Pumpkin pageant


photo by Eileen An

Pumpkins in sixth period Culinary get ready to be judged.

A fresh orange canvas is placed on the desk in front of students. They have one hour to create anything they want as long as it is school appropriate. Will their design win first place in the class, or will it be a flop?

During the week of Halloween, all culinary students had that task for Culinary’s fifth annual pumpkin carving contest. The pumpkin carvings started out as a knife safety skills exercise, but turned into an opportunity for students to show their creativity.

“They do so many unique things and every year I see something that’s different. It’s my favorite thing we do other than the gingerbread houses,” said Culinary IV teacher Matthew Thompson.

The first thing students did was to pick their pumpkin from the soccer team’s pumpkin patch. They did this in their groups the week before the carvings. Students were given a size limit to keep the competition fair, but other than that, everything was their decision.

“My group decided that we were going to be really funny. We got the biggest pumpkin we could find and we carved two small dots and a line. That was it and we got the second most votes,” sophmore Hannah Makhecha said.

Then, the groups of four or five students were given one hour to carve their pumpkin however they chose.

“The day they we were going to carve the pumpkins, they just walked in here and got it going,” said Culinary I teacher Rebecca Karr. 

After the hour was over, different classes came in to vote on the best pumpkins for each of the three culinary classes. 

“Yesterday someone did Pennywise…. The sad thing is that that one didn’t even win because some students had a big pumpkin and they put a little hole, a little hole, and a tiny mouth,” said Thompson.

The winner of each class period was decided by the student’s votes not just the ones the teachers thought were the most creative. 

Even though the simple pumpkin in Thompson’s class got second, he thought “that’s not what we’re doing,” but the group still scored a 100 because “it was their idea and creativity.” 

Each class period will make the gingerbread houses in December with the same voting process as the pumpkin carvings.