Deja-a-boo: 10 Eerie-sistible Costumes Over the Years

At WES, we seek to create a joyful learning environment that celebrates all of the magic of childhood. Halloween is just one of many opportunities for children to express their creativity and have some good old-fashioned fun. 

Our Middle School students kicked off the week with a pumpkin decorating contest, bringing to life gourd versions of Hulk Hogan, a BBQ pig, a bumblebee, a candied apple, and so much more! We will close the week with our annual Halloween parade tomorrow. As I prepare to unveil my own costume at the festivities, I thought it would be fun to take a walk through memory lane with some memorable costumes of the past. It’s fun to see how much our Dragons have grown!

10. Greasing the wheels of learning.

We all need a little WD-40 in our lives.

9. The WES version of Shark Week.

Ours seem much friendlier. I think they are practicing our motto, “Be Kind.”

8. Teamwork is the dreamwork!

We believe wholeheartedly in collaboration! And it’s wonderful to see our Middle School students wearing costumes sure to delight our youngest learners. 

7. The Grapes of Wrath.

Probably not meant to be a group costume idea, but I love the details on both of these costumes.

6. To Protect and to Serve

We can rely on Campbell ’27.

5. A magic walk around the Turf Field

These Aladdin-inspired costumes brought a smile to my face. 

4. Don’t let rain fall on your Halloween parade. 

We try to see the bright side around here. 

3. A pick-me-up

Just like many of us depend on a cup of coffee to help us begin our day, our dedicated faculty and staff prepare our students to explore and master new subjects and skills.

2. Some things never go out of style.

At WES, we believe kindness, strong communication skills, and resilience will help our Dragons thrive throughout their lifetime.

1. Sweet Pea.

I love it when our families grow with us! Ollie is now part of the WES Class of ’33. I’m looking forward to seeing this year’s costume tomorrow.









Danny Vogelman
Head of School

The Intersection of Community and Learning

In 2008, Madieu Williams P ’27 P ’28 founded a school in his birth country of Sierra Leone. Madieu visited Grade 2 on Friday to introduce the children to this special school, as the students prepare to become Pen/Zoom Pals with their counterparts in Africa. 

The Abigail D. Butscher Primary School, located in Calaba Town, is named in honor of Madieu’s mother, who was passionate about providing an excellent education to all children. The school currently serves students in PK-Grade 8; however, they just broke ground to add a high school scheduled to open next fall. 

As I watched Madieu engage with the students, it was a delight to observe our Dragons’ excitement for this cultural exchange, which is part of their social studies curriculum. Our students will trade monthly letters as Pen Pals, join group Zoom calls, and maybe even exchange an identity-focused project. 

As a side bonus: Madieu partnered with the University of Maryland’s Engineering and Public Health departments to build a water station for the students and faculty. So, Grade 2 will visit College Park in mid-November to learn more about the STEM technology Abigail D. Butscher employs, and our students will follow up in their own STEM class. 

One of the things I value the most about WES is the richness of our community–it is incredibly diverse in so many ways. Our families work in a wide range of professions; hail from an enormous array of backgrounds, many with formal or informal ties to other countries and cultures; and have different faiths. It brings me tremendous joy when our parents share their unique backgrounds and skills with our students to expand their learning experience.

This project connects many of our values: celebrating the internationalism of our community, building global citizenship, and practicing kindness as we develop new friendships. I’m looking forward to hearing the students’ reflections later this year!


Danny Vogelman
Head of School

Building Self-Confidence and Pride

I watched as the Kindergarteners listened to Meharriew ’25 with rapt attention, as he shared about his great-grandfather who lived in Ethiopia and how his choices and actions would influence his parents’ lives and then ultimately his. 

The presentation was part of a timeline Meharriew created for his Origins of our Humanity: Ancient Worlds class, in which the students were charged with creating a visual display of the important events in their family lineage, as well as their own. The projects evolved into an almost anthropological exploration of family and personal history, and our Grade 6 Dragons were asked to discover a bigger theme or idea that would connect all of the events on their timeline. 

Our Kindergarteners have also been working on personal timelines, building their self-confidence and pride as they reflect on what matters to them and sharing it with the class. It was such a delight, in true WES fashion, when Meharriew ’25 and Gabriella ’25 went down to Kindergarten to present their timelines to the younger grade level. Gabriella actually used to be in KA, and she helped so many of the students (who were previously a little confused) understand the project as she shared a format and provided a model for them to emulate. 

At WES, we talk a lot about creating an environment where children can experiment, take risks, fail, and repeat, challenging themselves to increase their perseverance and fully develop their giftings and talents. But before students can do any of that, they have to know they are safe and they are loved. They also have to love themselves. These projects empower our students to reflect on what makes them special and unique as individuals and gain pride and confidence in who they are. 

My favorite part of this project, though, was the ingenuity of the teachers, as they connected learning across grade levels and found ways for our older Dragons to mentor our younger students. These cross-grade level friendships strengthen our community, nurture our younger students’ spirits, and provide leadership opportunities for our Middle Schoolers.

Danny Vogelman
Head of School

The Power of Serving Together

In yesterday’s Chapel, Chaplain Kristen reminded us that it is our duty to spread God’s compassion throughout the world. Compassion, the act of helping those who are hurting, is the virtue we are focusing on this month. On Friday, October 14, from 6-7:30 p.m., we will host our ServiceFest in the Deighton Alleyne Gymnasium to help us express that virtue. We invite everyone to participate.

ServiceFest brings students, parents, and faculty and staff together to support a number of local nonprofits in our community. Collectively, we are able to do much more than we can as individuals; we gain strength by working together to assist those in need. Please note that children must be accompanied by an adult; this is a wonderful opportunity for the entire family.

We’re collecting oral care products and coats for the Church of the Epiphany right now, and alumna Eliza Horne is also hosting a friendly blue vs. gold

 competition to solicit stuffed animals for CASA. That evening, there will be several additional activities:

We will:

Tickets ($1 each) will be sold at the event:

If you’d like to contribute cakes or baked goods to those projects, you can find the contacts for those fundraisers HERE. 

The wide assortment of activities and nonprofit organizations represented in ServiceFest enables us to link our distinctive skills to a range of interests and ways to benefit the broader community!.

I am excited to come together to serve others next Friday night. Please join me!

Danny Vogelman
Head of School