2016 Midwest Art Contest Winners Announced

1st Place Winner from Milwaukee WI; Winning Classroom from Romulus MI

December 15, 2016
For Immediate Release

Contact: Don Cooper
(989) 317-3510

The National Charter Schools Institute is proud of the thousands of students who annually attend charter schools throughout the nation, and also of the thousands of parents, teachers, school leaders, and charter school board members who are hard at work each day to help kids succeed.

In September the Institute wanted to welcome kids back to school by kicking off a Midwest art contest for kindergarten through fifth grade students in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The contest asked school children to use any medium to express the theme “When I grow up….” The winners were selected based on originality and creativity, how clearly the theme was expressed, and overall artistic ability.

“Kids at charter schools have big dreams. As adults, it’s our responsibility to help them turn these dreams into reality,” said Dr. James N. Goenner, President and CEO of the Institute. “Our art contest was a great way for kids to think about their goals for their future. We were inspired by their ideas. And we are confident in their ability—with help from their parents, teachers, school leaders, and others—to achieve them.”

Approximately 2,000 students participated in this contest and submitted a diverse array of artwork that reflected their hopes, dreams, and ambitions. The first-place winner will receive $250 and a special prize will also be awarded to the classroom with the best entries.

“We are proud and honored to have a student win first place in the Institute’s art contest,” said Chris Her-Xiong, Principal of Hmong American Peace Academy in Milwaukee. “Our goal is to provide the best education possible to the Hmong community and to teach American values to every student. Winning this award is a testament to the dedication of our great staff, and everyone at Hmong American Peace Academy is very proud of Lucy Thao for her success.”

The winners are:

  Student/Class School Authorizer City
1st Place Lucy Thao Hmong American Peace Academy Milwaukee Public Schools


Milwaukee, WI
2nd Place Kushagra Tiwary Canton Charter Academy Central Michigan University


Canton, MI
3rd Place Lilianna Vaughn Horizon Science Academy Buckeye Community Hope Foundation


Lorain, OH
Classroom prize for best entries Ms. Rachel Martin’s 3rd grade class


Summit Academy North Central Michigan University Romulus, MI

The school that received the classroom prize for best entries was also thrilled.

“When I mentioned to my classes that this project would be for a competition, it pulled artistic motivation from my students that I normally wouldn’t see,” said Rachel Martin, teacher of the classroom with the best entries. “The contest upped the motivation of those who are already passionate about art.  It was also a chance for students to work with various mediums in a multitude of ways.  They really enjoyed the process and were proud of their final submissions. They have been constantly asking if the results have been announced, so I am very excited to share the news with them!”

Awards were also given for honorable mentions and judge’s choices for the most creative and most unique entries. A complete list of awards can be found at: https://nationalcharterschools.org/2016artcontestwinners/

Download Release PDF

About the National Charter Schools Institute. The National Charter Schools Institute is a values-driven 503(c)3 nonprofit organization whose core purpose is to inspire and democratize excellence in education. For additional information, please visit www.CharterInstitute.Org.

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