Strike a pose: Teacher gets into the school spirit with fashion show

Camille M. Doty
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  • Dillard's will host a fashion show for Breast Cancer survivors on Oct. 20.

Models waited beside the velvet rope as they prepared to make their fashion debut.

Saturday morning, a group of 40 fashionistas and gentlemen ripped the runway Texas-style in the center of Victoria Mall.

B.J. DeBord loved the star-studded treatment preparing for the Dillard's Back-to-School Fashion Show.

Her blond pixie cut was adorned in soft, gold shimmer, her bright eyes popped with a dash of smoky black liner and her peacock-feathered jewelry made a statement.

"The bigger the earrings, the smaller the waistline," she said.

This 52-year-old Edna resident said being a part of the entertainment helps to kick off the school year in style.

"I'm ready to go back to school and get ready for football," she said.

DeBord teaches sixth- and seventh-graders in the Ganado Independent School District and coaches the middle school cheerleaders.

The mother of three enlisted the help of her cheer squad to get the 200-member crowd excited with their opening routine.

Dillard's hosted its first fall season show of 2012 while staying true to the school theme. Models from the various scenes such as "back-to -school cool," "fun day out," and "rock your polo" showcased the must-have looks for any occasion wearing designers Jessica Simpson, Ralph Lauren and Karen Kane.

Sales Manager Mary Grace Perez said students and teachers modeling gives a sense of realness to the show.

She said giving the six instructors complimentary makeovers is a way for the department store to reward those who help to mold children's lives.

"You can be the best parent, but teachers can make all the difference," Perez said.

The mother of two also said she helped provide tips to the volunteer participants.

"We go to school to learn fashion, so we need to teach it as well," said Perez.

Victoria East High School teacher Jennifer Escobedo learned to step outside her comfort zone.

"I hardly wear makeup, but she (Perez) put me out of my box," she said.

Escobedo, who teaches algebra, didn't boast to her family about the modeling opportunity. "I wanted to keep a low-key profile," she said.

Although one student and fellow model singled her out in the crowd.

Michael Cartwright is not one of Escobedo's students, but he's heard praises about her from friends. The 14-year-old Goliad youth rocked a navy polo T-Shirt, complementary belt, cargo shorts and Sperry shoes.

He could have done without one fashion accessory, "I hate wearing makeup," he said. The quick tackle took one for the team for the sake of fashion.

Michael said his athletic experience prepared him for the catwalk.

"Being in front of the crowd you can't get nervous," he said. "You just can't let it phase you."

DeBord didn't mind the limelight, in fact, she makes her own fashion forward choices.

"I'm surprised she didn't pick zebra," said Mikaela Skalicky, one of her students.

The 12-year-old Ganado cheerleader said DeBord keeps the class entertained with jokes and animal prints. Mikaela said she was proud of her teacher for being a good sport.

DeBord said she will always remember strutting on the runway and will hold her fashion keepsake close to her heart.

"Every time I put on this shirt, I'll have a flashback of this day," she said. "It was all good."