Virginia Lottery announces winners of Thank a Teacher Art Contest
The Virginia Lottery had to be creative with winner announcements for the fourth annual Thank a Teacher Art Contest.
“In the past, we have physically been able to go to the school for a big assembly to surprise the winners,” said Jennifer Mullen, director of public affairs and community relations at the Virginia Lottery. “These last two years, we have found new ways to still make this announcement just as special for students who are learning in different environments.”
Lottery officials joined the artists and their art teachers via video chats. Surrounded virtually by classmates, teachers and school administrators, each of the winners was surprised with the news that his/her art would be featured on thousands of thank-you notes across the state during National Teacher Appreciation Week.
Click here for a video of the three surprise presentations.
One winner each was selected for the elementary, middle and high school levels from several hundred entries:
- Sarah Saravanan, first-grader at McNair Lower Elementary School in Fairfax County
- Karmare Brownlee, eighth-grader at Tabb Middle School in York County
- Andrew Gibson, senior at Gretna High School in Pittsylvania County
“Throughout the past year, much has changed for our teachers and students who continue to achieve even under really challenging circumstances,” said Virginia Lottery Executive Director Kevin Hall. “One thing that hasn’t changed is the Virginia Lottery’s commitment to our public schools. I am pleased that our Thank a Teacher campaign allows us to recognize and highlight outstanding students and the teachers who are inspiring them and helping to shape their futures.”
The winners were each presented with a $150 Visa gift card, and their schools will receive $1,000 from the Lottery and a $1,000 credit from The Supply Room for their art departments.
The Thank a Teacher Art Contest winners were selected by a blue-ribbon panel of representatives of Virginia’s arts and education community:
- Stephanie Fedor, executive director, Visual Arts Center of Richmond
- Amber Kuper, 2013 Virginia Lottery Super Teacher (Chesterfield County art teacher)
- Donna Colombo, president, Virginia Parent Teachers Association
Virginians are encouraged to send digital thank-you notes featuring the winning artwork to deserving educators from April 1 through National Teacher Appreciation Week (May 3 – 7). Notes can be sent from the Lottery’s Thank a Teacher website, www.thankateacherva.com.
Each note contains a unique code that the teacher can enter for a chance to win a Virginia vacation and supplies for his or her school, courtesy of The Supply Room.