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KWWF announces 2011-12 calendar winners

ROSCOMMON – The Kirtland’s Warbler Wildlife Festival committee is proud to announce the winners of the 2011-12 Young Artist Calendar contest.

Students from at least nine different schools from around northern Michigan and the Bahamas earned “winners” status in this year’s contest, with fifth-grader Tyler Sealey of Emma E. Cooper Primary School on the island of Eleuthera in The Bahamas garnering top overall honors and a $75 gift certificate.

Sealey’s drawing was of a Kirtland’s warbler, North America’s rarest songbird, perched on a palm tree branch while enjoying the sunshine. The Bahamas serves as the wintering ground of the warbler.

“The judges were unanimous about this entry and that it would be a great front cover,” said Dennis Mansfield, contest coordinator. “This year’s entries were outstanding – some of the best we’ve had. And, we had a great variety, not just drawings of the Kirtland’s warbler. They’ll make for a very colorful and entertaining calendar.”

Winning placement on the back cover – as well as a $50 gift certificate – was Destyni Pegouskie, a second-grader at Surline Elementary School in West Branch. Green Castle Primary School (Bahamas) fifth-grader Wendell Nesbitt won third-place honors and will have his entry featured on the inside cover, while Lexis Nichols, a sixth-grader at the Crawford-Excelsior School near Kalkaska will have her drawing on the inside inset.

The panel of judges also made a special selection, voting to Roscommon Middle School fifth-grader Ryan Brooks’ entry as the featured drawing for May 2012.

“Brooks did a spectacular drawing of a Kirtland’s perched on a jack pine branch eating a bug,” Mansfield said. “With May being the month the Kirtland’s returns from the Bahamas and that of the festival, the judges made a special request Ryan’s drawing represent that time frame.

“This is the second year we’ve done a special selection for May,” he added. “And, Ryan’s drawing was an outstanding effort that should help highlight this important time of year for the Kirtland’s and the festival.”

Nesbitt, Nichols and Brooks will each receive a $25 gift certificate.

Other calendar winners include:

Chloe Headings, 5th grade, T.R.U.T.H. Homeschool Group, West Branch

Emily Richards, kindergarten, T.R.U.T.H. Homeschool Group, West Branch

Kianna Bedtelyon, 8th grade, T.R.U.T.H. Homeschool Group, West Branch

Sean Polom, 7th grade, Surline Middle School, West Branch

Mallory Meier, 3rd grade, Surline Elementary School, West Branch

Ben Alderton, 1st grade, T.R.U.T.H. Homeschool Group, West Branch

Mackenzie Morris, 6th grade, Surline Middle School, West Branch

Jenna Haring, 2nd grade, AuSable Primary School, Grayling

Emily Cline, 8th grade, T.R.U.T.H. Homeschool Group, West Branch

Tessa Heliin, kindergarten, Roscommon Elementary School, Roscommon

Aislyn Reetz, 4th grade, Surline Elementary School, West Branch

Hannah Cline, 4th grade, T.R.U.T.H. Homeschool Group, West Branch

Courtney Schaiberger, 7th grade, T.R.U.T.H. Homeschool Group, West Branch

Darrin Hawes, 3rd grade, Grayling Elementary School, Grayling

David Millikin, 1st grade, AuSable Primary School, Grayling

“The committee members and judges couldn’t say enough about the drawings,” Mansfield added. “It shows what talented and artistic students we have here in northern Michigan, as well as the Bahamas. Along with the efforts of the students who earned honorable mention recognition, we expect the drawings to make an even more spectacular calendar.”

All the calendar entries will be on display at the annual Kirtland’s Warbler Wildlife Festival this Saturday, May 21, at the Kirtland House conference center.

For more information, contact Mansfield via e-mail at mansfied@kirtland.edu or call 989-275-5000, extension 242.