On a cool spring day during the second semester of the 2012-2013 school year, Los Alamos High School had what at first seemed like a regular fire drill. Little did Marilyn Fabry know, however, that it was a fake fire drill — a secret plan to stage a pep rally for the LAHS mathematics teacher who was stoically battling cancer.
As the alarms buzzed, students clad in orange congregated on the steps of the amphitheater by the new building, waving signs with inspirational words for Fabry, determined to surprise and support her.
A massive tubular orange air-puppet named George rippled in the breeze, a gleaming smile on his face. As the crowd grew, a group of teachers scuttled around, plugging in speakers and making last minute preparations for the surprise.
“It was probably the best kept secret on this campus,” said LAHS principal Sandra Warnock, in retrospect.
Then the double doors at the bottom of the amphitheater opened and out came Fabry, unsuspecting and sporting a knitted hat, pushed in a wheelchair by her daughter Stephanie Pittman, who also works at LAHS.