If you are a regular viewer of America’s Got Talent you may have seen the BMX skills of Matt Wilhelm. He wowed national audiences until he was voted off in August of 2011. Today, Central Middle School students were treated to his talents, along with a strong, Anti-Bullying message.
There were two assemblies, one for 6th and 7th and the second show solely for the 8th graders. The groups were small, and all students gave Matt their full attention during the 45-minute presentations. They screamed, cheered and applauded as Matt performed some pretty incredible BMX tricks. The stunt highlight for both assemblies came when attendees got to witness an amazing feat as he jumped over “brave volunteers” from the audience. At the first assembly the students got to see District 146’s own Superintendent, Dr. Stawick, and CMS Principal, Mr. Fortin, Ms. Salwierak (teacher) and Mr. Freeland (band director) volunteer as Matt jumped over them. The 2nd assembly for the 8th graders, he performed his signature jump stunt over Mr. Freeland, Ms. Smyth (teacher), Mr. Mihovilovich (teacher) and Mr. Smith (teacher). All “volunteers” were good sports and no one was injured. PHEW!
The students were also met with not just an awesome demonstration of bike skills, but also his very strong and powerful, anti-bullying message. He spoke of his adolescence, as he was growing up, and how he himself encountered bullying. How he had to deal with the bullies and the name calling, and now, as an adult, has come to terms with it all. So, now he has chosen to pass on his knowledge and messages. He wants kids to know that they are not alone. One of his goals is to help teach kids to stand up for themselves. Also, he wanted students to think about, and remember that friends need to stick up for friends. If someone is being bullied, intervene. Don’t let it just happen. Let an adult know about the situation, and take the person out of the situation, when possible. And very important, don’t be a bully.
His message seemed to be heard by all students. Mrs. Vandewiel, Assistant Principal of Central Middle School, said, “Matt Wilhelm rocks! Great bike tricks, and more importantly…great message! Never give up, and treat others with respect. The entire audience loved it!” Mr. Fortin, CMS School Principal, could not have agreed more,” Matt’s message was a powerful one. He encourages people to not only stand up for themselves, but others. He was extremely entertaining and related well with the students.”
His message of perseverance and character triumphed in his show. This was a very welcomed assembly, and an awesome way to start off the 2nd semester, welcoming back our students with this positive and motivating show! Way to go Central Middle School! Again, showing that D146 makes excellent choices and all in the name of our students’ and their education!