jagPRIDE hosts door decorating contest for Red Ribbon Week

The winners were the semianrs of social studies teacher Chris McAfee and art teacher Jodi Ellis’

Maddie Schaffer and Elizabeth Joseph


In order to help promote healthy lifestyles and behavior, 33 seminar classrooms decorated their doors to promote a healthy lifestyle as a part of Red Ribbon Week. The activities were sponsored by jagPRIDE.

The seminars classes of social studies teacher Chris McAfee and art teacher Jodi Ellis won the competition, with English teacher Page Anderson’s seminar and engineering teacher Gayle Kebodeaux’s seminar as runner-ups. The doors were judged on originality, craftsmanship and visual impact. Winners received cookie cakes.

Part of the reason jagPRIDE sponsor Debbie Gudenkauf decided to hold the contest was to let students realize healthy behaviors in a creative way.

“If you just say, ‘Don’t do drugs,’ does anybody listen to that? No,” Gudenkauf said. “We have to teach [kids] ways to make healthy decisions.”

According to sophomore Belle Bonn, who helped judge the doors for jagPRIDE, the contest was an opportunity” to see all of the ideas that come up and the creativity of our students.”

“I hope students got the sense of having fun and getting more knowledge than just throwing together a door,” Bonn said.

When it came to creating her door for science teacher Mary Beth Mattingly, junior Abby Lee wanted to focus on the overarching message of Red Ribbon Week promoting health and preventing substance abuse.

“[Our door decor was] less about drugs and more about living a healthy life and being the best you can. We wanted to get the full picture,” Lee said. “We just thought it’d be a lot of fun to be creative and get our statement out there, because drugs seem to be a big issue just in the world today.”

For Gudenkauf, the goal was that students enjoy and learn from the experience of crafting the door decor, beyond the literal reward.

“It’s not about the cookie cake,” Gudenkauf said. “It’s about the process of learning about healthy lifestyles, working together to create a plan and executing it.”

Although Lee’s chemistry-themed door didn’t win, she found the experience as rewarding as Gudenkauf had hoped it to be.

“I got really close with the girls that I did it with,” Lee said. “I feel like we’re all a friend group now, which is really cool. We’d always joke around with the other classes that were out there too, and just have a really good time.

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