SPOKANE, Wash. - Empty hallways, kids on the edge of their seat waiting to leave, not the most exciting way to send students off into summer break.
"We have to change the last day of school, it's awful. Kids barely show up, and the ones that do, get cornered into cleaning," Sacajawea Middle School teacher, Sue Eggart, said.
Twenty-two years ago, Eggart started a new last day of school tradition, the Rubber Thunderbird Convocation. It’s a competition like no other. Walking into a gym filled with 7th and 8th graders, you might expect these kids to be too cool for school, but you'd be wrong.
"It was so fun to see boys who are too cool to dance, out there, I'm thinking yes! You guys are out there having fun, smiling, and just having a blast," Eggart said.
It's 7th grade, the lumberjacks, vs. 8th grade, the surfers. The students compete in volleyball games, obstacle courses, dance-offs, but to top it off, 60 seconds of straight screaming.
"New ideas every year, a new theme every year, voted on by the kids," Eggart said.
Eggart's fellow teachers said when she proposed this idea back in 1996; they weren't so sure the kids would be into it. But now, as Eggart is retiring, Sacajawea is keeping the tradition alive, and let Eggart be a judge, on her last day of school.
"They pulled it off better than I ever imagined," Eggart said.
The kids are judged on sportsmanship, spirit, teamwork, volume, and then, the points are tallied up, while one 7th grader, and one 8th grader, stand in the middle of the gym, to see who wins the rubber chicken. And, 7th grade wins.
"I never once dreaded my job, a lot of people would say, you teach middle school? And I say yes, I teach middle school, they're incredible human beings," Eggart said.
The kids went off the to buses, saying goodbye to Jr. High, but Eggart has one last thing she'd like to tell her students.
"I want to thank my Sacajawea family for making work a pleasure, everyday," Eggart said.