Mr. Giordano’s Halloween Costume Contest

Students and teachers alike dress up in costumes for the Michael Giordano Halloween Contest. (Photo by: Jackson Dempsey)

This fall, senior class officers hosted Boston Latin School’s first annual Michael Giordano Halloween Costume Contest, which was held remotely because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Traditionally, Halloween is a lively day within school. This year’s contest, however, not only saw changes in format but was also renamed in honor of the late director of the McCarthy Institute, Mr. Michael “Gio” Giordano, who passed away last year.

Senior Class President Gian Martinez (I) proposed the name change during planning, and his proposal was quickly agreed upon by the remaining class officers.

“The name change was absolutely merited solely based on the spirit and energy that Gio brought to these school events, namely the Halloween contest, and we thought it would be a thoughtful gesture on behalf of 2021 and BLS as a whole,” says Martinez.

The contest was held over the course of a few days using the online showcasing platform, Padlet. Contestants submitted a photo of themselves or their group in a Halloween costume on a Padlet collage for the school community to view. Despite being in a remote setting, costumes still had to abide by the dress code established by the School.

“[The Padlet platform] made the most sense. [The contest organizers had] talked about using social media, but then we recognized not everyone has social media, so we wanted to use something that was universally accessible for everyone. Also, we were able to closely monitor what was getting posted [on the Padlet]. The wall of photos was also a really great way to show everything off,” says Ms. Alyssa Sarkis, math teacher and organizer of the contest.

Along with being able to peruse the costumes of various students and teachers, viewers had the ability to vote for their favorite contestants by utilizing Padlet’s “like” feature. The costumes with the most “likes” in their specific category won, as opposed to previous years in which contest winners were chosen by the senior class officers.

Both Ms. Sarkis and Martinez note that the voting system helped to make the contest more engaging for both participants and virtual audience members. They hope to continue using this voting system for future Halloween costume contests to come.

Although participation in this year’s contest declined from previous years, Ms. Sarkis notes that the School’s current remote learning environment played a large factor in the decreased showing. According to the senior class officers, another reason for the drop could have been due to the lack of exposure, as some willing participants may not have read or heard the Daily Bulletin announcement detailing the contest.

Martinez, nevertheless, maintains a positive outlook on this year’s contest. “The participation in the Halloween contest did actually exceed our expectations, and that’s great! Keeping that sort of normality with the students and staff definitely helps with living during the pandemic,” exclaims Martinez.

Lucas Greene Barrios (VI) was a first-time participant in the School’s Halloween contest. He won the “Most Creative Costume” award with his Demogorgon outfit from the television show, “Stranger Things.”

“I love costumes and art, so it was fun to participate and to see everyone else’s costumes, even the teachers. I was definitely not expecting to win because I just wanted to be a part of it like everyone else. Winning was definitely a fun surprise,” says Barrios.

With the future of the school year and the next Halloween season unclear, Martinez concludes, “We are definitely looking for more and more ways to get more [online] activities and events out there for everyone.”