Staff Halloween Costume Competition Stirs up Good-Natured Rivalries

The VAPA department dressed up as social studies teacher Wind Ralston. According to music teacher Desmond Stevens, he attempted to grow a beard similar to Ralston’s for the costume.

Halloween is not only for little kids. With creative costumes and an interdepartmental competition, the staff demonstrated their passion for Halloween. 

Every year teachers from all departments dress up for Halloween and compete in a friendly costume competition. This year,  the staff voted among themselves and chose the math department as the winner of best group costume for their theme of different Will Ferrell movie characters, after years of the social studies and VAPA departments winning. 

“Historically, the math department has not fared well in these competitions as it is highly competitive amongst the departments,” math teacher Nicole Larson said. “So, this just felt like our time to shine and finally redeem ourselves after years of winning ‘Is That Really A Costume?’ We just went all out with this one.” 

The administration team dressed up as characters from “The Wizard of Oz.” Additionally, the social studies department dressed as the album cover of Drake’s “Certified Lover Boy.” 

Regardless of the fun nature of dressing up, for the staff the process begins early in the school year. Social studies teacher Veronica Grammier, who became a teacher at Portola High this school year, said she was surprised by the competitive nature shared by the departments. 

“It’s literally one of the first conversations when the school year starts as everybody started thinking about what you want to do for Halloween,” Grammier said. “This school in particular, the teachers take Halloween very seriously.” 

“Historically, the math department has not fared well in these competitions as it is highly competitive amongst the departments. So, this just felt like our time to shine and finally redeem ourselves after years of winning ‘Is That Really A Costume?’”

— Nicole Larson

Winning the Most Hilarious award, the VAPA department dressed up as social studies teacher Wind Ralston to poke fun at their competitors in the social studies department, according to music teacher Desmond Stevens. 

“The VAPA department and the social studies department have a long-running Halloween feud over who is the most creative and best dressed in terms of costume department, and so the last couple years, we’ve been going back and forth trading wins and losses,” Stevens said. “Mr. Ralston is always good for a good kind of ribbing and jab with us, so we thought we would get back at him as a department and dress up like him as our Halloween costume.” 

Putting aside the results or friendly feuds that came from the competition, dressing up is a way for staff members to have fun and connect with their fellow colleagues

“Overall, I feel like because there are so many new teachers this year, this brought a nice sense of camaraderie to the department and it allows for good camaraderie between all the departments because we are competing against each other,” Larson said. “I think it was really good for teacher morale.”