What: Isabella O’Connor, 10, compete for a job as the Today Show’s kid reporter
Where: Today Show
When: 9 a.m. hour Monday.
To vote: Voting starts after her segment at http://today.msnbc.msn.com.
See more:: Watch an advertisement for the contest featuring Isabella: http://tiny.cc/yLgsz
Matt, Meredith, Ann, Al and Isabella?
Though the first four are already the dream team on NBC’s Today Show, Seacrest Country Day School fifth-grader Isabella O’Connor is hoping to add her name to the list.
Isabella has been chosen as one of 16 finalists for the Today Show’s Today’s Kid Reporter contest. The Marco Island native will be on the morning show on Monday competing against three other students in the first of four segments to choose a child correspondent.
“I’m really excited,” said Isabella, 10. “Ever since I was a very little girl, I have liked being on the stage. I think it will be really fun to be on national TV.”
To enter the contest, Isabella made a one minute video of herself talking about a subject in the news. In her case, she spoke about flu shots and nasal mist.
“I watch the Today Show every morning and I just tried to do what they do,” she said.
Isabella saw herself on a segment advertising for the contest.
She thought that was cool enough, but then she received a phone call Thursday night. It was a Today Show staff member telling her she was a finalist.
“Her mother e-mailed me and I called (Isabella) right away,” said Valerie McFadden, Isabella’s fifth grade teacher. “We screamed and jumped up and down. I am just so excited for her.
“She’s great. She actively participates in class. She’s a very good friend. ... She’s very dramatic and she loves to sing.”
Isabella will head to New York on Sunday evening to participate in Monday’s contest. She said she’s a little nervous, but her enthusiasm for the trip is palpable.
“I hope I get to meet Natalie Morales because she’s my mom’s very favorite,” she said. “I would like to be a reporter, although I would prefer to do my own talk show. Or maybe I would be a vet because I like animals.”
It’s technically not Isabella’s first time on the Today Show. She did once stand outside the studio as an audience member.
After her segment airs Monday, viewers can log on to the Today Show’s Web site to vote for their favorite kid reporter. The Today Show will have four children competing against one another for four weeks before declaring a winner.
If Isabella wins, she gets to be a correspondent on the Today Show for a day and wins a cruise for herself and three guests.
“I think I will take my mom and my dad and maybe my grandma or grandpa,” she said.
Isabella’s class at Seacrest spent Thursday afternoon making posters to hold up at the school’s flag assembly Friday morning. The school will celebrate Isabella’s accomplishment and give her a warm send off during the ceremony.
The signs had messages, such as “Seacrest loves Isabella” and “NBC loves Seacrest.”
Classmate Molly Young said she is happy for Isabella.
“It’s really exciting. I have known her since kindergarten and when we were in kindergarten, she would make everyone laugh. I knew she would be a star when she got older,” she said.
Classmate Monica Morrand, 10, said Isabella was just interviewing classmates like a reporter in class Wednesday.
“She’s really good at doing it,” Monica said. “She’s just talented. She will completely and absolutely win.”
The fifth-graders at Seacrest will gather Monday to watch Isabella make her Today Show debut.
“She’s going to win, 110 percent,” said McFadden. “She makes Seacrest proud. Our motto is ‘Be the best you can be’ and she represents that. She’s just the best.”