It was almost October 31 and kindergarteners had one question:
What will Mr. Scales be for Halloween?
“A Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle!”
Guesses flew across Mrs. Fitzpatrick’s classroom like witches zooming across the night sky,
but they didn’t stand a ghost of a chance.
Everyone knows Dan Scales. Sacred Heart’s Director of Security since 2001, Mr. Scales manages a team of seven to protect the safety of the 91st Street community. He stands outside the school entrance every morning to keep an eye as people arrive, ready to greet every student, teacher, parent and family pet by name.
He has been dressing up for Halloween since his first year at Sacred Heart, when then Head of Lower School Pat Hult asked him if he’d be willing to wear a costume.
“Sure, why not?” said the former NYPD officer. That first year, Mr. Scales - who is six foot four - dressed up as a Lower Schooler, red and white checked pinafore and all. Students loved it. A tradition was born.
Mr. Scales recounted some of his costumes through the years. A nun. A priest. A whoopee cushion - with sound effects.
“The kids really got a kick out of that one,” he said.
In fact, his costumes became so popular that 91st Street’s benefit committee took note. In 2016, Mr. Scales agreed to offer the privilege of picking his costume as an auction item in the spring benefit. There was just one caveat: he would have veto power.
He’s only used his veto power once.
“Carmen Miranda,” he said. He didn’t mind the hat, but the costume had a bare midriff. “I would have been freezing cold.”
Mr. Scales enjoys all of the costumes, especially ones that engage students.
One year, he was a member of the Queen’s Guard, and the students all had fun trying to get him to react and talk. Another year, he was Buzz Lightyear - which he thought was a great one, because his first graduating class (the Class of 2002) called him “Buzz” as his nickname.
“The most fun is when the kids enjoy it,” he said. “It’s all good fun. Anything to make them feel like this is their home - which I hope they do.”
As for this year’s costume?
We’ll all have to wait to find out until Friday, October 28, when Mr. Scales dresses up for the Lower School celebration of Halloween. In the meantime, you can vote on what you think he’ll be on Instagram stories!