www.ukalumni.net article

Posted on: 02-7-2011 Posted in: Uncategorized

A+ performance: couple delivers education mixed with entertainment to young children
Matt Hogg ’04 BE, ’05 ED and Jenny Fleming Hogg ’07 ED, former UK mascot and cheerleader, teach children in a unique setting. (http://www.ukalumni.net/s/1052/index-no-right.aspx?sid=1052&gid=1&pgid=2085)

It sounds like a plot right out of a novel: a university cheerleader meets the guy who plays the university mascot; they fall in love; start a company together; get married; and then take the show on the road. Sounds unbelievable? Not to Jenny Fleming ’07 ED and Matt Hogg ’04 BE, ’05 ED. They’re living that scenario right now and are growing their business, Remix Education, which helps young children learn important concepts by participating in entertaining assemblies. Typically those performances are held during gatherings at schools and churches around the country.

Matt, who hails from Berea, earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing and then a master’s degree in business education. He always loved physical activity and sought out being a mascot while at UK, namely Scratch. After graduation, he continued his mascot career with the Washington Wizards basketball team, as well as some minor league baseball teams.

Jenny is no stranger to physically-demanding choreographed routines either. She was a UK cheerleader while at the same time earning her bachelor’s degree in elementary education. The Snellville, Ga., native was on the cheerleading squads that won the Universal Cheerleaders Association National Championships in 2004, 2005 and 2006.

It was only natural that Matt and Jenny would meet because the same person, Jomo Thompson, coaches the UK mascots as well as the UK cheerleaders. As their friendship developed, so did an idea to combine their talents, help children and create a business for themselves.

“This was Matt’s idea,” says Jenny. “He got the inspiration from a similar program he became aware of when he was with the Washington Wizards as the mascot. He loves mascoting and entertainment is such a big part of that. He had wanted to do something incorporating the entertainment that a mascot can bring to an event but also have a purpose for it. So our business combines education and entertainment for children.”

Typically at these assemblies, Matt gets into a mascot suit and Jenny acts as the emcee of the program. Each performance generally runs about 45 minutes. They also employ several other part-time individuals, some who are no strangers to mascoting, like Ross Turner, a UK pharmacy student who currently is one of the students playing the UK Wildcat at games and functions.

Remix Education offers a variety of programs for schools and church groups to select, such as anti-drug awareness, bully prevention, Kentucky C.A.T.S. testing, and gospel programs. For example, during the C.A.T.S. testing program, the act focuses on reminding the students to get a good night sleep before the test, eat a good breakfast and come to the test prepared. This information is delivered to the students in a fun, entertaining way.

“My favorite part of this is when we share the gospel to church groups. We teach kids and help them to grow and learn what’s important in life,” Jenny says. “Also, we get to work together and make our own schedule.”

Matt, who also played the mascot for the Lexington Legends when he was a junior at UK, acknowledges that his antics in a bulky costume present a physically demanding challenge, but there are tricks to it. “There are techniques you can use so that the mascot is still moving and being funny but it’s not taking as much out of you as one would think. But there are definitely times when it gets extremely hot and you get very tired,” says Matt.

They enjoy the business they are creating for themselves, particularly getting to interact with the kids after the church programs because the children don’t have to immediately return to a classroom, like they do at school assemblies. “We get to hang out with the kids afterward, they have their pictures taken with us and get autographs from us,” he says.

Even though the business is based in Lexington, the couple and their employees put on performances around the country. Most of their new business comes from word-of-mouth or their website www.remixeducation.com

Jenny says another good thing about the lifestyle they are creating for themselves is that it allows them to be flexible with their schedules and take time off between performances, so they can travel or rest.


About the Author

Executive Director of Remix Education. Dedicated husband and father to three beautiful children.