Fourth-grader Ellie Rice sports a moustache for John Hay Elementary School’s recent Spirit Day. Photo by Gwen Davis

Fourth-grader Ellie Rice sports a moustache for John Hay Elementary School’s recent Spirit Day. Photo by Gwen Davis

Mustaches are in these days — at least for the kids at John Hay Elementary School on Queen Anne. 

On Thursday, Dec. 20, John Hay held its second monthly spirit day with the theme of mustaches. Walking throughout the school, the young students modeled all different types of wannabe mustaches — ones made with paint, eyeliner and different types of art materials. 

“You can draw them on your finger, or you could wear fake mustaches,” explained fourth-grader Ellie Rice. “In one of our classes, it was really funny reciting an essay when we got up in front of the class wearing a mustache. It was funny.”

Fun is the name of the game with the school’s spirit days. Meant to unite the school and create new energy, the spirit days draw out varying levels of happiness from the students.

“Mustaches are really funny, and when everyone wears one, it’s super-cool,” Rice said.

Rice is a member of the student council, the legislative student body that is in charge of spirit days. The student council features two students from each class, providing a democratic mechanism to ensure all students are represented in these decisions.

“The student council comes up with ideas, and we vote on what we want,” Rice said. “We have other ideas, like Crazy Hair Day. Whatever is most popular, we do, and we vote on the next most-popular one, and that will be our next month’s.”

During any of the spirit days, students sport the given theme themselves, and some teachers will incorporate the theme into their curriculum for that day. 

“It depends on the classroom if a teacher did anything else regarding mustaches,” she said.

This spirit day had particular meaning in the wake of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14. The tragedy shook the nation, particularly in regard to elementary-school children, but this event was meant to stand as a contrast.

But why mustaches?

Music teacher Rachel Nelson, who supervises the student council, said she wasn’t sure why the kids picked it, but it is silly and fun.

“I just think mustaches are the trendy thing right now,” she said. “I don’t know if you’ve seen the posters where you could rent the photograph box, but it’s all over there. It’s also all over Facebook. It’s something really silly to do at school, and that’s why they picked it. 

“Definitely, older students were for it — the first-graders as much,” Nelson said.