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Montgomery County Students Spread Peace through Bookmark Art Contest

Montgomery County Students Spread Peace through Bookmark Art Contest

Montgomery County Students Spread Peace through Bookmark Art Contest

Montgomery County, TX – The Dispute Resolution Center of Montgomery County, Inc. (DRC-MC) hosted an awards ceremony on April 20, 2023, for the winners of the 2023 Conflict Resolution Bookmark Art Contest (BAC).

The DRC-MC sponsors the BAC each year for Montgomery County students in kindergarten through eighth grade. The students’ original art work, which is the size and shape of a bookmark, was judged based on creativity and message. The winning bookmarks all reflect a conflict resolution or prevention theme, such as peer mediation, bullying prevention, talking things out, apologizing, respecting differences, listening, tolerance, solving problems together, peace building, and alternatives to violence. The 2023 winners were selected from over fourteen hundred student submissions from across Montgomery County.

The winners, their families, and their teachers were invited to attend the ceremony at the Montgomery County Jury Selection Room in the James H. Keeshan Building in Conroe to receive their awards. The student awards, which included cash prizes, certificates of achievement, gift bags and a commendation from Congressman Morgan Luttrell, and bullying prevention books for the schools, were presented by Judge Kathleen Hamilton. The winners, their teachers, and Judge Hamilton were then photographed with the “Wings of Peace,” an art piece created by the LMC Class of 2022 utilizing bookmark entries submitted by Montgomery County students in the 2018 and 2019 BACs.

“The DRC-MC has been pleased to sponsor the BAC since 2014, with the exception of a brief pause due to the pandemic. This is the largest peacebuilding art contest in Texas, and it gives Montgomery County students and their teachers an opportunity to address difficult topics such as bullying and conflict resolution in a fun and creative manner. The students’ peacebuilding messages are then shared with the community through laminated bookmarks distributed at public places or in pieces of public art created from the bookmark entries. The DRC-MC is extremely grateful to the 2023 volunteers and sponsors for all of their hard work and generosity in making this year’s Conflict Resolution Bookmark Art Contest such a success,” said Elaine Roberts, Executive Director of the DRC-MC. See https://resolution-center.org/bookmark/ for a complete listing.

The 2023 Conflict Resolution Bookmark Art Contest winners celebrated at the Awards Ceremony, and whose work will be available for viewing at the Montgomery County Memorial Library Central Branch Children’s Section for thirty days, are:

Level 1- Grades K-2

Grade Kindergarten Winners

First Prize: Alyna Anderson, Gordon-Reed Elementary. Teacher: Toni Sommers

Second Prize: Ender Joost, Gordon-Reed Elementary. Teacher: Toni Sommers

Third Prize: Reese Matthews, The Woodlands Christian Academy. Teacher: Grace Nguyen

Honorable Mention: Ellie Frailey, Lone Star Elementary. Teacher: Stacy Ritchie

Ender Joost: the Second Prize Winner, Level 1, Grade K from Gordon-Reed Elementary with his art teacher is Toni Sommers.

Grade 1 Winners

First Prize: Ethan De Leon, Snyder Elementary. Teacher: Deanna Wesner

Second Prize: Skye Lawrence, Snyder Elementary. Teacher: Deanna Wesner

Third Prize: Adam Grant, Gordon-Reed Elementary. Teacher: Toni Sommers

Honorable Mention (Tie): Abigail Johnson, Lone Star Elementary. Teacher: Stacy Ritchie; Charlotte Soileau, Lone Star Elementary. Teacher: Stacy Ritchie

Grade 2 Winners

First Prize: Audrey Allen, Lone Star Elementary. Teacher: Stacy Ritchie

Second Prize: Brooks Embrey, Snyder Elementary. Teacher: Deanna Wesner

Third Prize (Tie): Augi Giardina, St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School. Teacher: Suzanne Ettman; Ibrahim Chaparro Matute, St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School. Teacher: Suzanne Ettman

Honorable Mention (Tie): Luke De Vera, St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School. Teacher: Suzanne Ettman; Ava Walton, Gordon-Reed Elementary. Teacher: Toni Sommers

Staff Favorite: Cora Earnest, All Nations Community School. Teacher: Kristian Aranda

Level 2- Grades 3-5

Grade 3 Winners

First Prize: Lena Corbell, Snyder Elementary. Teacher: Deanna Wesner    

Second Prize:  Lexi Wolfe, Snyder Elementary. Teacher: Deanna Wesner

Third Prize: Kinleigh Moore, Lone Star Elementary. Teacher: Stacy Ritchie Honorable Mention: Kendall McKinney, Bear Branch Elementary. Teacher: Cierra De La Cruz

