On Friday, October 19th, Rumson Fair Haven held its annual Hall Decorating contest, pitting each grade level against each other to celebrate the end to “Spirit Week,” and set the stage for the anticipated Homecoming Game that evening.
“I think it’s a unique tradition to RFH and everyone can look forward to it,” says Mrs.Handerhan.
Ever since Mrs.Handerhan’s first year as principal in 2007, Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors, have spent weeks organizing and working each year to develop a creative theme for their hallways.
For as long as Mrs.Handerhan can remember, all grades have been energized and eager to participate in the contest. Before school, all students are welcomed to help beautify their hallway with the pre-made decorations. The infamous judges; Mrs.Handerhan, Mr.Lanzalatto, and Mr. Alworth, vote on the “best” hallway and declare a winner at the end of the day.
But what does it take to win this traditional contest? Mrs.Handerhan revealed some “do’s and don’ts” while creating a theme for a hallway:
“The judges and I really look for a clear theme, a lot of effort, and the sense of inclusion with the entire class,” says Handerhan.
When asked about what themes stood out to her the most, she said the class of 2013 has had very creative themes such as “sophomores in the city” and “juniors in space”. Mrs.Handerhan liked the fact that all students’ names were somehow decorated on the theme because it got everyone involved. The sense of inclusion is a “must-have” on a decorated hallway because it demonstrates the accepting nature of the RFH class community. Quantity of decorations is also valued because it demonstrates effort and enhances the chosen theme.
When it comes to “don’ts” of the Contest, Mrs.Handerhan suggests the seniors next year stay away from the traditional “purple explosion” theme because of how many times it has been executed in the past. With the only limit of creativity being fire code-related, preventing ceiling decorations, there are essentially no rules for the number of decorations.
“We’re looking for something new each year, with a lot of hard work,” says Mrs.Handerhan. “I’m excited to see what the class of 2014 is going to bring to the table next year.”
With the class of 2013’s record of 1st place the past two years, they were again successful in winning this year’s competition. Their theme reigned supreme, as judges and students walked along the red carpet among the “stars” of the senior class.
Regardless of which grade wins the Hall Decorating contest each year, the competitive nature of the contest demonstrates RFH’s energetic community, especially during Spirit Week. With the sense of inclusion and RFH pride that the contest brings, Mrs.Handerhan believes that each year’s contest will undoubtedly “set the stage” for the Homecoming Carnival and of course, the football game.