The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, headquarters for the Texas division of Wildlife Forever’s State-Fish Art Contest, has announced the Texas division winners for 2015.
In the K-3 category, winners are: First Place, Madeline Terry of Brownsboro; Second Place, Ruhaani Badve of Flower Mound; Third Place, Diya Hegde of Irving.
In the grades 4–6 category, winners are: First Place, Rachel Maughan of Keller; Second Place, Charlotte Berkenbile of Southlake; Third Place, Yiwei Shen of Coppell.
In the grades 7–9 category, winners are: First Place, Candice Ma of Sugar Land; Second Place, Gwenyth Amacher of Colleyville; Third Place, Joseph Boyd of Keller.
In the grades 10–12 category, winners are: First Place, Kriti Sinha of Irving; Second Place, Bailee Ryals of Warren; Third Place, Emily Shirey of Keller.
Texas artists and their families will be recognized at an awards ceremony at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens on June 13.
First-place winners advance to the national level and compete against winners from other states. One outstanding piece of artwork each year is selected for the Art of Conservation Award, and a commemorative stamp featuring the artwork is produced for sale. Proceeds from sales of the stamp are used to fund conservation projects.
Scholarships and financial assistance for Texas winners to attend the state and national awards are provided by the Toyota Texas Bass Classic. Scholarships in the grades 10–12 division are $1,000 for first place, $750 for second place and $500 for third place. Awards in the 4–6 and 7–9 grade levels are $200 for first, $150 for second, $100 for third. In the K–3 division awards are $100 for first, $75 for second, $50 for third.
Additional support for the contest is provided by the William E. Armentrout Foundation and Friends of the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center.
“Sponsor support for the Texas contest has been a key factor in making it the biggest in the nation,” said Zoe Ann Stinchcomb, Texas coordinator. “This year the Texas contest had more than 1,000 entries. In addition to the scholarships, Texas first-, second- and third-place winners also receive quality fishing gear, and each child participating in the Texas contest receives a certificate. None of this could happen without the support of our sponsors.”
Stinchcomb also pointed out that research done on the Texas contest shows that participation in the contest makes students more likely to become interested in fishing. “Getting youth involved in the outdoors is a key goal of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and we applaud our sponsors for helping grow the future generation of stewards of our outdoors,” she said.
Honorable mentions for Texas students in grades K–3 are awarded to: Lauren Assenheimer, Southlake; Isha Chebrolu, Flower Mound; Miranda Covington, Irving; Anjali Guadavalli, Plano; Neha Nagarapu, Irving; Aanya Patel, Flower Mound; Riya Sajan, Flower Mound.
Honorable mentions in grades 4–6 are awarded to: Madeleine Alexander, Keller; Nathan Angel, Fort Worth; Michelle Huang, Coppell; Eva Perez, Dickinson; Ananya Subramaniam, Carrollton; Trista Swafford, Cedar Hill.
Honorable mentions for grades 7–9 are: April Heaney, Roanoke; Paul Chou, Coppell; Christa Gorman, Irving; Audrey Horn, Keller; Melanie Loredo, Rio Hondo; Ainsley Mendenhall, Keller; Amirtha Shekar, Irving.
Honorable mentions for grades 10–12 are: Bryce BonAnno, Canyon; Quinn Brashier, Silsbee; Tristan Hall, Village Mills; Daniel Heaney, Roanoke; Zaira Hester, Livingston; Zhexin Jaing, Carrollton; Zachery Long, Big Spring;
Educators who wish to have their students enter the contest can download the free “State-Fish Art Contest Lesson Plan” at www.statefishart.com. The interdisciplinary curriculum includes lessons and activities, a species identification section profiling each state fish, a glossary and student worksheets. Entries must be postmarked by March 31 each year.
The State-Fish Art Contest is a project of Wildlife Forever. Located in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, Wildlife Forever is a non-profit multi-species conservation organization dedicated to conserving America’s wildlife heritage. Working at the grassroots level, Wildlife Forever has funded conservation projects in all 50 states, committing millions of dollars to “on-the-ground” efforts. Wildlife Forever supports habitat restoration and enhancement, land acquisition, research and management of fish and wildlife populations.