Dietz, Ciccarelo Collab on Halloween T-Shirt Tradition


Courtesy of Kara Dietz

BOHS staff members Mirna Graciarena, Mike Baker, and Donna Prince wear “Words With Friends”-themed t-shirts in 2016 as part of a staff-wide Halloween tradition organized by Kara Dietz, Skills For Success teacher, and Franco Ciccarelo, Digital Design teacher.

When students travel from class to class tomorrow, they may experience a feeling of deja vu as many of their teachers will sport near-identical outfits — black tees emblazoned with a letter from the alphabet as part of a “Words With Wildcats” theme. 

In 2015, Kara Dietz, Life Skills teacher, started a Spice Girls-themed group costume amongst female staff members. Its success resulted in more participation, and with the letter-emblazoned tees, more interaction. 

“It’s a really easy costume idea and it just takes the hard part of thinking of one out of it,” Christine Kelly, math teacher, said. 

This year’s “Words with Wildcats” theme, which was also used five years ago, involves teachers wearing a tee printed with a letter from the alphabet. Throughout the day, teachers find colleagues to form different words. 

“This year it’s interactive and more fun, because with the different letters, teachers [can] get together and say, ‘Hey, come over here, let’s make a word,'” Franco Ciccarelo, graphics teacher, and co-organizer of the event, said. 

Ciccarello and his students work with Dietz every year to design and produce the Halloween tees.  

The process begins with Dietz sending out a staff-wide email informing teachers about the upcoming costume. Once she has a headcount on participants, she collects money from teachers which, supports Ciccarello’s Digital Design program. 

“I think it’s really cool that us students get to design the teachers’ Halloween costumes,” Digital Design student Sarah Son, senior, said.

Digital Design students design the t-shirts, then print the garment an on-campus heat press that stamps the image on the tee. Since the theme for this year was also used in 2016, students are using the same designs for this years’ shirts. 

Son said, “It’s fun because we get to be involved in every step of the process.” 

The annual costume tradition spearheaded by Dietz and Ciccarello provides teachers the opportunity to show their sillier sides to students and colleagues.  

“I think it is a fun tradition that unifies the staff and allows us to come together,” Dietz said.