BSU opens doors with contest to celebrate Black History Month: Paw Print BARK takes trophy in district wide competition


Victoria Hermosillo, Staff Writer

The Black Student Union (BSU), hosted an annual contest Feb. 1 to Feb. 28 for BARK classes to decorate their door in dedication to a African American icon from history, in efforts to celebrate Black History Month. This is Buena’s second year holding this contest and the first year the contest has become a district wide competition. Buena’s BSU and that door will compete with top doors from high schools around the district including Foothill, El Camino, Ventura , and Pacifica High School.

Up to 14 BARK classes participated in the contest this year with three claiming a prize. The results of this contest were released Friday, May 14 showcasing Buena’s top three winners. In first place came English teacher Karin Childress’s Paw Print Literary Magazine BARK in room 14, with their door highlighting the noted young poet, Amanda Gorman.

“She’s so important because she’s the youngest poet laureate of the United States that we have had. She was chosen to give a speech at President Biden’s inauguration. “ Childress said.

Childress gave all credit to her students as they were the ones who took initiative in decorating the door that is now representing Buena in the district wide contest.

“Usually they pick a poet that’s been around for years as an older person like Robert Frost and Maya Angelou. So, to pick a young person, I think, really she has a vision for the future,” Childress said.

The students all participated in braiding yarn for the hair with beads, to help add a three-dimensional element to the door. Along with this, they participated in writing poems in the background, with different designs, shaping pieces of clothes and buttons.

“It was a really cool project because it was multimedia and it was combining art and organization. Something everyone in paw print is passionate about, which is writing. So the person we picked was obviously a writer and we were supporting the black student union,” freshman Solana Warren said.

Second place was given to Health Teacher Lauren Lanski in room 94, who made a door paying homage to Debra Lee Johnson who was selected for Penn State Cheerleading and became the first African American squad captain.

“The contest provided a great opportunity to highlight various African American individuals who have positively impacted our society. It also provided an opportunity for collaboration and teamwork in creating the poster for the door,”

— Lauren Lanski

Leading her team to the National Championships and got the chance to perform with the Paul Robeson Dance Company. Lanski’s class used streamers to represent Debra’s pom poms, printed photos of Debra and her team, and neatly drew vines on blue wrapper paper covering the door.

Coming in third place, Special Education teacher Sarah Weinberg’s BARK class in room 200 made their door on Michelle Obama. Michelle, being the first black first lady and wife of the first African American president, Barack Obama, who was the 44 president of the United States. Michelle graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Princeton and a juris doctor degree from Harvard Law School. Weinberg’s BARK class decorated their door with colored tissue paper for the dress, and paper hands with written quotes. Even though only five students in her class were involved in making the door, Weinberg was happy to see them working hard and coming up with creative ideas for their door.

“I liked seeing what they came up with as a group. There were a couple students who took the lead and came up with unique ways to showcase our person,” Weinberg said.