I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas

Sometimes you just have to take one for the team! Today was the annual tradition of the Ugly Sweater Contest at the Penn Brook School.   It is one of the  best days of the year as the staff and students don their holiday attire and they hold a “friendly yet competitive”  Ugly Sweater Contest.  The coveted trophies are awarded to the top two teams in the individual and team categories.  The winners have bragging rights for a year displaying the trophy in their classroom or office for all to see. I am always so impressed with the creativity of everyone who participates and the audience goes wild when the contestants strut their stuff on the red paper carpet! Imagine over 800 people cheering excitedly for all groups, but most particularly for their favorites. The winners this year were the specialists for dressing up as Toy Story characters and 6th grade teacher Joe Pittella for his eclectic outfit that had a lot going on.  Joe upped his game this year by adding leggings and shiny red shorts to the his holiday t-shirt and Christmas sport coat and ,of course,  a necklace with blinking flashing lights. His halls were definitely decked!

I would be remiss not to highlight and recognize the efforts of Director of Building and Grounds Mike Anderson and his merry crew who for the third year in a row finished in second place.  Many in the audience thought they should have won because they really brought it this year and they wanted that trophy badly. They even recruited me and the women in the central office , Suzanne Sutherland, Nancy Weiss, Trisha MacDonald and Julie Lavacchia to assist them. Further, Mike Walsh joined this performance as Santa Claus.

Have you ever heard the song, “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas”? Well this group of central office and maintenance employees dazzled the crowd with wait for it…

That’s right! I not only got one hippopotamus  but I got FIVE! These hippos in their tutus danced their way into second place and I could not be more proud of them for joining in the fun and showing their creative side. They are all winners in my mind!

Thank you to first grade teacher Heidi Begin for being the champion for this event. She handles all the details and it is a labor of love for her. Thanks also to Barry Belanger who leads an all school sing along while the judges deliberate.  Finally , to all of the participants and the entire school, this is truly a special PB School community event and I am so happy to be how this tradition has grown.

I wish you and yours a Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year! See you in 2020.