CKHS band surprises outgoing principal with parade

Good luck topping the send-off Central Kitsap High School Principal John Cervinsky got from the folks at his office.

No, really — the arbitrarily arranged streamers around your desk and matching cupcakes are cute.

But Cervinsky got a full-fledged parade, smack-dab in the middle of his neighborhood, courtesy of the CKHS marching band.

“I got fooled — that doesn’t happen very often,” Cervinsky said as the band played in front of his house. “I pride myself on knowing what’s going on. I was completely fooled.”

The band gathered Tuesday evening at Mountain View Middle School in Bremerton and marched several blocks through Cervinsky’s neighborhood, eventually arriving outside his home.

Neighbors didn’t seem to mind the show, peeking out from windows and applauding the performance for Cervinsky as the band marched by.

Several CKHS staff members and Cervinsky’s wife, who was in on the surprise, also were on hand to see the outgoing principal’s reaction.

“I heard the music and I thought Bremerton must be practicing for the Armed Forces Parade and ... oh my gosh — it’s orange and black!” Cervinsky said.

The longtime CKHS principal is preparing for a new gig as the director of career and technical education at Central Kitsap School District headquarters.

“I’m just looking for some new challenges,” Cervinsky said. “It’s just doing something different.”

The parade was a joint scheme between the band and Band Director Michael Woods.

“This was a combination of the students and myself,” Woods said. “We were talking about trying to do something special for Mr. Cervinsky before he (left).”

Since no one happened to have a connection at the city permit office, it took a lot of crossed fingers to insure that traffic didn’t spoil the surprise. Fortunately, Cervinsky’s house is tucked well enough away in a residential area that everything went smoothly.

Still, a few drivers had their routes prolonged by a few minutes after getting stuck behind the band.

“It happens — cars come and we just keep on marching,” drum major Pat Mouwdy said.

It wasn’t the first time a CKHS staffer was surprised by the band. Last year, Woods and crew showed up at assistant principal Dr. Debbie Belew-Nyquist’s house to support her at a time when she was undergoing cancer treatments.

“It’s really great — you get to show them how much appreciation you have for them cause they’ve done a lot for the school,” Mouwdy said. “I think everyone loves Mr. Cervinsky and we’re really sad to see him go.”

The celebration seemed especially fitting given Cervinsky’s appreciation for the band and the other various art programs at CKHS.

“John has been an incredible asset to Central Kitsap High School, but especially when it comes to supporting the arts,” Woods said. “I’ve been here for three years now and one of the things that makes me love my job is that I have great support from him in what we do.”

Cervinsky looked on as the band played multiple songs for him and took a few moments to reflect on the staff and students he’ll be leaving at the end of the school year.

“It’s so special,” Cervinsky said. “It really means a lot to me.”

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