Last year, the teachers at Encore High School, the new performing arts charter school, made a deal with students: Get a collective 725 on the Academic Performance Index state testing, and the teachers will dance for you.


"We obliterated that by getting a 743," said Nick Gaspar, Encore's ASB advisor and an English teacher at the school. "It was extremely exciting."


After students heard that they'd beaten their 725 target number, "we haven't stopped getting bugged about it," said Gaspar, "which is exciting, because it means the kids are excited about it."


So mid-day on Thursday, the group of male teachers held up their end of the bargain, and took to the stage as Hip Hop Anonymous. In addition to Gaspar, Hip-Hop Anonymous included world history teacher Martin Hoover, English teacher Tom Steed, counselor Phillip Wallace and Dean of Discipline John Griffith. They wore chicken masks on stage, said Griffith, because students had wondered if they'd have the courage to go on.


"It was something that seemed to motivate the kids," said Gaspar.


And for the Encore teachers' encore, if student top their ambitious 800 API target, a group of female department heads and administrators will dance dressed up as the Spice Girls.


Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 760-956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Hesperia.Star