderful!!! The most beautiful part of this is that a large part of the reason these children are such enthusiastic performers and lovers of the arts if that Gale herself has taught, directed, and encouraged the arts at Sierra Madre. I hear that her daughter is picking up where she is leaving off. Have a GREAT retirement, Gale! Let's hope that PUSD can now allow the low-income schools of the district the same latitude in curriculum and freedom in teaching that Sierra Madre has commanded. The arts truly enrich!
Becca F June 20, 2011 at 04:34 PM
I don't know this woman or any of these people and this made me cry. It was just so sweet.
Fran Garbaccio June 20, 2011 at 05:06 PM
I'm so glad I clicked on to this amazing event for an amazing Principal. Well done!!! Thanks to Gayle for helping make Sierra Madre Schools so outstanding. We will be losing a real inspiration to our community, but will look forward to the continued achievements Gayle has brought to Sierra Madre. And, yes, I also cried along with the performance.
Petrea Burchard June 22, 2011 at 03:30 AM
That's absolutely fantastic! How awesome for Ms. Bluemel. Congratulations to everyone involved.
Patsy Morris June 22, 2011 at 03:55 PM
What a great tribute. She must really be loved :)
Toni Mazaros June 23, 2011 at 01:40 AM
Thank-you so very much Ms. "Bloom-el" for helping so many children "blossom" into beautiful "flowers" who will benefit from your guidance for a lifetime!!!!! We are so grateful for all that you do for children and their families. We wish you good health and much fun on your new adventures in the world of "retirement." You will be missed by so many, but your love will be in our hearts forever! LIFE GOES ON...... Love, The Mazaros Family (Craig, Toni, Dylan and Elizabeth)


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