In the run-up to the December holidays, something noteworthy transpired at Salida Middle School, and The Ark Magazine is quite proud to share it: The 10th Annual Madame Bahn’s Wax Museum.

Samantha Bahn is a 5th-grade teacher at SMS who has found a wonderful way to encourage her students to imagine history and culture while practicing their theatrical and public speaking skills. Public figures from recent to more distant history that have had an impact on our culture were all fair game as the children selected characters to portray for the December 21 event.


Jaden Tidwell as George Washington


Lucia Zettler as Alex Morgan


Harper Hartman as Narcissa Whitman

“I was inspired by how many strong women figures were chosen this year,” commented Bahn.


Kali Banghart as Marie Curie

One young gentleman arrived as Pocahontas. Other students imagined themselves in the roles of Marie Curie, Amelia Earhart, Anne Frank, Narcissa Whitman, Alex Morgan and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. There was a distinguished George Washington, a fantastic J.K. Rowling, and the Titanic disaster was represented by both an unsinkable Molly Brown and an eminently sinkable Captain Edward Smith. American Sniper Chris Kyle was represented along with author Jeff Kinney. The kids were encouraged to make their own choices and were charmingly creative with costumes, affectations and knowledge of their subjects.

Students from other grades and class parents were treated to examples of what actions it takes to achieve notoriety and were also shown the world through the minds of 5th-graders. Bahn’s event has, for years, helped to strengthen the creative muscles of our little citizens and brighten their understanding of the cultural forces that surround them. Like music teachers Andre Wilkins and Trevor “Bones” Davis, both of whom the Ark has featured in stories recently, Bahn deserves our thanks!


Carter Drake as Chris Kyle


Tayla Young as J.K. Rowling


Sylvie Wolkenbreit as Ruth Bader Ginsburg