Students and faculty celebrate 30 years

School anniversary party takes place in the courtyard following testing

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Photo by: Preston Rolls

[MCAC's] major goal is to provide a good example of no hate in this club. We welcome all and everyone.

Cianna Chairez, Editor-in-Chief

What originally started as a student leadership carnival supporting the No Place for Hate initiative unexpectedly turned into a birthday party for the school as a fun activity for students during PSAT testing day.

Led by coach Vickie Benson, the student leadership class spent weeks leading up to the October 10 day planning for the school-wide event. Senior Jack Rainey is a part of the organization.

“Since this is Bowie’s 30th year, we thought combining a birthday party in with the carnival would be a good way to celebrate our school and it’s wonderful students and staff of the past and present,” Rainey said. “We were also very grateful that student council provided the birthday cake to celebrate the occasion.”

The student leadership class is in charge of organizing three No Place For Hate activities a year along with many other duties, including mentoring freshmen. According to Benson, her class was adamant about doing a carnival since the first week of school.

“They unanimously wanted to do a carnival,” Benson said. “The idea of doing the carnival was just that they wanted to do something that was fun, that would be a stress-free activity that students could partake in or not partake in and that’s really where it came from.”

There are 38 students in the student leadership class and in order to cover the different aspects of the carnival, they were split into six to seven groups. The organization had about nine class periods of preparation.

Photo by: Preston Rolls
Student Council: We provided and cut cake for the entire school. We got about forty cakes from Costco that morning and cut them in the cafeteria. Emily Leeke, 12

“The most difficult part of planning was probably trying to make sure everyone understood what was going on; where to go at what time, what was being offered, and especially the SEL FIT sign-ups,” Rainey said.

For senior Mary Tijerina, the carnival went smoothly due to the number of volunteers and student leaders willing to help.

“The carnival took a lot of time and dedication and coordinating it was very hard,” Tijerina said. “We had multiple groups of students that made up games, made posters, got organizations involved, and spoke with the teachers and faculty, but since every student leader was so involved and dedicated about this carnival, there weren’t any rough spots.”

According to Benson, the student leaders dedicated a lot of time to ensure the carnival would be a success.

“Honestly, I was just really proud of the student leaders,” Benson said. “I didn’t feel nervous at all, because I knew how hard they had been working on it. It wasn’t gonna fail. They came up with things that I didn’t even think about; that’s how strong of a group that we have. I really was just proud of them.”

Since this is Bowie’s 30th year, we thought combining a birthday party in with the carnival would be a good way to celebrate our school and it’s wonderful students and staff of the past and present.”

— Jack Rainey

During the No Place For Hate carnival, there were various activities and booths. From karaoke to a laser obstacle course, students had a variety of options to choose from.

“A group of student leaders picked games for the carnival that would be fun, but also had No Place For Hate themed booths such as ring toss being ‘toss away hate’ and other fun puns like that,” Tijerina said.

One of the prizes given out at the various booths included a button with Principal Mark Robinson’s face printed on it.

“We thought it’d be a good way to get students to want to play games and win enough tickets to get a pin since everyone thought having a pin of the principal would be fun,” Rainey said. “The teachers actually ended up loving the pins. After the carnival, we gave the leftover pins to teachers. They thought it was hilarious.”

Photo by: Preston Rolls
Student Leadership: We were a vital role in the carnival. About a month before, we came up with the idea, we asked all the clubs and teachers to help out and came up with each booth and all the prizes too. Caitlyn Sanchez, 11

The No Place For Hate carnival was a success, according to Benson. English teacher Vicki Hebert has taught on campus since it opened. For her, the thirtieth birthday celebration inspires reflection.

“I have a job where I get to fall in love with 180 people every year,” Hebert said. “But mostly it’s just that joy of day to day coming together and when it works, it’s magical. And when it doesn’t work, it’s a different kind of magical all together. Like when the toilets didn’t work. Over three thousand people in one building and there’s no plumbing. Let’s go back to the nineteenth century.”

According to Hebert, times have changed.

“When Bowie first opened, it was an open campus so kids went off for lunch and they came back and that was all four grades,” Hebert said. “There was a smoking area in the back of the school. Everybody’s bangs stuck straight up, which was quite possibly the world’s worst haircut ever.”

For Hebert, there are certain unique characteristics about this campus.

“I may be Pollyanna about this, but I think one of the things that really marks Bowie as being different from a great many high schools is the appreciation that most of the students have for each other and the bullies are not tolerated by other people, even if you’re not the brunt of it,” Hebert said. “Other people don’t tolerate it.”

In the future, Hebert hopes that Bowie will continue to be a place where students feel welcome.

“That it will continue to be a place where young people come to express who they are or find who they are or find people who are like they are and in a tumultuous part of their life, find joy and peace,” Hebert said.