Celebrating Ugly Sweaters: A Party for All


The teachers and paraprofessionals at Foran who helped bring the party together pose in the middle of the fun for a group photo. Photo courtesy of Anna Jani.

Anna Jani


To celebrate the end of 2018 and various holidays approaching at the end of December, the special education department at Foran planned and threw an ugly sweater holiday party where anyone who wanted to participate was welcome to join. The party took place during Common Time on Wednesday, December 19, 2018 in the special education room next to the cafeteria and featured an ugly sweater contest in which there were various categories of judging, such as the most creative sweater, and refreshments for the guests.

“We like to have as much fun in here as possible, so, to get ready for our holiday break and our holiday season, we wanted to have a holiday fiesta, and sort of have something fun for the students to do,” says Mrs. Abby Waldera, a special education teacher at Foran. “So, we did…an ugly sweater contest… Students spent the week… decorating their own t-shirts, or bringing them in from home… really just to celebrate the break and the hard work that we’ve done so far this year.”

Mrs. Holly Altieri, one of Foran’s paraprofessionals, talks about the preparation for the party, stating, “…I had made up a poster that had all sorts of ugly sweater pictures on it, and we talked about it… We tend to have, every few months, some kind of a party for a reward, and so this was right before the holidays, and they could wear their sweaters. So, basically, the prep is making up some posters and getting the word out to our kids.”
Junior Jack Jezierny says, “We had to make our own sweaters. Some of us made it with pipe cleaners, glitter, and glued stuff on.”

Senior Chase Pringle shows off his ugly sweater at the Ugly Sweater Holiday Party on December 19, 2018. Photo courtesy of Anna Jani.

While many talk about the effort and hard work they and others contributed to putting the party together, the hard work proves to have paid off, as students and faculty alike raved about the celebration.

Student Kristina Simmons says that the ugly sweater party made her, “feel thrilled. I like the parties that go on here. My mom made my sweater.”

“[The party] is really fun and I’m really happy that I [won] most creative and it’s the best day ever,” adds Chanel Darden, another student participant at the party who received the award for ‘Most Creative Sweater.’

Mr. Eric Paradis, who works in the Central Office of the Milford Public Schools, specializes in high school special education. He was invited to Foran to take the role of a judge for the ugly sweater contest at the holiday party. He says, “It is always really good to see all of our students enjoying themselves in school and even taking a break from a little bit of work. The kids had a blast, and that’s the most important thing.”