Tacky Holiday Sweater Competition

Rachel Dadoo, Assistant Opinions Editor

The Competitive Tacky Sweater Committee, consisting of independent judges, hosts an annual tacky holiday sweater competition for faculty and staff to participate in before winter break. According to the two-page official guidelines, the purpose of this contest is to “unite all scholars and teachers as a community” in a fun activity meant to bring everyone together. Social studies teacher Matt Miles, the founder of the competition, believes the tradition is a special way for teachers of all departments to celebrate the approaching winter break together with students.

“[The winter competition] is something fun to do. Last year’s winner was [counselor JP] Sousa, and it is open to [all] faculty and staff,” Miles said. “We’ve had 15 [teachers and faculty members] participate in the competition and some of them take it very seriously.”

The competition is judged by a panel administration representative, faculty member and a student. Staff judges are chosen from different departments to make sure that the judging rounds are fair.

“We try to get a good collection of judges and in the years past, we’ve had [Robyn] Lady of Student Services, [choir director Evan] Ayers, and we always have a guest student,” Miles said.

There are a variety of elements that judges look for when selecting the winner, and there are guidelines that they must be adhered to in order to find the tackiest holiday sweater.

“Generally, I look for 80s shoulder pads, sequins or glitter, and it can be holiday-themed or not,” counselor and last year’s judge Alice Robertson said.

The guidelines are strict as the sweater must be bought from a store and cannot contain “flare,” which is any item added to the sweater (such a festive necklace or a Santa pin) that was not manufactured onto the original sweater. The guidelines emphasize that all contestants must compete under the “honor system” and keep in mind the real meaning of the festivities.

The final contestants partake in a catwalk and talent portion of the program, which may include singing, dancing, juggling or any other interesting hobby or skill.

Faculty and staff take part in this opportunity to show their holiday spirit. This event attracts a lot of attention from the student body, keeping them engaged in school during the final hectic days before winter break.

“I think [this competition is] fun, and the crowd seems to think so, because the [students] come during CT to watch,” mathematics teacher John King, a former judge of the sweater competition, said.

This year’s contest will take place during CT on December 13. May the tackiest sweater win.