Matthew K. Roy
PEABODY | The talent in Marie Brett's sixth-period ecology class bubbles right to the surface.
In senior Ricky Brandano's case, it was the surface of his desk.
"He was always drumming on his desk and I told him to make use of it," Brett said yesterday.
Brandano, his friend Zach Wilson and the rest of the class listened to their teacher. They collaborated to create "We're on a Mission," a music video rap that has generated a groundswell of attention on the Internet and throughout the halls of Peabody High School.
"I'm still shocked that it has received this much exposure," Brandano said. "It's a shock to me and Zach."
Brandano and his classmates made the song as part of a school-wide contest to find creative ways to express the high school's mission statement. The statement is on the tip of everyone's tongue this week because a 17-member evaluation team from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges is putting the high school under the microscope.
Brett's class fused the mission statement into a rap song over three days. The halls of the high school serve as the video's backdrop. Brandano, who stars in the video with Wilson, did the editing on his laptop computer.
The video wasn't finished by the contest's deadline so it couldn't win. But it has earned acclaim, nonetheless.
"What they did is outstanding," Principal Edward Sapienza said. "They deserve a lot of credit."
Sapienza makes an arms-crossed, head nodding cameo in the video.
"He happened to be walking down the hall when we were filming it and he thought it was hilarious," Brandano said.
"Peabody High, a comprehensive school, they work with your fam so you know that's cool," goes the second verse. "Challenging, relevant and personalized too, they provide a safe place so listen up fool, we promote respect while setting high standards, to achieve success, WE ARE THE TANNERS!"
Brett said the song was a way to funnel the creative energy of Brandano and the rest of her students.
"Every kid has their own genius," she said.
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