ORIGINALLY WRITTEN CYNTHIA MARTENS
Area students in kindergarten through sixth grades received high honors in the Marion County Conservation Poster Contest sponsored by the Marion County Conservation District.
The awards for the contest winners were presented at a conservation banquet on Feb. 23 at Parkview Mennonite Brethren Church in Hillsboro.
“What’s unique is we won first, second and third place in each division, in the lower division and the upper division,” said Brian Stucky, art teacher for grades kindergarten through 12 in Goessel School District 411.
Stucky entered about 80 students in two of the three divisions of the poster contest.
The entries in grades kindergarten through six were judged prior to the awards banquet and winners received trophies and ribbons.
Winners in the division for kindergarten through first grade were three first-grade students from Hillsboro: first place, Joshua Wiebe; second place, Maci Schlehuber; and third place, Tyler Funk.
Winners in the lower division for first through third grades were these GES students: first place, Braden Unruh, second grade; second place, Michelle Unruh, third grade; and third place, Shanna Klassen, third grade.
GES winners in the upper division for fourth through sixth grades were: first place, Austin Unruh, fifth grade; second place, Anthony Esau, fifth grade; and third place, Cameron Stultz, fourth grade.
“I”m pretty proud of this,” Stucky said.
He said he sees this as a beginners graphic-design project and has chosen to be in charge of it at Goessel since he began teaching there in 1979. With the support of the teachers, he’s made it part of the art curriculum rather than a homeroom project, he added.
The conservation subjects his students were asked to deal with were more than just soil and water issues. They were also challenged to focus on such areas as plants, wildlife, recreation and such current issues as trash disposal and fuel conservation.
“Those kind of issues are tricky, and I challenged the kids to think about those and not just ‘Does your farm and garden grow well?'” Stucky said.
“I like to think they were challenged to be mindful of the awareness of the land and the natural resources.”
The first-place winners in each division will go to the State Association of Conservation Districts contest in November.