Published May 10, 2023
BY FLINT NACHBAR
Loved by students and discouraged by staff, senior pranks have been a long-lasting tradition in many high schools around the country, with Carmel High School having its fair share of playful–and occasionally destructive–pranks throughout the school’s history.
One of the most memorable pranks occurred in the Class of 2012 when faculty members arrived to find the campus golf cart on the roof of the library. Multiple teachers noted this event stood out to them because they were unable to figure out how the students got it onto the roof by themselves, with some speculating that they must have had to disassemble the cart, haul up the pieces, then reassemble it on top of the roof.
CHS teachers who attended the high school as students also remember their own experiences with senior pranks.
“When I was in high school, it was the junior class that used to prank the seniors when they went on their senior trip,” notes CHS athletic director Golden Anderson, who graduated with the Class of 1997. “It was kind of a way of telling the seniors, ‘You’re out of here and we’re taking over.’”
While Anderson’s class was on their end-of-year trip to Disneyland, the junior class covered the gymnasium roof with banners celebrating the seniors leaving and the junior class setting up to take their place.
Other teachers who graduated from CHS remember the pranks their own graduating class pulled, including AVID teacher Bridget Randazzo, Class of 1994, who says her class released about 500 crickets into the main office as their prank. She recalls faculty scrambling to collect all the insects throughout the day. And although Randazzo did participate in the tradition of senior pranks, she makes it clear that there is a line that should not be crossed when it comes to planning and organizing a class prank.
“I love a funny and creative prank, but when it’s destructive, it breaks my heart,” Randazzo says. “We have one of the most beautiful high school campuses, and doing something that destroys that is just wrong. I mean, think about the people that work so hard to maintain our campus.”
Pranks in the past have not always been so fun and light-hearted, with one even involving fecal matter on the campus grass back in 2013, as well as graffiti, vandalism and destruction of property. About a decade ago, social studies teacher Bill Schrier was witness to a senior prank in which students jammed all the locks on campus with glue.
“That was a terrible one that caused a lot of damage in terms of the cost of replacing all the locks,” says Schrier, noting that anything that involves vandalizing the campus should not be considered a prank, but instead a criminal act.
Now working as an sports medicine teacher at CHS, Matt Borek, who graduated in 1997 alongside Anderson, participated in a prank with his class where they took classroom items, like desks, chairs and furniture, and placed them on the hallway roofs. Borek says that a senior prank can create solidarity for departing students and is a good tradition, but the administration shouldn’t have to pay the price.
CHS alum Nick Glaser, who graduated in 1983, recalls his class prank by a few fellow students who filled the high school hallways with barbed wire and barricades, although it was cleaned up before students arrived for school.
Counselors’ secretary Linda Galuppo, who has been working at the school for 40 years, has a lot of memories of pranks that were not appreciated by staff, including one prank that happened over two decades ago where seniors piled large piles of manure at both entrances to the main office, as well as one prank in which seniors filled the high school’s pool with dye, costing the school thousands of dollars as they had to replace the filters and drain the pool.
Although Galuppo now works in the office, she reflects upon the prank her own peers in the Class of 1971 pulled on Pacific Grove High School, where she and her fellow classmates burned “CHS” into PGHS football field. Although those who participated did get in trouble for the stunt, there were no major consequences.
And although she didn’t take her own advice 52 years ago, Galuppo makes the argument that senior pranks going forward should be fun…but it should not be costly fun.