The 2019 Winter Card Contest: The Season as Seen through Eyes of APS Students

As anyone following Atlanta Public Schools over the past few weeks knows, the district has found numerous ways to showcase the “EPIC” talent of our amazing students from the State of the District to the Anti-Defamation League’s Concert Against Hate to the many productions at our schools all over Atlanta.

And now we have our annual Winter Card Contest!

The student winners and their families were recognized at the Board of Education meeting on Monday at the Center for Learning and Leadership (CLL) at 130 Trinity Avenue SW. The winning designs along with dozens of other entries will remain on display in the lobby of CLL through the end of the calendar year.

More than 200 students from every corner of the district submitted winter card designs for this year’s competition. The Winter Card contest is open to all APS students and the entries are judged blindly, without knowledge of student names, student grade levels, teacher names, or schools. We evaluate the designs using multiple criteria, including overall concept, execution and integration of the APS brand.

I am always astonished at the breadth and depth of creativity. I cannot express the difficulty we have in selecting our winners especially when I find so much joy in looking at every card!

Every year, we identify first, second and third place winners, along with an honorable mention. This year, we added a few other awards because we felt these designs needed recognition as well!

Drum roll, please! Here are the winners of our 2019 Winter Card contest:

First place goes to Maria Lopez, a 12th grader at Mays High School for a winter scene of an APS bus outside of her school.

Second place goes to Danielle Dollar, a 10th grader at North Atlanta High School for this stunning image of a Labrador Retriever in the snow.

Third place goes to Scarlett Wills, also a 10th grader at North Atlanta, for a fireside scene with an APS constellation.

Rozaria Johnson, a fifth grader at Humphries Elementary School, earned an honorable mention for this snowman and winter clothes hanging on a line.

The most exciting part of this contest is that we’ve printed a number of the winning winter cards to share with you — our families, staff and community members — in celebration of our students’ talents. Because we’re not able to send a printed copy of these cards to everyone, I’m sharing them here with you, on my blog, for everyone to enjoy.

I also want to share with you a series of other cards that inspire us, amused us or captured an indescribable something in their work. So we have some special and fun “shout-out” awards:

Most Delicious – “Cookie Tray” by the Mary Lin Elementary Art Club (fourth and fifth grade)

Most Potential – “Holiday Woods” by Jennifer Choi, 8th grade at Sutton Middle School

Most Enigmatic – “Happy Holidays” by Carter Martin, 9th grade at North Atlanta High

Best Brand Integration – “Winter A” by Oliver Loring, 4th grade at Mary Lin Elementary

I want to thank all of our talented students who participated in this year’s contest, and I also want to thank all of our art teachers throughout the district, especially the art teachers of the students who won — Arshaad Norwood of Mays, Allison Shepard of North Atlanta and Shaena O’Kelley of Humphries.

A special thank you to Bill Goodman, our Director of Multimedia Design; Charlotte Napper, our Graphic Designer; and Dr. Sara Womack, our Fine and Performing Arts Coordinator, for spearheading this annual contest with me and for their guidance throughout the selection process.

Finally, for your additional amusement … a special extra winter card gift for you. I especially loved this one, which earned our Most Characteristic Today’s Student Award. Congrats to Berkeley Harrel, a 9th grader at North Atlanta High for “APS Snowman,” which included a note inside (scratched out by her teacher, but I thought it was hilariously typical of our kids today)!

Congratulations to all of our 2019 Winter Card contest winners on a job well done!

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