When the 23rd annual high school principals' lip-sync competition was over March 27, Patterson High's David Stubbs couldn't hide his feelings.
"I am very disappointed. Very disappointed and sad for my students because they put a lot of work into this," said Stubbs that Saturday night, when his school did not place in one of the top three spots. "A lot of the principals told us that we should have won a place, but what else can we do?"
Fortunately for Stubbs and his students, there is no need to do anything else. Human error has changed the outcome.
José R. Rodríguez, president and chief executive officer of El Concilio, announced Monday that Patterson was the rightful champion. "The night of the championship we announced the wrong winners," he said.
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Rodríguez said the scoring was correct; Patterson simply was left off when the list of finishers was written on a separate sheet of paper for the announcer to read.
"We felt really bad, and so last Thursday we called all of the schools to let them know who the actual winners were," Rodríguez said.
Sanger, the announced champion March 27, drops to second and Clovis West is third.
This was the first time for such a mistake in the history of the competition.
"It's one of those things that are very unfortunate," Rodríguez said. "We had to find a way to fix it, and the best way to address it is to award the prize money that we announced that night and also award those who won."
The top three schools take home $2,500, $2,000 and $1,500, respectively, for scholarships. In this case, Patterson and Sanger each will receive $2,500.
All schools get to keep the trophies handed out March 27. Patterson will get its own trophy when Rodríguez visits the school May 7.
Rodríguez was relieved by all the teams' reaction to the mistake.
"They were all very understanding. They said we had nothing to apologize for and were grateful that we continued to support and organize the lip-sync competition," he said. "That showed integrity on part of the agency, and the schools took it as a good example to share with their students on what to do when you make a mistake, how you need to recognize it and fix it."
It was the first championship for Patterson and the first time since Central Catholic won in 2006 that a Stanislaus County school claimed victory. Clovis West had won the past three years.