David GallianettiDavid Gallianetti

If you attend a Tom Petty concert within 200 miles of Sheboygan, chances are David will be there. After all, he's seen the Florida rock icon more than 20 times.

But when Petty belts out his up-tempo mega hit, "American Girl," don't expect David to start stompin', swingin' or even swayin'. Because while his passion for music is on the highest of planes, he does not dance. At all. Ever.

"I love all kinds of music, and have been to hundreds of concerts," says David. But I'm an introvert and a listener, not a participant. People watching me at a concert probably think I'm not having fun. But I am. I feel the music. I just don't move to it."

Well, that's about to change.

"This is as far outside my comfort zone as I've ever gone," he admits.

Why, you might ask, is this self-described introvert putting himself out there?

"I'm doing it because it's for a cause as dear to me as any," says Lakeland's director of external relations, who formerly served as Sheboygan Area School District Board of Education president and today is vice president. "Lakeland and its students and the Sheboygan Area School District mean the world to me."

When you ask David about his 16-year run at Lakeland, he inevitably infuses the word "blessed" into his answer. Known simply as "G" to LU's students, he is the school's most recognizable employee.

"The Lakeland kids are incredible," he says. "And if stepping out of my comfort zone helps them in any way, I am happy to do it. You meet these kids at various stages of their lives. Some are pretty polished, good to go, not in need of much help. But many do need a little support. The ability, in some small way, to help a student get on the right career path, find the right major or just have a better day feels amazing.

"When you're an adult who has the opportunity to plug into these kids' energy every day, your day immediately turns for the better. I mean, how can it not?"

Now that's a tune worth dancing to.

David is sponsored by Sun Graphics Media and has chosen Sheboygan Public Education Foundation as his recipient charity. If David is the Gala champion, his charity will receive $10,000.

David will perform a Freestyle routine with his dance partner, Pamela Cribbs.