Journey To the States Part 1: CHS Door Decorating

Bryn Schwartz and Julia Gaevsky

This past February, Centennial High School celebrated Black History Month in a unique way: by having a school-wide door decorating contest. Walking down the hallways of Centennial, students and staff were greeted with doors covered in colorful decorations and faces of historical and current Black individuals along with their accomplishments.

Among the many doors that stood out, there was one in particular, Mrs. Tew’s, that raised a very important message. Instead of the famous and classic MLK and Beyonce designs, the class took a different approach to the door decorating contest. They brought the topic right here to the heart of Centennial, featuring members of our staff.

Alejandra Martinez-Leon, a Centennial senior and former ESOL student, is one of this year’s student aids. She helps translate and explain assignments, working with the class’ Spanish-speaking students. The classroom is run by several teachers, one of whom is Mrs. Tew.

While brainstorming the door’s design, Martinez-Leon mentioned that she and “Mrs. Tew were thinking about how [they] could incorporate the subject of ESOL with the history of African Culture and Mrs. Tew came up with this fabulous idea of incorporating immigration for the theme of [their] door!” Showcasing two Centennial staff members who immigrated to the U.S: –custodians Mr. JP from Haiti and Mr. Jacob from Cameroon,–Mrs.Tew’s ESOL students brought the message of immigration home. 

“We wanted to include and let students know that immigration is a big part of Centennial history. And the best way to honor this was by taking advantage of the celebration of Black History Month,” stated Martinez-Leon.

The bright yellow ESOL door brought both awareness to the importance of recognizing and uplifting the Black community and extending arms to those who have endured the immigration process as part of our Centennial community.


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