Virginia Lottery announces student winners of art contest

Virginia LotteryThe Virginia Lottery had to get creative when notifying the students and school winners of its annual Thank a Teacher Art Contest.

The winning designs will be featured on thousands of notecards delivered as part of the fifth annual Thank a Teacher campaign. Partnering with The Supply Room and Virginia PTA, the Virginia Lottery is inviting people to thank as many public school teachers as possible in conjunction with National Teacher Appreciation Week in May.

“Especially now, it is even more important to recognize the teachers and the students who are working so hard to continue their education under these very challenging circumstances,” said Virginia Lottery Executive Director Kevin Hall.  “I am glad that the Lottery found a creative solution to surprise our three student winners. And by submitting digital thank you notes featuring the fantastic artwork of our three contest winners, Virginians can express their renewed respect and appreciation for the vital roles of our teachers in the lives of their children.”

In the previous years of the Thank a Teacher art contest, the Lottery has visited schools to conduct a surprise presentation to the winning student artist during a school assembly. Since that wasn’t possible this year, the Lottery instead packaged up the printed versions of the notecards, a $150 Visa gift card, and several other prizes and sent them to the parents of the three winners. The parents helped record the reaction of the student artists when they learned of their selection.

The Lottery received several hundred entries earlier this year and selected one each from the elementary, middle and high school levels:

  • Sarah Keith, 4th grader at Potomac Elementary School in King George County
  • Alaina Carnahan, 6th grader at Oak Hill Elementary School in Fairfax County
  • Tiana Carter, senior at Chesterfield Career and Technical Center, Courthouse, in Chesterfield County

“Now more than ever, I stand amazed at the good work of Virginia’s educators, no matter what circumstances they find themselves in,” said Virginia Secretary of Education Atif Qarni. “This student artwork shows the depth of impact that teachers have on students’ lives, from elementary school to graduation. I thank all of the Commonwealth’s teachers and students for the great resilience they have demonstrated throughout the past few weeks.”

The Thank a Teacher Art Contest winners were selected by a blue-ribbon panel of representatives of Virginia’s arts community, including:

  • Christine Greenleaf, office administrator, Virginia Parent Teachers Association
  • Stephanie Fedor, executive director, Visual Arts Center of Richmond
  • Amber Kuper, 2013 Virginia Lottery Super Teacher (Chesterfield County art teacher)

The winning students’ schools will also receive $1,000 from the Lottery and $1,000 in prizes from The Supply Room for their art departments.

Thanking a teacher is as easy as visiting thankateacherva.com now through May 8 and sending a digital thank-you note right from the comfort of your home. Each digital note will randomly showcase one of the winning designs.

Teachers will receive the notes during Teacher Appreciation Week, May 4 – 8. Qualifying teachers can use a unique code included in the digital note to enter a drawing for a chance to win a memorable Virginia vacation courtesy of the Virginia Lottery and $5,000 in supplies for their school from The Supply Room.


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