Frey Elementary School Holds Flaming Finale to Career Week—A Fire Breather

Frey Elementary School students react to seeing “Jimmy Pyro” Cushingham’s fire act as the finale to the school’s career and Red Ribbon Week on October 20.

During career week, Frey Elementary School students heard from parents and community members about a range of careers from public safety and finance to careers in the medical field. However, one Cobb graduate showed the students how following their dreams may spark an unusual career path.

“Jimmy Pyro” Cushingham breathes out fire as part of his fire act during the finale to Frey Elementary School’s career and Red Ribbon Week on October 20.

The students lit up as “Jimmy Pyro” Cushingham twirled a blazing stick of fire. Some gasped, but many shrieked with excitement as Jimmy Pyro ate a flaming ball of fire. Their mouths dropped open in astonishment as their career week guest
performer breathed out a flame of fire like a dragon on an animated movie.

“It made me super nervous when he put the fire in his mouth,” confessed fifth grader Carys. “It made me nervous when he put the fire down his leg. It was really cool because I have never seen anything like that before.”

Although Carys thinks it would be cool to try to learn how to breath fire like Jimmy Pyro, she understands that safety comes first.

“You definitely cannot just pick it up and start swinging fire around,” Carys warned. “You have to be safe. [Jimmy Pyro] practiced for six years.”

Jimmy Pyro told the crowd of students that it took him years of practice before he ever lit his first prop on fire.

“I explained the amount of safety,” added Jimmy Pyro, a graduate of Lassiter High School. “There is an extreme amount of safety required to do what I do.”

Fifth grader Zach didn’t know he was going to see a fire-eater as the finale to his school’s career week. However, he did see a fire extinguisher on the outdoor stage and knew the school staff had safety covered.

“He told them not to try anything at all with fire,” Principal Jason Cathey emphasized. “Fire is very real and very dangerous.”

During career week, Principal Cathey and the school counselors wanted to expose the Frey students to careers they may not know anything about. This year, Jimmy Pyro topped the list of most unique careers. Last year, it was a motorcycle stunt rider.

Frey Elementary School students react to seeing “Jimmy Pyro” Cushingham’s fire act as the finale to the school’s career and Red Ribbon Week on October 20.

“The most important thing is to give kids experiences they might not have gotten otherwise and spark that little bit of a flame for each them to find interests in things that they are passionate about,” Principal Cathey added.

The fire performance had a special meaning for the Frey students, who are called the “Frey Flames.” Their school’s theme is “Flames of Frey, Aim High.” That’s exactly what Principal Cathey wants Frey students to do.

Tying career week into Red Ribbon week, Principal Cathey also rallied the students to “Look at what you can be if you aim high and are drug free.”

The students may not follow Jimmy Pyro’s flame-throwing ways and become fire breathers, but Principal Cathey hopes the fire demonstration encourages the students to find their own passion. He wants the students to recognize that just like it took Jimmy Pyro years to achieve his goal of being a fire performer, they are going to have to work hard to achieve their dreams.

Frey Elementary School students react to seeing “Jimmy Pyro” Cushingham’s fire act as the finale to the school’s career and Red Ribbon Week on October 20.

Jimmy Pyro, who travels the world with his fire show, also has a second career in finance. Some of the “Frey Flames” may end up with dual careers too.

Although Jimmy Pyro attended Keheley Elementary School, another Cobb County school, as a child instead of Frey Elementary School, performing at Frey felt like coming home.

“It was excellent to be able to perform for the kids. It was wonderful to see their reactions,” the fire breather said. “It is wonderful to be able to give back to the same community that I grew up in.”