MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Imagine walking into school one day to find it filled with numerous spotted dogs.
That’s exactly what students at Martinsburg South Middle School discovered on Monday when they encountered 24 teachers dressed as white and black spotted dalmations and their principal replaced by Cruella De Vil from the Disney movie “101 Dalmations” in celebration of Halloween.
Teachers drew on the 1956 children’s novel by Dodie Smith that Disney adapted into feature films in 1961 and 1996.
The idea for this year’s “101 Dalmations” motif came about two weeks ago, when teachers met to discuss how they could top last Halloween.
“Last year’s 8th grade team dressed as dominos,” said Jennifer Holder, 8th grade social studies teacher for Martinsburg South Middle School and one of this year’s dalmations. “We thought this year, we’d get the entire school involved and dress as something simple, as dalmations.”
Teachers approached Principal Rosa Clark to see if she would play along.
“She graciously accepted,” said Suzette Nicholas, 8th grade language arts teacher. “Ms. Clark said, ‘Sure, anything for the kids.’”
The teachers deliberately kept their students in the dark about their spotted surprise.
“Students didn’t have any idea until today,” Nicholas said. “That was kind of cool, seeing their faces when they would see random dogs walking throughout the school.”
Besides giving teachers the chance to try out a spotted ensemble, the canine also served as a school morale building exercise.
“The kids loved it,” said 8th grade reading teacher Kelly Scofield.
Staff writer Jim McConville can be reached at 304-263-8931, ext. 215, or www.twitter.com/jmcconvilleJN.