Homecoming hallway decorations show spirit

October 16, 2015

With the advent of another Homecoming Game, Spirit Week starts off with the annual hallway decorating contest.  Pictures from each hallway are attached with additional details in the write-up.

Photo Credit: Githmie Goonatilleke
The theme for this year’s freshmen class was Fright Night Freshmen and it was clearly shown with the spiderwebs, ghosts and gravestones decorations.

Fright Night Freshmen get spooky for spirit week

Glen Rock schools were closed for students on Monday, Oct. 12, but the freshman class did not take the day off. The class spent its Columbus Day decorating its homecoming hallway to fit its theme as the Fright Night Freshmen. 

The Class of 2019 voted for the theme during freshmen orientation. The other options were Fantasy Freshmen or Funky Freshman.

Unlike the upperclassmen, the freshmen did not have time to plan for their hallway over the summer. The freshmen chose their theme at the beginning of the school year and started to accumulate resources two weeks ago. But, they do have the same amount of time as the other grades to physically decorate the hallway, which is usually between 3 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. 

“It was all a very rushed process,” said Catherine ‘Cat’ Merkle, the freshman class president. “I think we did a pretty good job considering the time.”

Around 40 freshmen showed up to help decorate the hallway on Monday.

“I think, first and foremost, that they’re new to the school, so all the upperclassmen have been through it and they understand the time-frame of what needs to go,” said Mr. Brian Montalbano, the freshman class co-adviser and Latin teacher. “For the freshmen, we had to elect officers who would then lead the charge with this, so it took us the time to get those situated. Then, we could get that ball rolling as well.” 

“Basically, it was Halloween-themed, so it was really easy to get decorations and get ideas because it’s Halloween time,” Merkle said.

Merkle’s vision was to have the hallway be scarier than Halloween. She wanted more zombies and fewer pumpkins.

The hallway consisted of caution tape, ghosts made out of garbage bags, gravestones on lockers, spider webs on the ceiling and a stuffed animal graveyard. The graveyard comprised ripped stuffed animals that were placed over lockers in small jail cells. 

Montalbano believes the freshman class is very proactive with a lot of good ideas and energy.

Montalbano plans to get “integrated in the school and get to know the student body a little better” because this is only his second year teaching in Glen Rock.

As a Latin teacher, he only sees a limited number of students in the school. As the class adviser, though, he hopes to interact with a larger community of students.

Sophomores take a trip to Japan

On Wednesday, Oct. 14, the sophomore class transformed its hallway into a Japanese escape.  The “Samurai Sophomores” spent hours after school on Tuesday perfecting its second homecoming hallway.

The theme was chosen in June, giving the Class of 2018 months to prepare unlike during its freshman year.  The new class officers brainstormed a list of possible themes and then narrowed it down, and the students voted online out of four choices.

Ms. Jacqueline Stoller, a special education teacher and one of the sophomore class advisers along with Mr. Mario Porciello, felt that this year’s hallway was significantly improved from last year’s Fluorescent Freshmen theme.

“Last year, I think we did pretty well for our first year without any experience or time to prepare. However, this year I think we did an exceptional job for second year students,” Stoller said.  “Students put forth a great deal of effort in the planning and execution of the hallway.”

This year’s success can be attributed to more organization.  The sophomores had many meetings to plan out the hallway and students had individual responsibilities that they worked on independently.

Class officers Kevin Callahan, Eric Tymoshenko, Olivia Traphagen, Alex Walter and Madeline Dill helped keep the focus on Tuesday night when decorating the hallway.  Help from the entire grade was essential, as well.  This year, more students showed up to assemble the hallway and demonstrated more pride for their class by doing so.

“I think this year we were more prepared in terms of decorating the hallway and spreading the word for everyone to come and pitch in.  We also had more experience and more time over the summer to plan and coordinate what needed to be done,” said sophomore Laura Yuan.  “Everyone worked really well together and we had a much better turnout compared to last year. I think the hallway looks great.”

The hallway exhibited many elements of nature and had unique touches, such as origami cranes and strung lights.

“I think our hallway has a very soothing effect,” Stoller said.  “We incorporated a lot of nature into our theme.”

Spirit Week allows for each grade level so show school spirit and work together as a team.

“My favorite part about decorating the hallway is definitely that everyone works together to make it happen. We started working as soon as class ended and cleaned up at around 8:45,” Yuan said.  “So many people came and with everyone contributing the hallway came together even better than we had imagined.”

Juniors turn on the jukebox

The Class of 2017 traveled back in time to the 50s for its jukebox themed hallway on Thursday, Oct. 15.

The Jukebox Juniors voted on its theme at the sophomore semi-formal this past June.

“I love the initiative the officers took to really plan out the hallway,” said Ms. Sita Patel, a Spanish teacher and one of the junior class advisers.  “They took onus over the project and have been working hard to execute their vision.”

Planning for the hallway began in July with just the class officers.  Towards the end of August, public meetings were held for everyone in the grade so decorations could be made for the hallway and to get any other input from classmates.  As homecoming approached, the officers and other class members came to school in the evening twice a week to continue to work on decorations.

“We were quite prepared for decorating; we just put the decorations up instead of spending any time making the decorations.  In the past, we did everything the week-of,” Patel said.

Junior class president Lizzie Alba was thrilled with the way the hallway turned out this year.

“I think this hallway is a lot better than last year’s hallway because we didn’t do it all the night of,” she said.  “We actually prepared for it, so it gave us more time to put everything up and let us have time to make last minute adjustments.”

Highlights of the hallway included a wooden jukebox, a diner set-up and multiple posters lining the walls depicting different ‘50s scenes.

“My favorite part of the hallway is the poster of the gumball machine because we used rainbow pompoms as the gum balls so they pop off the page,” Alba said.

Alba, along with the other officers David Belkin, Anne Nebbia, Kevin Sheahen and Megan Tatigian and advisers Ms. Patel and Ms. Ammirata, led the group on Wednesday evening. However, such a task could not have been accomplished without the help of the entire grade.

“My classmates were a big help this year because they didn’t only come to set up the actual hallway, they came to previous meetings to make posters and other decorations,” Alba said. “Overall they were a huge help.”

Seniors step into Sesame Street

The Class of 2016, who once were the Fudgy Freshmen, will exit as the Sesame Street Seniors.

The hallway was decorated Thursday night until 10 p.m. Before the decorations began, the class advisers were optimistic about the turnout.  

“We think there will be a lot of seniors because it is their last time to get creative and help with the hallway,” said Ms. Rochelle Forstot, one of the teacher advisers for the senior grade.

She was right. Many seniors came to decorate their last homecoming hallway.

Kaitlin Stansel, a senior class officer, was particularly proud of her class’s “last one.”  She said that there were “a lot of cool aspects” that were put into place.

In order for it all to work, though, the senior class relied on help from many of its members. If students could not come directly after school, they came at night (after sports or clubs) to help.

For Forstot, who has been the adviser for four years, the turnout met her expectations.

“People do what they can to help,” Forstot said.

The hallway includes baby pictures of the seniors on the lockers, all the different Sesame Street characters, a 3-D display of the storefront, bubble machine and balloon arches and other artwork and displays. 

The theme this year is bittersweet according to the class officers and advisers.  

“It is definitely a happy theme,” Forstot said. “Since the seniors are leaving high school, they can reflect on their childhood.”

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