WBMS celebrates Halloween with Staff Costume Contest

By Debbie Adams

Each October the staff at William Byrd Middle School celebrates Halloween with a Staff Costume Contest.

“This is an annual tradition at WBMS and the staff and students get really excited about it,” said Gloria Harris, attendance clerk at WBMS. “In a typical year, the students gather in the gym and Mr. Kageals announces each person and/or group to the students.   The students cheer and really get into seeing their teachers being silly. The winner is chosen by the loudness of the cheers from the students. Last year the group who won were the ‘Thanksgiving Dinner’ featuring Mr. Whitehead in an inflatable turkey suit.”

“This year, since the students were divided into groups and we had to maintain social distancing, we could not do the assembly in the gym,” Harris said. “Mr. Kageals opted for a hallway parade to be held on Friday, October 30.”

“Before the parade started, each group was introduced via WebEX to the students,” said Harris. “The students who were logged on at home could enjoy our antics as well.   After the parade through the halls (students were distanced six feet apart), the students were able to vote via Blackboard on their winner.”

This year 10 groups participated in the costume contest with winners announced by principal Todd Kageals with some comments:

  • First place went to the Tiger King group who received 32 percent of the vote. “Wow, this costume group was awesome in every way.” Members of the Tiger King group were Nick Deel, Terra Byrd, Tiffany Adams, Matt McGarry, Gloria Harris, and Duke Harris.
  • Farmer Girl and Chik-Toks took second place with 27 percent of the vote. “This group should have won, just since they got Mr. Camper to do a Tik Tok!” The chickens included Traci Addison, Chip Camper, Richard Long, Tammy Jones, Robin Nixon, and Jaylen Clark.
  • Third place went to the Sanderson Sisters with 15 percent of the vote. “Those masks looked so real.” Ashley Stultz, Sammi Webster, and Brandy Helton were the witches.
The Tiger King group won this year’s Staff Halloween Contest at William Byrd Middle School, continuing a tradition despite COVID-19. The Tiger King group included, left to right, the Tiger King- Nick Deel, Terra Byrd, Tiffany Adams, Matt McGarry, Gloria Harris and Duke Harris.


Second place winners in the WBMS Staff Halloween Costume Contest were Farmer Girl and her Chick Toks–Traci Addison, Chip Camper, Richard Long, Tammy Jones, Robin Nixon and Jaylen Clark.


Thid place winners in the WBMS Staff Halloween Contest were the Sanderson Sisters, who included Ashley Stultz, Sammi Webster, and Brandy Helton.

“I’d like to thank all of our staff members who participated,” Kageals said. “Building such elaborate costumes takes a lot of time and effort.  Continuing with our traditional events in a ‘safe manner’ is important to our school culture, and sense of community.  I’d also like to thank our students at home who participated virtually, and our in-person students who participated while here at school.  We could not do this kind of event without everyone practicing social distancing and mask wearing. Our kids were great!”

“Although our event was not quite the same as having everyone in the gym at the same time as we have done in the past, it was still fun,” said Kageals.  “Although it was difficult to pry the trophy from Mr. Whitehead’s hands (last year’s champion), it has now been awarded to Mrs. Harris, Mr. Deel, Mrs. Byrd, Mrs. Adams, and Mr. McGarry.  The championship award will remain in their possession until this time next year.”

Staff was also able to dress up as Super Heroes on October 29 for Red Ribbon Week.
More photographs are available on the Vinton Messenger Facebook page and at

Principal Todd Kageals presenting the winner’s trophy to Terra Byrd “Carol Baskin” of the Tiger King crew.


Office staff: left to right: Tracey Hilliard, Gloria Harris, Brandy Helton and Cindy Bushnell


WBMS also dressed up on Thursday as the Super heroes of Covid: Brandy Helton, was the Distancing Defender, Terra Byrd was Super Sanitizer, Cindy Bushnell was General Blackboard, Gloria Harris, was WebEx Girl, Katy Nance was Fiona Facemask, Molly Roades was Dr. Quarantine, Tiffany Adams was Fever, Fighter, Sam Vanness was Toilet Paper Ninja Turtle, Tracey Hilliad was Edna Mode and Sammi Webster was Captain COVID.

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