Future of Deck the Halls debated


Marcie Young

Joy Wang ’20 decorates for her Dr. Seuss themed hall during Deck the Halls in November 2019.

Jack Hallett, Staff Writer

Ellyn Whitten-Smith, art teacher and new Winter Carnival adviser, has proposed doing away with Deck the Halls, although not this year.

Whitten-Smith said the reason she’s suggesting change is because of money. “My issue with Deck the Halls has always been how much money it costs to decorate for a week,” Whitten-Smith said.  “When advisers and kids approach people to raise money, we’re telling these people that we’re raising money for prom and graduation. People don’t necessarily want to know that you’ve taken $500 and basically thrown it away at the end of the week.”

Deck the Halls, one of the favorite annual competitions of Winter Carnival, has traditionally taken place the first week of December. Each class has four days to decorate their respective hallway based around a theme, and the halls are judged that Friday for Winter Carnival points.

Student Council could decide to cut Deck the Halls. Since this school year has started the idea has come up more. Whitten-Smith has approved of the push and would like to change the event to something different.

Whitten-Smith has suggested switching out Deck the Halls for another activity. For example, “I’d tried a few years back to get each grade a float in the light parade. But one class didn’t have access to a trailer or a generator,” she said.

For some students, Deck the Halls brings positive experiences. Class of 2020 president Paige McHatten said, “My freshman year we won. Freshmen usually don’t win Deck the Halls, but it’s something my class has always been really good at. And a lot of people come out to support and to do it. I’m definitely an advocate for keeping the tradition alive.”

Class advisers, such as science teacher Erika Bernard, agree that Deck the Halls is fun, but sees it as a ton of work for just a few students.  “I enjoyed Deck the Halls in high school,” she said. “But lately Deck the Halls is just five people [from each class] doing all the work.”

Student Council will have the last say about Deck the Halls. According to Whitten-Smith, “Deck the Halls will happen this year, but the future may see some changes.”