Middle School Celebrates Halloween with Long-Standing Traditions


Mr. Crisafi

Eighth graders Camilo Saiz (left) and Matthew Roundtree pose in front of the bleachers as they wait for the Lower School Halloween Parade to begin.

Astounding. Stunning. Incredible. These were just some of the adjectives used to describe the costumes students wore, and the pumpkins they decorated this Halloween as part of The Benjamin School’s celebration. TBS has a long history of observing the traditions of Halloween,  the most famous of which is the Lower School Halloween Parade which was held on October 31 this year. During the parade, seniors who are members of the 14-Year Club (they have been at Benjamin for 14 years) dress in costumes and escort the elementary students around Kennerly Field. Family, friends, and Middle School students watch the parade from the bleachers which takes place annually.  

Mr. Crisafi
Although they didn’t coordinate their costumes, sixth graders Arthur Wolff (left) and Nathan Anderson are a perfect pair as Doc Brown and Marty McFly from the movie “Back to the Future.”

Middle School students have been allowed to dress up in recent years as well. This year, the costumes ranged from the traditional (Harry Potter and Marvel characters) to the creative (a few girls wore halos and green t-shirts with pictures of avocadoes on them – they were “holy guacamole”) to the bizarre (inflatable babies).

In addition, the Middle School hosted its 9th Annual Pumpkin-Decorating Contest on October 31, a competition in which all Middle School advisories participate. The rules are simple. The pumpkin can not be carved or punctured in any way, shape, or form. Also, each advisory had to purchase and decorate it’s pumpkin based on the theme of the contest (this year’s theme was Halloween).  Afterwards, anonymous judges decided which (witch?) pumpkin was superior to the others. The advisees with the best pumpkin in each grade level won blue and orange slips, which added points to their Field Day teams.

Many of the advisories had a multitude of ideas, making it challenging to choose what project to create. “We had a group of folks that were very divided in what they wanted to do, so we actually Google imaged a bunch of painted pumpkins, [and] we did a blind survey,” said seventh-grade science teacher Mrs. Stephanie Oster. “We had two [pumpkin ideas because] my advisory was split into two [groups]. Both groups [did] their own design for their pumpkin. The best pumpkin [was] entered into the school competition,” said Oster, whose advisory decided on a Cookie Monster pumpkin.

Middle school math teacher Mr. Matthew Oster’s advisees created a “Trump-kin,” a pumpkin that looked like President Donald Trump, complete with a wavy wig. “The students came up with the idea for the pumpkin,” said Oster. “They came up with several ideas, and then they voted [for the best idea],” he said.

Chinese teacher Ms. Kimberly Latimer had a similar way of choosing a pumpkin, “[The students] picked Lil Pump,” a rapper from Miami, Florida, she said. “I let the students do the whole thing. They made recommendations [on how to decorate the pumpkin.] They got some yarn [for the hair.] I made a pair of glasses. Then they got a marker to do tattoos.” Unfortunately, none of these teachers won for their grade levels, but they all had fun creating their pumpkins together.

For the sixth grade, both Mrs. Rachel Rudner’s advisory and Mrs. Marci York’s advisory won with their Winnie the Pooh and Papa Smurf pumpkins,

Darian Salehi
Ms. McAllister’s advisory created a witch pumpkin that took first place for the eighth grade.

respectively. For the seventh grade, Ms. Diana Rios’ advisory took first place with its bat pumpkin, and for eighth grade, Ms. Nancy McAllister’s advisory won with a pumpkin decorated to look like a witch. “I really didn’t have to do much,” said Rudner “We looked up pictures and [the students] all just agreed on this [idea, which was Winnie the Pooh.] Since we never had to vote we could put all of our effort and time on this one idea. It all came together well.”

Even though only four groups came out victorious, the pumpkin-decorating contest was an enjoyable experience for all to get into the Halloween spirit.