May 20th, 2024

Student creating memories with unique school photos


By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on April 25, 2024.

Herald photo by Alejandra Pulido-Guzman Kashtyn Di Rocco displays two of his unique school pictures, his Grade 7 photo where he dressed as the Joker and his Grade 2 photo where he dressed as Gene Simmons, as seen below.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

What started as having to choose between enjoying Halloween or taking a traditional school picture on retake day at his new school has become a very particular tradition for a young Lethbridge resident.

Kashtyn Di Rocco ,who will be heading into a new school next year as a Grade 9 student, has been taking advantage of picture day at school in a unique way for the last decade.

His mom Shaina Di Rocco told the Herald in a recent interview that when Kashtyn was in pre-school they moved to Lethbridge from Coaldale and this caused him to miss out on school pictures.

“He had to get pictures on retake day and his retakes ended up landing on his pre-school’s Halloween party,” said Shaina.

 She explained that in that moment they were presented with a choice, of either partaking in the Halloween festivities, or not dressing up and taking a traditional school photo.

 “We decided he’ll just do both and he went to school dressed up as a pirate, enjoyed the Halloween party and ended up with a very unique school picture,” said Shaina.

When kindergarten picture time rolled around, Kashtyn found himself in the same dilemma. He was sick for the regular picture day and retakes happened on Halloween once again.

“That year he ended up dressing up again to be able to enjoy both, this time as a vampire,” said Shaina.

When it was for Grade 1 school pictures, even though it was not Halloween for the original picture day, he decided to dress up again.

“At that point it has become a tradition, so I dressed up a zombie that year,” said Kashtyn.

When asked about his most outrageous outfit, Kashtyn immediately had the answer: it was his Grade 2 costume, one that turned heads everywhere he went, one that took a while to put together but that resulted in an epic costume.

“I would say definitely Gene Simmons was probably the best one out there because it definitely took mom super long to prepare the outfit, to make it,” said Kashtyn.

Shaina said the best thing about it is that the school began to let him pose according to his costumes, and even though he would still take the traditional posed pictures for school, he was able to have an extra take and have fun with it, which led to having the Gene Simmons picture taken with his tongue out.

Kashtyn said it was relatively easy to follow the tradition during elementary school. He started to get a bit nervous throughout junior high but stuck with it. And now heading into high school, the nerves are higher, but after doing it for 10 years there is no point in stopping.

“I’m a little bit nervous going into high school just because it’s a new school and new kids, but I stuck it through middle school, so I might as well just keep going the rest of the way,” said Kashtyn.

He said his tradition has become something people look forward to and that in part motivates him to keep going.

“Everybody thinks it’s pretty cool. All of my friends look forward to it every year and are always wondering what I am going to do for next year’s picture day,” said Kashtyn. “And also, it is very funny to see the taker’s reaction when I walk into the gym.”

He said that as far as he is aware, he is the only one who has been doing this, but that might change.

Kashtyn explained that he usually figures out what he will be dressing up for the following year shortly after the pictures are taken with his mom’s help.

“We usually decide on something after photos and then as the year goes on we collect things or put things together for the next outfit,” said Shaina.

Kashtyn added that they go through a process of selection each year that involves looking into old movies or singers for inspiration.

“We have looked at some older movies and older rockers and we came up with a few ideas. I see what they were wearing for their concerts or in the movies and then decided on what outfit to use from that specific character,” said Kashtyn.

Recounting his costumes, Kashtyn and his mom Shaina pulled out an array of pictures concealed in two picture frames. The costumes were as follows: Pirate for Pre-K, Vampire for Kindergarten, Zombie for Grade 1, Gene Simmons for Grade 2, the Goblin King from the Labyrinth for Grade 3, Edward Scissorhands for Grade 4, the Mad Hatter for Grade 5, Michael Jackson for Grade 6, the Joker for Grade 7 and Dee Snider for Grade 8.

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