A chronicle of Senior Dress-Up day past and present

Class of 2023 Senior Dress up Day

Briana Munoz Diaz, Staff Reporter

Senior Dress-Up Day has always been around the day of Halloween. What is the senior dress-up day? The senior dress-up day is a chance for seniors to be able to dress up in their favorite Halloween costumes and have the option to show off their costumes to the whole school by walking around the school two times so everyone gets a good look. This has been a tradition for many years. 

English teacher Kristen Hamilton has seen a number of dress-up days over the years.

“I’ve always enjoyed the student dress-up day and seeing all the creative costumes, but it seems like this year fewer students participated than our previous years,” Hamilton said. “In previous years I remember when students used to plan and make really elaborate group costumes.”

Hamilton noted that she’s had students in the past who have not had their proposed costumes approved. This is because of a current rule that states school administrators must give students approval for their costumes before they can wear them. As a result, some have put less time and energy into their costumes. Back in the early 2000s, students used to bring in props and vehicles on wheels.

Special education teacher Neil Bergstrom said he missed seeing Assistant Principal Pat Lemieux driving the “Zamboni” as in years past. Bergstrom noted that the costumes “were great,” observing that each grade has its own personality.

“I wouldn’t say it was any better or worse, but it was a good turnout,” Bergstrom said. “Every year is different.”

One reason seniors gave for not participating was that some students weren’t sure about the costume guidelines and did not know what they could and could not wear.

This year’s seniors were sent an email explaining that they had to fill out a form to be able to participate and walk. Out of 125 seniors, only 30 completed the form, but the administration did allow all 78 students to participate. 

Former Spotlight reporter Rachel Hart, a Class of 2008 alumna, wrote an article her senior year called “Fun is Not Okay on Senior Dress up Day.” In this story, she explains how administrators started to apply restrictions and rules to this event and that some students felt that it wasn’t fair that the class of 2006 students was allowed to wear and bring any costumes and props. Students back then said, “now it almost seems pointless to dress up for this event.” 

Another article by 2013 alumnus Jon Melhorn noted there was concern that Senior Dress Up Day would be canceled due to concerns over previous year’s costumes that were shared among staff members who felt they were “overly sexualized, racially insensitive, or inappropriate.” Dr. Nicholas Young, the superintendent at the time, and Ted McCarthy, the assistant principal, said that putting an end to the annual event wasn’t really on the table, but that there would be some restrictions to ensure students’ costumes didn’t cross the line. 

“We wanted to make sure Senior Dress Up Day was a positive community-building activity,” McCarthy said back in 2012. 

While some observed that there were fewer students participating in Senior Dress Up Day this year, it’s worth noting that the Class of 2023 class is smaller than classes from 15 or 20 years years ago. Compared to others and there weren’t any reminders for seniors to remember to bring any costumes or it could be that some families don’t celebrate Halloween.

By Briana Munoz Diaz