SAN MARCOS —The Texas Alliance for Geographic Education has announced the winners of the 16th Annual Geography Awareness Week (GAW) Poster Contest. This year’s theme, Habitats: Home Sweet Home, allowed students to illustrate the importance of natural habitats through responsible use, conservation and preservation.
First place winners are second grader Mitchell Pavel of Weatherford Elementary (Plano), fourth grader Kelly Widder of Weatherford Elementary (Plano), sixth grader Rachel Lau of Sugar Land Middle School (Sugar Land) and ninth grader Drew Mitchell of Friendswood High School (Friendswood). Each student will receive their awards before their family and friends at the Capitol on November 17.
The students’ teachers will also be recognized. The award-winning teachers are: Ms. Robertson of Weatherford Elementary; Mrs. Acree of Weatherford Elementary; Ms. Eppler of Sugar Land Middle School; and Ms. Rinehart of Friendswood High School.
Each year the Texas Alliance for Geographic Education, headquartered at Texas State University-San Marcos, sponsors a statewide poster contest from kindergarten through 12th grade for students to celebrate Geography Awareness Week (Nov. 16-22). This year, more than 40,000 students from approximately 200 schools participated in local poster events. The winning posters from each campus, by grade category (K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12), were sent to Texas State for statewide judging.
The posters will be on display in the Evans Liberal Arts building at Texas State. Troy Kimmel (meteorologist, KEYE-TV Austin), Elizabeth Nash, Rae Fry Hill and Brandon Leister (San Antonio Water Systems) served as judges to determine the statewide winner in each grade division. The judges selected first through third winners and honorable mention in each grade division.
K-2 Division: 1, Mitchell Pavel, Weatherford Elementary (Weatherford); 2, Emma Weiss, Bettye Haun Elementary (Plano); 3, Taylor Rodriquez, Green Tree Elementary (Kingwood); Honorable Mention, Jay Purohit, Will Davis Elementary (Austin).
3-5 Division: 1, Kelly Widder, Weatherford Elementary (Weatherford); 2, Phillip Barrios, De Zavala Elementary (San Marcos); 3, Anna Koelling, Aldridge Elementary (Richardson); Honorable Mention, Robert Bertel, A.V. Cato Elementary (Fort Worth).
6-8 Division: 1, Rachel Lau, Sugar Land Middle School (Sugar Land); 2, Kara Ploetz, Bradley Middle School (San Antonio); 3, Amanda Southwell, Corbett Jr. High School (Schertz); Honorable Mention, Brittany Graham, Sheldon Intermediate (Houston).
9-12 Division: 1, Drew Mitchell, Friendswood High School (Friendswood); 2, Jessica Garcia, Sabinal High School (Sabinal); 3, Amadeo Gardia, W.C. Akins High School (Austin); Honorable Mention, Nichole Wooton, New Braunfels High School (New Braunfels).