War of words

Art teachers undergo a battle of puns


Parker Nolan

Art teachers Jeff Seidel and Amanda Beller have undergone a war of sorts, with Seidel replacing Beller’s nameplate on multiple occasions with different puns.

Art teachers Jeff Seidel and Amanda Beller were at war, and it all began with an innocent misunderstanding.

Many of Beller’s students accidentally sparked the flames of battle after continuously addressing her as “Bellar” because many of them had current AP Human Geography teacher Kelly Bellar in middle school. This became a pet peeve for Beller, so she began capitalizing the second “e” in her name on “every handout and syllabus [she] gave the kids.”

Seidel thought this was an error, but Beller explained she was trying to ensure that students pronounced her name correctly. Once Seidel discovered how much this bothered Beller, he decided to make some mischief by replacing the “e” on her doorway nameplate with an “a” to spell “Bellar.”

Beller originally thought a student might have tampered with her nameplate, but soon found out that Seidel was the one behind the spelling stunt. That’s when it became an everyday event.

“She said it was war and I was like, ‘OK,’” Seidel said. “‘If it’s war, then let’s do it.’”

Seidel made many puns out of Beller’s name, including “Saved by the Beller,” which is now hanging on her classroom wall. Seidel’s very last nameplate prank was “Mrs. Bellerina.” Beller added a picture of a ballerina with her face and a boot Photoshopped on the dancer, since Beller actually broke her foot in a ballet class a few years ago.

Seidel usually changed her nameplate during second period, his planning period.

“It only takes a second,” Seidel said. “I have a word document that I have the big letters on already, so the fonts picked and everything. I got the size right. Finding a picture and Photoshopping it is really quick because I’m fairly well-versed in that, so that takes maybe 10 minutes at the most.”

Beller has attempted to get back at the prankster, but to no avail.

“I’ve tried, but nothing rhymes with Seidel,” Beller said. “Idol is the only thing I did, the American Idol. I’m stuck. His name’s not as easy to make things out of.”

The war became a way to brighten the day of students and staff.

“That’s why I’m like, ‘You can’t stop,’ but he said [last week was] the last week of it because he’s getting burned out,” Beller said. “I’m like, ‘Yes, but everyone else is thriving because of it.’ So I told him, ‘Okay, what if you just did one a week or one every two weeks or one a month. So it would still be a thing, but it wouldn’t have to be something you’d have to deal with every day.’”

The pranks have also extended beyond the walls of the school, as family, friends, and strangers joined in on the fun.

“I went home this weekend and my mom’s friends, because I’ve been posting them on social media, were talking to me about it, and then I was getting emails from some of my husband’s coworkers with ideas,” Beller said. “[My husband] had people he doesn’t even know who are my friends on social media sending him ideas, and it’s just like become this whole thing where families are talking about it. I’ve had two different people tell me their dinner conversations involved coming up with ideas, and I’m like, ‘This is so funny how something will just pick up like that.’”