An inside look at the magic behind the 2019 homecoming walls of Broadneck’s classes, clubs, and other circles.
Have you ever wondered how Broadneck students turn simple supplies like cardboard, wood, and paint into striking, colorful displays right out of movie and TV scenes? Wonder no further. The masterminds of this year’s homecoming walls revealed the secrets behind charming the halls of Broadneck this homecoming season.
With the 2019 homecoming wall theme of TV shows, several clubs gained inspiration from shows related to their club. Spanish Honor Society, for instance, chose the iconic Dora the Explorer. “Dora speaks Spanish, and is a role model for many,” laughed Spanish Honor Society secretary Payton Erbe. “And we couldn’t do Narcos.”
The French Honor Society similarly chose Madeline for its French theme. “Madeline is a French cartoon, and we wanted to do something related to French and French culture,” explained French Honor Society president Lizbet Herrera.
Broadneck’s orchestra decided on America’s Got Talent. “The show has a lot of music,” pointed out orchestra member Greta Lunsford-Poe. “I’m guessing that’s the angle Ms. Fullerton went for.”
Even the class of 2022 felt that their show, Friends, represented them because its officers and delegates are very close. “We’re all friends,” explained officer Julia Sokolowski.
Other organizations wanted to bring to life the shows they watch often and truly love. Broadneck’s seniors, the class of 2020, went for a childhood classic. “We were debating between two,” officer Mallory Snodgrass revealed, “and the vast majority of officers and delegates chose Spongebob Squarepants— I think because it’s something that we all grew up with, which is really fun.” When asked if Snodgrass still watches Spongebob, she laughed. “I do! Not as much now, but it is a great show.”
The class of 2021 chose the retro, eerie Netflix phenomenon binged by millions. “We all really like Stranger Things and its visuals, so we wanted to try to recreate it,” gushed junior officer Gabby Ascione.
Broadneck’s chorus revealed true strategy in their wall theme, That 70s Show. “We were thinking about what the teachers would want since they’re the ones judging,” explained senior chorus member Jordan Hakala. “And then somebody brought up That 70s Show, and it was unanimous.”
Adjacent to the chorus wall was another childhood-inspired show, The Fairly Odd Parents. It was dreamed up by some of Broadneck’s most talented music students, PVA. “We wanted to sing the theme song,” admitted one of the PVA students working on the wall.
The majority of the club and class members contributing to walls agreed that building them is not an easy process, but always worth it. “It’s been a difficult but fun experience,” explained 2022 class officer Mackenzie Thompson. “Difficult in that we haven’t had a lot of time; however, I think we’re gonna pull through and make a really good wall.”
Hakala responded similarly. “There have been easy parts, but then there have also been hard parts. Finding 70s items was hard. I hit up Goodwill to find bell bottoms, but couldn’t find any.”
Snodgrass also admitted to struggle. “It’s always a little stressful, just trying to get it all together,” she said, “but in the end it’s super fun.”
Angel Gross, the brains behind PVA’s The Fairly Odd Parents wall, expressed a different outlook. “I feel that it was easy because we had the vision, we drew it out, and then it was like boom— we kept thinking of everything. So this is the first year it has been easy,” she explained.
Each of the groups acknowledged the challenging and sometimes peculiar ways they gathered what went into their walls. “Paris Sistilli, our president, was really great about dumpster diving and getting all the materials,” Snodgrass laughed.
Thompson of the Friends wall faced similar challenges in creating the homey feel of Monica Geller’s apartment. “Finding a lot of couches on the side of the road was really hard,” she said. “Lots of couches went into this wall.”
Hakala explained what it took to turn the outside of Ms. Bennett’s classroom into a 70s-style living room. “Everybody went through their family’s old stuff to decorate with. All of the nick-knacks are really cool— we have old board games, a rotary phone, a turntable, and a disco ball.” In addition, the chorus will be singing. “We wrote new lyrics for the theme song, so we’ll be singing that,” Hakala added.
