St. Paul’s staff makes ‘Happy’ video


By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger

DAVENPORT — Watching a video made by an alumnus of St. Paul the Apostle Catholic School inspired its principal to have a video made as a tribute to three retiring teachers.

St. Paul the Apostle Catholic School teachers dance to the song “Happy” in this screenshot from a video wishing Bob Martin, Lynn Leming and Judy Otto a “happy” retirement.

Principal Julie Delaney said alumnus Mark Reiter made a campaign video for the position of student body president at Drake University. Mark’s dad shared the video with Delaney. “It hit me that this would be a fun tribute.”

This year’s retirees from St. Paul’s are Lynn Leming, Bob Martin and Judy Otto.


Sixth-grade teacher Brooke DiIulio videotaped and edited the production, setting it to the song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. “We had a blast filming it,” Delaney said.

DiIulio videotaped over the course of two afternoons and spent another two to three hours editing it. “It was a lot of fun to tape. I had to twist a few arms of the camera-shy, but most teachers were ‘happy’ to contribute their time and talents when they understood the purpose of the video. A few even offered their own signature dance moves.”

DiIulio used her iPhone to play the song for teachers during each segment. The idea was to show them having fun at school. “Some of the kids were very curious about what we were up to and wanted to join in the fun. This one was for staff only.”

She said she offered her help because it sounded like fun and was a creative way to send off retiring staff members. “Bob and Lynn have almost 60 years combined teaching at St. Paul’s, and their unique gifts and talents will be very hard to replace.”
Leming has been with St. Paul’s for 24 years combined, with a break between two teaching stints. She teaches junior high social studies.

Martin has been at St. Paul’s for 34 consecutive years, teaching a variety of age levels. The majority of his time has been spent teaching third-graders.

Otto has been with Small Beginnings extended day program for two years.

“The kids have enjoyed watching (the video) as well as parents and alumni,” Delaney said. “Along with being posted on YouTube, it is on our school and alumni Facebook pages. The YouTube post has had over 1,000 views and the Facebook post has had over 2,300 hits.

“We originally created it to show at the Future Fund Teacher Appreciation Dinner as a tribute to the retiring teachers,” Delaney continued. “After the dinner, parents asked that I send them the link so they could share it with their families and friends. We’ve had a lot of fun with this and are planning for next year.”

The video can be viewed at

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