Eastern Idaho fifth grader wins SDE holiday card contest

American Heritage Charter School fifth grader Lily Wayment’s colorful Christmas drawing has won over State Superintendent Sherri Ybarra and the judges in the State Department of Education’s annual holiday card contest.

Ybarra and SDE officials announced Monday they named Lily as the overall grand prize winner in this year’s contest. Lily’s drawing beat out more than 700 contest submissions from students across Idaho in grades K-6.

As a result, Lily’s design will be forever memorialized as it graces the front of the SDE’s 2019 holiday cards.

Lily, who appeared to use both markers and colored pencils in her work, depicted a cozy Christmas scene playing out in front of the family fireplace. A cat and a dog warm themselves peacefully in front of a candy-cane striped fireplace. Stockings hang on a mantle and a collection of colorfully wrapped presents is stacked up under a Christmas tree, which is decked out in ornaments and topped by a giant golden star.

While the piece depicts a number of classic Christmas symbols and traditions, it appears that Lily’s artistic eye and attention to detail won judges over. Clearly, the holiday season and pets are the focal points of Lily’s piece. Although no people are depicted in the room, Lily gives the piece a human presence: in a framed photo mounted on a blue wall a prankster makes bunny ears behind two unsuspecting companions. A December calendar, accurate down to the detail that Dec. 1 fell on a Sunday this year, is partially depicted in frame.

Lily also included a framed portrait of the pets and stacked the family room with lively details such as mistletoe, a decorative teddy bear and a festive pinecone.

In a news release, judges raved that the competition was fierce, the decision was not easy and the winners were all deserving.

“The bright colors, imagination and joy of Idaho’s young students make this contest a highlight of our year at the State Department of Education,” Ybarra said in a written statement. “It’s also a very challenging process to narrow it down to one winner per grade. The creativity and holiday spirit of the entries are remarkable.”

Other grade level winners from the SDE’s holiday card contest include:

  • Analia Lopez, Wilder Elementary, kindergarten.
  • Brinnley Bauer, Wilder Elementary, first grade.
  • Yareli Partida, Aberdeen Elementary, second grade.
  • Kaelynn Simmons, Whitman Elementary, Lewiston, third grade.
  • Elle Walker, McSorley Elementary, Lewiston, fourth grade.
  • Kylie McKee-Powell, North Star Charter, sixth grade.

All of the winning artwork is available to view on the State Department of Education’s website.

In recent years, Lewiston School District students have excelled in the holiday card contest. This year’s third- and fourth-grade winners came from Lewiston. In 2018, the sixth-grade winner came from Lewiston. In 2017, the first- and third-grade winners hailed from Lewiston. And, in 2015, overall winner Ashlynn Baldus attended Lewiston’s Orchards Elementary, according to a review of five years’ worth of SDE holiday card contest press releases.

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