The class of 2021 also put hard labor and construction into creating an unearthly “The Upside Down,” which could have been taken off of the Stranger Things set itself. “One of our delegate’s dads works at 84 Lumber, so we got a lot of our wood for really cheap— that’s how we were able to do most of this,” Ascione admitted.
Every club had aspects which helped to make their walls especially unique from the others. These aspects ranged from ways to incorporate school spirit and administrators, to group members playing certain characters, to delicious treats to offer Broadneck walk-and-talkers.
The class of 2020 went for a way to incorporate Broadneck’s well-loved principal into Spongebob. “We have a boat that says ‘The U.S.S. Todd,’” Snodgrass laughed. “We have Karen, Plankton’s wife, and some other very fun stuff,” she added.
PVA too, included an administrator feature. “It’s going to be interesting,” pondered Gross, “because we have a lot of the administrators, plus we’re paying a special tribute to Mr. Grigsby.”
Even the class of 2021 found a way to bring Broadneck into Stranger Things. “We’re creating Scoops Ahoy, the ice cream parlor in the show,” disclosed a giddy Ascione, “and some of the menu items include the Mr. Todd, the Mr. Grigsby— our way to incorporate some school spirit.”
Several clubs and classes took the opportunity to bring their walls to life by having students play the characters of their TV shows. Thompson read off a cast list for the Friends display. “Julia Sokolowski will be playing Ursula Buffay— Phoebe Buffay’s twin, I will be playing Phoebe, Kelsey Raymond will be playing Rachel Green, and then we have a lot of others playing the other characters.”
The 2020 officers also played Spongebob characters. “There are so many of them that I cannot put all the faces to the characters,” admitted Snodgrass. “We have Mr. Krabs, Squidward— all of the iconic ones— Spongebob of course, and some interesting ones— I think we have Barnacle Boy and Mermaid Man too.”
Even the America’s Got Talent wall spotlighted cast members. “I’m playing Heidi Klum,” said Lunsford-Poe, “and we have teachers playing the other judges.”
While the character angle proved extremely successful for some walls, it wouldn’t work as well for others. “We talked about making a life-size map to walk around the hallways, singing ‘I’m the Map,’” laughed Erbe of Spanish Honor Society, “but we scratched that idea because we thought it was a little too scary.”
French Honor Society decided on nuns and French desserts for their Madeline wall. “We have nun costumes for the nuns, and we also have croissants and madeleines,” explained Herrera.
When asked if the groups believed that their walls deserved to win, the answer was unanimous. To PVA’s Gross, winning would mean a lot. “I believe our wall deserves to win because each year it gets better, and because of the amount of time and energy and effort that we put into it,” she said. “I feel that PVA in general is so underrated, and people don’t really know about us.”
The class of 2022 agreed that they should win in the class walls, due to their hard work. “It’s taken us a long time, it was a little rough at the beginning— okay, rough now—” laughed Sokolowski, “but I think we’re gonna pull it all together; this is The One Where Class of 2022 Wins!”
Hakala wanted to gain another win in the elective walls. “We deserve to win first place in the elective walls, like we did last year— even though we tied. We’re trying to come back and win again,” she spoke of the chorus wall.
The Class of 2020 was also going for a second-year win. “There have been a lot of people coming out to help, and it looks really good,” observed Snodgrass, “so hopefully we’ll win two years in a row— but we’ll see!”
The class of 2020’s Spongebob wall did earn this year’s win. Following closely behind was the class of 2021, who came in second place for their Stranger Things wall. The class of 2022 earned third with Friends, and finally the freshman class of 2023 came in fourth place with their Mickey Mouse wall.
Despite only a few winners, each homecoming wall had winning features, scenery, and characters which brought smiles to the sleep-deprived student body of Broadneck at 7:30 am. The homecoming walls are a great way for club and class members to display their creative, artistic, and even musical talents in a fun way— as well as to connect with others. Get involved with your club or class’s homecoming wall next year!