jagPRIDE hosts mental health themed door decorating contest

Seminars competed to display the most creative door with the best message that relates to the theme of mental health

Libby Strathman, JAG photo editor

JagPRIDE hosted its 10th annual seminar door decorating contest with a theme of mental health, encouraging seminars to work together and discuss aspects of positive mental health. Science teacher Jill Lloyd’s seminar was chosen as this year’s winner by jagPRIDE members who judged the doors Wednesday, Oct. 27.

According to jagPRIDE sponsor Debbie Gudenkauf, one of the unique parts of the contest

is that it is entirely student-led.

“The door decorating is supposed to be all student-driven, so no teacher help is allowed besides approving the design,” Gudenkauf said. “The kids are to do all of the work like coming up with the plan, getting it approved, decorating the door and bringing in materials on their own.”

Many students like sophomore Austin Lieker chose to incorporate spooky motifs into their design due to the contest’s close proximity to Halloween. 

“We wanted to do something kind of scary since Halloween is this weekend,” Lieker said. “Since there is a new ‘Scream’ movie coming out, someone suggested we make it ‘Scream’ themed and then we incorporated the mental health aspect and built off of that idea.”

Gudenkauf also explained that the contest has many positive benefits for students.

“The door decorating contest is a great team-building experience for the seminars and it gets them talking about mental health, substance abuse and processing what that looks like from a teen’s perspective,” Gudenkauf said. “It also helps foster discussion about healthy ways to cope with mental health issues.”

Sophomore Brooklyn LaFon enjoyed being able to use creativity and problem-solving skills when decorating the door.

“My favorite part was putting up the 3D [Ghostface] character because it was fun to figure out where to place him and he really pulled it all together,” Lafon said.

Other students like Lieker were happy to compete, as it gave him a fun project to work on during seminar.

“We aren’t allowed to be on our phones during seminar so it was nice to get out of the room and have something to do,” Lieker said.

Lafon explained that her seminar succeeded by using time outside of seminar to complete the project.

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