Sweater Day 2: Electric Boogaloo


(From left to right) English Teacher Marie Salamone, Head Librarian Christine Heaton and Library Aid Alana Taylor stand in front of the Sweater Day prize cart. The second annual Sweater Day was a success! Enjoy the holiday break, HB!

Emma Stoll, Features Editor

Following its success last year, Sweater Day is making its second round here at HBHS! The big event took place Friday, Dec. 20, and featured a whole new round of festive sweaters and bingo-board fun for students and teachers alike.

Sweater Day made its debut last year, thanks to the hard work and organizational efforts of school librarian Christine Heaton, and was an immediate hit. Teachers enjoyed showing off their variety of festive, funny and colorful sweaters, and students got to enjoy the challenge of matching pairs of teachers wearing identical sweaters. To do so, they used bingo boards with pictures of the sweaters on them, and prizes were available for the students that completed the bingo boards by the end of the day. “Getting to wear a sweater is cool,” said Jamie Johannsen, a social studies teacher who’s participating for the second year in a row. She’s especially excited for this year’s Sweater Day because this year she has a partner for the bingo challenge.

Alana Taylor, library aide, is also excited to participate this year, but for a different reason. “I was on maternity leave last year for Sweater Day, so this is my first time doing it, so I’m excited to get to be a part of it this year!” said Taylor. Sweater Day creates a sense of community in the school by giving students and teachers a fun activity to participate in, which celebrates the upcoming holidays.

Of course, none of this would have been possible without the sensational Christine Heaton, who created Sweater Day with the help of several faculty members. “It started on Facebook, as many weird things do,” said Heaton. Facebook turned into “yeah, let’s do it,” and so she created an Excel spreadsheet in order to start organizing all of the enthusiastic faculty members into a cohesive unit. For two months, Heaton and the staff worked to bring Sweater Day to life, using the spreadsheet to match up partners and create bingo boards for the students. “We made sure to make a bingo board that had pictures of all of the sweaters, so that the Life Skills kids could participate as well, and the ELL kids could participate using the visual board,” said Heaton, explaining its importance. “I was just trying to include so many people, because if you set something up that is only meant for a few, without intending to you become exclusionary. And that’s not what we do here in this library.”

One of her favorite memories from the day included Michael Fox, English teacher. “Fox stood out in the hallway all day with his jingle bell antlers, eating his yogurt, and it was hilarious,” said Heaton. She believes the event was a success because, “the goal, originally, was to get kids, especially the underclassmen, to meet the people in the building that they wouldn’t normally have met yet… this became a vehicle for kids to hopefully not feel nervous about walking up to someone and saying ‘hey, are you the new guidance counselor?’ or that kind of thing.”

Celebrating the little things like Sweater Day can create a sense of community like no other, and gives everyone involved something to look forward to as the final week of school before the holiday break drags to a close. “What makes a fun activity doesn’t have to be loud, come with fireworks or that kind of thing. All it has to be is a break from the norm that is accessible for everyone, including the teachers,” said Heaton.

Sweater Day will also be making its debut at HBMS, thanks to Yolanda Flamino, a former teacher at HBHS who is now the new Vice Principal at the middle school.

Sweater Day is certainly a cozy way to kick off the winter break. Have a warm, safe and enjoyable holiday!