Grade 4 Winners

First Prize:  Giulianna Pessanha, Galatas Elementary. Teacher: Marcy Marcum; Counselor: Lyndsey Christopher

Second Prize: Camila Fletcher, Gordon-Reed Elementary. Teacher: Toni Sommers

Third Prize: Sarah Adkins, Snyder Elementary, Teacher: Kathline Lindsey Honorable Mention (Tie): Sebastian Daily, Galatas Elementary. Teacher: Kari Johnson and Counselor: Lyndsey Christopher; Jenner Janca, Lone Star Elementary. Teacher: Stacy Ritchie

Staff Favorites: Stefan Scheepers, Keenan Elementary School. Teachers: Melissa Paddock (Homeroom) and Amy Suttles (Art); Eugenia Villarreal, The John Cooper School. Teacher: Amy Dietrich (Art) and Linda Donald (Counselor)

Grade 5 Winners

First Prize: Madeline Cain, Lone Star Elementary. Teacher: Stacy Ritchie

Second Prize: Alexa Jasso, Lone Star Elementary. Teacher: Stacy Ritchie

Third Prize: John Klein, The Woodlands Methodist School. Teacher: Shelly VanBenthuysen

Honorable Mention: Haylee Sheard, Lone Star Elementary. Teacher: Stacy Ritchie

Staff Favorites: Laney George, Wilkerson Intermediate. Teacher: Karen Etue; Bently Mathes, Gordon Reed Elementary. Teacher: Toni Sommers; Hunter Watson, Lone Star Elementary Teacher: Stacy Ritchie; Katilyn Yao, Wilkerson Intermediate: Teacher: Janeice Robinson

Level 3- Grades 6-8

Grade 6 Winners

First Prize: Katelynn Mc Kinney, Bear Branch Intermediate. Teacher: Jessica

Mc Kinney   

Second Prize: Sophie Koulikova, The Woodlands Methodist School. Teacher: Shelly VanBenthusysen

Third Prize: Eden Brown, Clark Intermediate School. Teacher: Josh Young

Honorable Mention: Michael Avery, Wilkerson Intermediate. Teacher: Janeice Robinson

Staff Favorites: Radmila Balybina, Wilkerson Intermediate. Teacher: Karen Etue. Victoria Montero, The Woodlands Methodist School. Teacher: Shelly VanBenthuysen; Luis Tojin, Wilkerson Intermediate. Teacher: Janeice Robinson

Grade 7 Winners

First Prize: Katherine Hu, McCullough Jr. High. Teacher: Dara Owen

Second Prize (Tie):  Sherry Gao, McCullough Jr. High. Teacher: Dara Owen;

Sadie Rosencrans, McCullough Jr. High. Teacher: Dara Owen

Third Prize: Elaf Rama, McCullough Jr. High. Teacher: Dara Owen   

Honorable Mention: Sofia Hernandez-Merced, Lynn Lucas Middle School. Teacher: Kristi Johnson

Staff Favorites: Lindsey Boyd, Lynn Lucas Middle School, Teacher: Kristi Johnson;   Sarah Malik, McCullough Junior High. Teacher: Roberta Willeford; Aaliyah Nixon, Lynn Lucas Middle School, Teacher: Kristi Johnson; Gabrielle Saxe, Peet Junior High. Teacher: Holly Villa

Grade 8 Winners

First Prize:  Valerie Gonzalez-Vela, McCullough Jr. High. Teacher: Dara Owen

Second Prize: Slayton Hernandez, McCullough Jr. High. Teacher: Roberta Willeford

Third Prize: Marcus Lin, McCullough Jr. High. Teacher: Dara Owen

Honorable Mention (Tie): Hana Rasmuson, McCullough Jr. High. Teacher: Emily Beekman; Avery Johnson, Lynn Lucas Middle School. Teacher: Emileigh Dean

The Dispute Resolution Center of Montgomery County, Inc. (DRC-MC) is a non-profit organization that provides and promotes affordable, high-quality dispute resolution services and training to the Montgomery County area. The DRC-MC has been helping people with difficult conversations since 1988. For additional information on DRC-MC programs and services, or to order free laminated copies of the nine 2023 Bookmark Art Contest winning bookmarks chosen by the judges to be distributed in Montgomery County, go to www.resolution-center.org or call (936) 760-6914.

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