An Exclusive Chat with SPFHS’ Mr. Spiffy High


Anthony Malta, Editor-in-Chief

Joe Domingues doesn’t always dress in typical 70’s outfits and dance to disco music. He’s not a fan of the Boston Celtics, although he rapped House of Pain’s “Jump Around” in a Larry Bird jersey. However, on the night of Dec. 2, Domingues took on both of those roles in a successful effort to be crowned as the victor of an intense competition.

Meet this year’s Mr. Spiffy High. 

The “Mr. Spiffy High” competition is an annual event run by the Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA). Senior contestants perform amusing dances, lip-sync battles and other forms of entertainment in front of a committee of judges, who are SPFHS staff members, to earn such a title. Audience members can donate money to propel their favorite contestants to the top four, with all proceeds going towards the Pediatric Hydrocephalus Foundation. 

I had the opportunity to sit down and discuss “Mr. Spiffy High” with the 2022-23 victor Joe Domingues, and here was our conversation:


What does it mean to be Mr. Spiffy High?

Domingues: It really is an honor. [Mr. Spiffy High] is such a long standing tradition of Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School and I’m just grateful for it. Not only for winning it, but it’s such a great cause. I think we raised a little over $3,000 and donated to a great charity that truly helps real issues. 


What did you do to prepare for Spiffy High, both for your act and mentally?

Domingues: Getting up on stage was a little nerve-racking. When I was little, I did the elementary school variety show for four years so I would say that kind of helped even though it was such a long time ago. I’m not really too nervous in front of crowds, but I also prepared a lot going into it. I had to choreograph the dance myself, and then memorize a rap song, which was “Jump Around” by House of Pain and I danced to “Stayin’ Alive” by The Bee Gees. The dance was only a minute, but it did take some time to come up with the moves and the rhythm, especially choreographing it with multiple people. 


How did it feel to win?

Domingues: I wasn’t expecting it. But I’m going in there with the mentality that I have to win. Not “I might win,” “I have to.” Thinking that this was mine for the taking really helped me and I kept that mentality the whole competition. I felt so great winning; it was an accomplishment.


What does it take to be Mr. Spiffy High?

Domingues: It takes pride, grit, perseverance and, above all else, energy because you need to be someone that isn’t afraid of standing out, isn’t afraid of showing who they are. You can’t be someone that’s shy. You really have to put yourself out there to do this and I brought myself out of my comfort zone.


What was your favorite part of the experience?

Domingues: The best part for me wasn’t just the winning, it was being with those people that I usually wouldn’t hang out with– spending time after school, during lunch, really hanging out with [the other contestants] and building a connection with them was great because I had to trust the other guys when doing the opening and closing acts and I had to make sure they were in their places and they knew that I was going to be in my place. So it was like we built a bond of trust amongst ourselves.


Tell me about yourself. 

Domingues: I am someone who may not seem very outgoing to you at first, but as you get to know me, you will find out that I’m someone who is a very outgoing, very kind, caring and compassionate person.  I’m someone that you can talk to if you have an issue. I’m there for you. I’m someone that will help you if you need help. Not only am I Mr. Spiffy High, but I am one of the youth leaders at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church (IHM). And I will say that does help me with having an open mind in school. Knowing all the different people that I work with in the youth group allows me to understand that some opinions and personalities don’t mix too well. So that’s why I always keep an open mind.


What do you do in your free time?

Domingues: I have club soccer this winter and in the coming spring. I’ve also been working with a youth group at the IHM church for the past two and a half years. I help coach a youth group girls soccer team and we recently went undefeated in our season. I like spending time with my two dogs Bailey and Blu, and will say I’m a very family-oriented man. I love to do things with my family and just be surrounded by them. 


Do you have any advice for underclassmen?

Domingues: If you’re struggling don’t be afraid to reach out to a teacher, friend or parent because there are times when we have a lot on our mind and don’t know what to do. So it’s good to turn to someone older than us that has more experience, like a teacher who’s been there before and, to a degree, understands what we’re going through.