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Youth

January 4 – 17, 2014

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“I would say get a good solid basic foundation of what tramp is so you have a respect for it and like anything, the better you are at it the more fun it is,” Barclay mentions. “Tramp is so much fun when it’s safe.” Barclay explains, “There’s 100 things you can do (on a trampoline) before you ever have to flip over feet to feet.” In addition to the progression of skills, Barclay mentions that children who take classes also learn how to fall to minimize getting injured. “I think it’s so important to get instruction,” he says. “You get a little respect for that trampoline because it can be dangerous but it can also be very fun. And it can also be very healthy.” Barclay mentions that bouncing on a trampoline tightens the core muscles. “For somebody to bounce for just five minutes is probably one of the best workouts they can have. You don’t have to flip or do anything. Just bounce. Every time you land you have to tighten your core.” “It’s so important,” Barclay urges of trampoline safety. “It’s dear to me because it gives a bad name to trampoline when people get hurt. If we can keep them from getting hurt they will enjoy the sport and just the activity of bouncing.” He reiterates, the number one rule, only one person on the trampoline at the time. “It’s a hard rule to follow, but if they stick to it they’ll be a lot safer.” Aspire Kids Sports Center is located at 50 S. Hearthstone Way, Chandler. Visit aspirekidsportscom or call 480-820-3774 for more information. For more information about trampoline safety, go to cpsc.gov. Tracy House is the news editor for SanTan Sun News. She can be reached at tracy@santansun. com.

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Payne teacher bringing Lincoln back BY CHRISTINA FUOCO-KARASINSKI

With his tall, thin stature, tidy beard, top hat and three-piece suit, Sean Murphy draws attention wherever he goes. Whether it’s in a classroom, a restaurant or an airplane, kids flock to him and adults want their pictures taken with him. For the last five years, Murphy, a teacher at Payne Junior High, has taken advantage of his similarities to Abraham Lincoln, serving as an impersonator/ interpreter. He has spoken to school kids and hobnobbed with politicians. “Kindergarteners are the most fun,” says Murphy, dressed in his finest Lincoln regalia. “They give the big deerin-headlights look. We went to NYPD Pizza and this woman said, ‘I don’t want to offend you, but you kind of look like Abraham Lincoln.’ I’m not offended by that. He may not be the best-looking guy, but I appreciate it.” Some could say that Murphy didn’t chose Lincoln, instead the 16th president chose him. It was fate that the 32-year-old was offered a Lincoln book study through a teachers’ professional development program. “I just got really hooked and obsessed—a healthy obsession of him,” he says with a laugh. Murphy, who bears a tattoo of Lincoln on his arm, never thought about interpreting “The Man Beneath the Hat” until a fellow doppelganger,

LINKING LINCOLN: Sean Murphy, a teacher at Payne Junior High, bears a striking resemblance to President Abraham Lincoln. STSN photo by Sam Nalven

Bill King, pulled him aside during a visit Springfield, Ill., where Lincoln was buried, and suggested he go professional. He has also received advice from Lincoln actor and historian James A. Getty, with whom Murphy had lunch in Gettysburg. He offered very vital insight: “It’s the people who keep you important,” Getty told Murphy. “They’re the reason I have a job.” That resonated with Murphy, who then realized he had a gift. There’s nothing dry about Murphy’s presentation to schools. He and his class sing songs like “I’m Lincoln and I Know

It” and “LincolnBack,” playing off popular tracks by LMFAO and Justin Timberlake, respectively. “It’s all about having fun,” he says. Those who come across Murphy dressed as Lincoln automatically have this trust of him and the late president. He goes out in public wearing his Lincoln garb—like to see the “Lincoln” film starring Daniel Day-Lewis. “All of a sudden you’re iconic,” he says. “They don’t know me, yet they put their arm around me. I think it’s the reverence and the awe. It’s the look on people’s faces and that joy to say you’re Abraham Lincoln.” There is the occasional skeptic, however. During one appearance, a munchkin at SanTan Elementary School told a dressed-in-character Murphy, “You were shot. How are you here if you’re dead?” After much internal deliberation, Murphy said, “‘I was personally chosen to pass on the memory of Abe Lincoln.’ That was enough for him.” Murphy says being Lincoln is “truly what I love and want. Everybody has their rough days, but it’s a dream. That’s my passion. It’s what drives me. Everything I do, I always try to find a way to link it back to Lincoln.” To book Murphy for appearances, visit www.MeetAbeLincoln.com. Christina Fuoco-Karasinski is the editor of the SanTan Sun News. She can be reached at christina@santansun.com.

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