Two students win first place in art contests

Published 2:20 pm Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Pearl River County School Board honored two of its students during Monday night’s board of education meeting.

The teens, Kayla Lee and Jerrica Skipper, both ninth graders at Pearl River Central High School, each placed first among their peers in two different art contests involving hundreds of students from across Mississippi.

“It is really exciting,” said art teacher Jeanie Walker. “This is a first for our school.”

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Walker said this is the first year the school entered the Scholastic Art Award program. The contest, open to junior and senior high students through-out the country, gives awards in several areas of art including pen and ink, painting and pencil drawings. “I believe there were ten first place awards for the entire state of Mississippi,” said Walker. Kayla, who won first place in the state of Mississippi division, did a color pencil drawing depicting the state bird, a mockingbird, colored corn, and a nest with eggs.

After introducing Kayla, Pearl River County District Superintendent Dennis Penton praised her for her accomplishment of winning the Gold Key Award in the Scholastic Art Awards for Mississippi. “This is the most outstanding award available on state level,” Penton said. Kayla’s artwork will be forwarded to New York City where it will be judged nationally.

Kayla, the daughter of Jason and Lisa Lee, also will be honored at a special awards ceremony in Jackson on Feb. 22 and her piece will remain on exhibit at the Mississippi Museum of Art through March 29.

Jerrica entered the state of Mississippi’s Promote the Vote contest for high school students in grades 9 through 12. Working off the theme that all Americans have an equal opportunity to share their views and vote in an election, “One American, One Vote,” Jerrica also did a color pencil drawing depicting an American flag waving in the wind. The flag itself was of hands crossing one another. Included in the piece was a quote from John F. Kennedy.

Walker said that Jerrica also will be honored for her accomplishment with a special award ceremony Feb. 20. At that time, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann will present her with a savings bond and certificate. Jerrica’s artwork will remain on the Secretary of State’s website for the next year.