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Fair's Children Art Winners Receive Awards


While fourth-grader Nicole Suelter took only a few minutes to paint her artwork, she had a four-month wait to discover she was awarded the Sweepstakes Winner in the annual Kern County Fair Children's Art competition. Artwork had to be submitted in May to be eligible for the contest in which entries are displayed and judged each year during the September-October Kern County Fair. Suelter's painting was the judges' choice as best out of approximately 500 entries.

Suelter was a third-grader at Almondale Elementary School when she painted her winning acrylic picture, "Orchids," using a Sumi painting style just introduced in class that day. She now attends North Beardsley Elementary. Suelter said it took her "a couple of minutes" to paint and that she was "shocked" that her teacher wanted to enter it in the contest. When she learned that her painting had won the Sweepstakes, Suelter said she was "shocked again and amazed."

Sponsored by the Kern County Superintendent of Schools (KCSOS), the annual competition promotes and showcases art created by public school children in special needs classes and students in preschool through eighth grade. First place and honorable mention ribbons are awarded at each grade level.

"Every one of you here today has already been a winner at both the school and district level," said KCSOS Student Events Coordinator, Christine Goedhart-Humphrey, who presided over the awards ceremony. "Only a select few can win at the fair, but the judges spent two hours reviewing all the artwork before they began determining the award winners."

Kern County Fair Children's Art results for first place winners: Preschool, Shea Torrice — Rafer Johnson Children's Center; Special Needs, Manuel Vazquez — Rio Bravo Elementary; Kindergarten, Landen Kurtz — Bill L. Williams School; First Grade, Cynthia Zamora — Morningside School; Second Grade, Faith Hood — Endeavour Elementary; Third Grade, Melinda Quach — Almondale Elementary; Fourth Grade, Joshua Valdivia — Morningside School; Fifth Grade, Rodrigo Ramirez — Valle Vista School; Sixth Grade, Kristen Thomas — Almondale Elementary; Seventh Grade, Rachael Metzger — Edison Middle; and Eighth Grade, Alexander Clark — Edison Middle.

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