Cool Spring Elementary fourth-graders participated in the school’s annual North Carolinian Wax Museum Day.


Fourth-grader Jack Kendall focused intently on standing as still as a mannequin as he waited patiently for someone to press the small circle on his hand so that he could come to life.

This wasn’t just any day at Cool Spring Elementary— Kendall and other fourth-graders took part in the school’s North Carolinian Wax Museum Day tradition on Thursday.

While dressed as their favorite athlete, musician, actor or historical figure, each student provided important biographical information of a Tar Heel State legend. Most of the students memorized their presentations.

Jack Kendall dressed up as famous basketball player Michael Jordan, wearing his Tune Squad jersey from the movie “Space Jam.” 

Once the small circle button on his hand was activated, Jack came to life and told visitors that Jordan played for the UNC Tar Heels and was drafted by the NBA’s Chicago Bulls.

“The reason I chose the number 23 (on my jersey) is because my brother is number 45 and I wanted to be half as good,” he explained.

Jack said he chose an athlete because he also plays both basketball and baseball.

Other famous North Carolinians on display at the museum included Blackbeard, Rev. Billy Graham, Miss North Carolina Taylor Loyd and former Panthers football player Christian McCaffrey.

Fourth-grade teacher Mandy Harrington said the event has been a student favorite for years  

“This is a 20-plus year tradition. All of our fourth-graders research a famous North Carolinian. We study North Carolina history. While there’s lot of wax museums, we put our own spin on it that was either born in North Carolina or famous for something in North Carolina,” Harrington said.

After researching for a few weeks, each student puts together a brief presentation. 

Around 75-percent of the fourth-graders memorize their speech because it gives them a sense of pride over their work. In addition, students create a timeline and complete a display containing information that they learned about their famous North Carolinian with a photo.

“Students look forward to it each year, and the entire student body is invited to come through the museum. Family is also invited,” Harrington said.