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Winners of the local 2019 Arbor Day Poster Contest, joined by Mayor Paul Finley and Councilman Gerald Clark, pose with their certificates in front of their poster designs at Madison Municipal Complex Feb. 25. Not all winners were present. (Record Photo/Kendyl Hollingsworth)

Arbor Day Poster Contest winners honored at Madison City Council meeting

MADISON — In preparation for Alabama Arbor Day, fifth-graders across Madison kicked their creativity into high gear to illustrate their own poster designs for the annual Arbor Day Poster Contest. The winners of that contest were recognized with special certificates at Madison City Council’s Feb. 25 meeting.

Following Mayor Paul Finley’s proclamation declaring the week of Feb. 26 as Arbor Day Week in Madison, Lisa Thomas introduced the poster contest winners from each of Madison’s elementary schools, including St. John’s. This year’s theme was “Trees are Terrific, Inside and Out.” More than 3,000 students from 33 schools across Alabama entered the big contest this year.

“The poster contest, as we know, offers the fifth-graders the chance to learn the importance of trees in our environment,” Thomas said. “It also offers them the opportunity to have the insight to be creative as young people.”

There were a total of 32 winners for the local contest—four from each school. The winners were called up one school at a time in the order of first place, second place, third place and honorable mention. Each student received a certificate signed by Finley, Council President Steve Smith and District 6 Councilman Gerald Clark, the council liaison for the Madison Beautification and Tree Board. In addition to the certificates, students also received a small gift and cash prize.

The winners are listed below in the order they were recognized at the meeting.

Heritage Elementary (teacher: Jessica Miller)

  • Isabelle Bao
  • Joshua Shi
  • Avery Snodgrass
  • Aayana Harris
(Record Photo/Kendyl Hollingsworth)

Mill Creek Elementary (teacher: Jackie Smith)

  • Paige Quarles
  • Grace Greenfield
  • Disha Patel
  • Natalie Crawley
(Record Photo/Kendyl Hollingsworth)

Rainbow Elementary (teacher: Susan Vest)

  • Cassia Dotson
  • Natalie Ball
  • Daniyah Charles
  • Braley Foust
(Record Photo/Kendyl Hollingsworth)

Madison Elementary (teacher: Renae Yancey)

  • Berlin Detulleo
  • Geight Wessel
  • Farah Gouda
  • Ally Claire Tucker
(Record Photo/Kendyl Hollingsworth)

Horizon Elementary (teacher: Wade Thaxton)

  • Joseph Worthington
  • Emma Jo Light
  • Isaac Lockhart
  • Tera Jackson
(Record Photo/Kendyl Hollingsworth)

Columbia Elementary (teacher: Kelly Johnson)

  • Claire Jeong
  • Raleigh Batchelor
  • Alivia Barber
  • Emily Ingraham
(Record Photo/Kendyl Hollingsworth)

St. John’s (teacher: Julie Godwin)

  • Brolin Cozzolino
  • Janvier Norville
  • Laney Homelvig
  • Kate Johnson
(Record Photo/Kendyl Hollingsworth)

West Madison Elementary (teacher: Annie Glass)

  • Aniyah Knight
  • Charlotte Peeden
  • Ava Zimmerman
  • Elizabeth Lee
(Record Photo/Kendyl Hollingsworth)

“A lot of people say it takes a village, and it takes a village to do this,” Thomas said, thanking her committee and co-chairman for their dedication to providing students the opportunity to participate. “We distributed about 817 pieces of poster board to all eight schools of the city, and in saying that, all the students had the opportunity to express themselves.”

The poster contest is put on each year by the Madison Beautification and Tree Board. Several members of the Master Gardeners of North Alabama have volunteered each year since the contest’s inception to be impartial judges for the local entries, according to Thomas. They judged more than 700 posters this year.

The winning designs were submitted to the statewide contest in Anniston, Alabama, earlier this month. Though this year’s winning poster design for the state contest did not come from a Madison student, the winner is just a hop, skip and a jump away in Huntsville.

“I’m proud to say that you guys did a really outstanding job,” Thomas told the students. “Our Master Gardeners had a really difficult time making the decisions.”

Thomas also thanked local printing company Color XPress. “They really helped us out a lot with the posters in cutting them to make sure we were set to qualifications,” Thomas said. “There were standards we had to adhere to from the extension service before submitting the posters. They did an outstanding job of helping us out.”

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