This past Halloween, the special education students found a way trick-or-treat safely: by gathering candy on campus. When the clock struck 11, the Cougars made their way to their first destination, awaiting a surprise at E Building. To respect social distancing mandates, health teacher Jamie Psak—dressed up in a full-face baby mask—rappelled a bag full of candy down to the students where they could all share from it. The students laughed as Psak danced around, who was excited to share the moment with them. After that first destination for the students, they were split into five groups to go around campus.
One of the day’s many contributors to this event was social studies teacher Daryn Arakaki. He explained that he offered the event as a way for students to “feel normal for a little bit,” Arakaki said, though he did not want to take credit for the event. The real masterminds of this event were Shelley Pavel and Dana Takahara-Dias. They wanted to spread joy and celebrate the spooky season with the community.
One teacher wanted to join in the fun with the students. The door to classroom C303 opened with a creak, revealing a mummy in a dimly lit room. Students quickly identified the mysterious figure as a disguised Paul Balazs, who then waved to the passing students and offered them candy. Though the event was only an hour-long, lasting through period seven, the students were excited to walk around with their friends and gather candy for that short time. Thanks to Pavel and Takahara-Dias, the day was filled with all treats and no tricks, all for the benefit of the special education students who appreciated “receiving treats and being able to see friends,” said senior Elijah Cohen.