Phoenix Students Compete to Measure Their Festivity

Students participated in the sixth annual Winter Door Decorating competition during advisory periods during the month of December. The festive doors included some sort of inclusive decoration, whether it was the names of the students or different cultures and kept up the holiday spirit.


Kamille Simon

Sophomores, Gouri Challa, Truc Bui, and Dhyeya Chandi from Family and Consumer Sciences teacher Christopher Berger’s advisory work diligently to perfect the 3D elements of their door decor, which was a winter wonderland-themed cabin. Sophomore Jackie Cheek was a collaborator of the group who took charge of the decoration, “We are having some of the guys do snowflakes,” Cheek said. “I think Gouri and some of the other girls are [making] a fireplace.”

After a week of brainstorming, you finally have a design planned to place on your classroom door. During advisory, you begin setting up your materials, but you soon realize that the preparation will take longer than you think. But thankfully, your classmates help you push through and towards the end of the period, you take a step back to admire your work — the classic green and red foliage lies upon light blue skies sprinkled with cotton white snowflakes. 

The annual door decorating tradition was planned by SCA members including senior Sneha Khandavalli. As creative director, Khandavalli hoped this friendly competition would promote school-wide school spirit. “I really hope this brings spirit to all the classrooms,” Khandavalli said. “All the students will be working on their classroom doors together, so hopefully it will help them build relationships and bring community and spirit to our school.” 

The competition was filled with fierce competitors that set their sights on winning, one of which was sophomores in Family and Consumer Sciences teacher Christopher Berger’s advisory. Led by sophomore Jackie Cheek, they worked together to craft a winter wonderland related design they called “Berger’s Cabin.” To plan what the door would look like Cheek came up with the idea and drew out the design, then they all split to create their perfect “Berger’s Cabin.”

Aside from just helping out with her own advisory, Cheek and some of her friends helped out their study hall teacher, science teacher William McClintic, decorate his door along with a few of her friends. They worked on the door for two weeks and in the end added their faces to a family photo they found online. “We wanted to incorporate our study hall friend group into some sort of cheesy family group photo,” Cheek said, “so we edited each of our faces into a card stock image you find on a frame at a store.

In English Learner teacher Margareta Cernev’s advisory, senior Medha Challa worked with her classmates to create various festive sayings in different languages. They originally planned to have  a winter landscape-themed door with elves, snowflakes, and the words “Merry Christmas,” but they later decided to make the theme broader to celebrate the diversity of cultures. “[My inspiration was how] kids around the world say ‘Happy New Year’ in different ways and how they celebrate in their own way,” Challa said. 

Most of the door decorating was stifled by the inclement weather on Dec. 15, which caused the final day of decorating to be canceled. Despite this, the judging proceeded and the winners were announced on Jan. 3. The following advisory classes placed first for their respective grade levels: for the freshmen science teacher Justin Brown’s class won, for the sophomores English teacher Jennifer Beasley’s class won, for the juniors P.E. teacher Joseph Carter’s class won, and for the seniors world languages teacher  Corinne Sanna’s class won. In the end, the class that won the competition overall was math teacher Karen Currans sophomore class.