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Seven Seward High Students Capture First Place in State Fair Education Contests

Seven Seward High students were recognized by the 2020 Nebraska State Fair Education Division at the recent high school Education Contests sponsored by the Nebraska State Fair and the NEBRASKAland Foundation.  The students competed in a variety of static contests only this year, due to the Covid-19 virus-no live contests, tests or quiz bowl contests were held.  Recognized as a First Place/Champion Award in their division were Anna Sommerer-Grade 12: Wall Art (Oil of Country Road), Miriam Voehl-Grade 11: Know Nebraska Art (“Fourth of July Little Girl”- Watercolor), William Poley-Grade 11: Short Story-Grades 11-12 (“The Doctor and the Monster”), Hannah Kolterman-Wagner and Miriam Voehl-Grade 11: Community Service/Group Entry- (“Teen Suicide Awareness”-FCCLA), Elizabeth Gokie-Grade 11: Community Service (Community Service-Individual-FCCLA “Crocheting Bears for Kids”), Heidi van der Heiden: Three Dimensional Sculpture (Fox Sculpture). Each winning student won a rosette Champion Ribbon award.  

Seward High was award the First Place/Championship Sweepstake Trophy for the seventh year in a row!  The school win was based on number of entries and number of placings by students in the competition. Second place was awarded to Ulrich School and Third Place was awarded to Chase County High School.  The individual Sweepstakes competition for the State Fair Education Division awarded the Firth Place trophy to Miriam Voehl and Sixth Place trophy to Hannah Kolterman-Wagner, based on number of individual entries and placings in the competition.

Anna Sommer’s Oil Painting-“Country Road,” Miriam Voehl’s Water Colo-“Fourth of July Girl,” and Miriam Voehl and Hannah Kolterman-Wagner’s Community Service project-“Suicide Awareness” were all “tapped” to be displayed and featured at the Nebraska Statehood Day event at the State Capitol for the March Statehood Festival.

The static category winners from Seward High include…

Short Story-Grades 9-10, Second Place: Elizabeth Rongo-Grade 10 “Paula’s Gun.” Third Place-Noah Fields-Grade 9 “The Cosmos,” Fourth Place-Ava King-Grade 10 “The Forest,” Seventh Place-Jeanna Synder-Grade 10 “Lesson Learned,” Ninth Place-Ethan Galusha-Grade 10 “The Horror of Amberjack,” and Mahri Vega-Grade 10 “Drowning.”  In the Short Story Contest for Grades 11-12, the results included First Place-William Poley-Grade 11 “The Doctor and the Monster,” and Fourth Place-Peyton Wood-Grade 11-“Hyperthymesia.”  In the area of High School Poetry-Noah Fields-Grade 9 won Third Place in Poetry with the poem “Flora Nebraska.”

The Three Dimensional art winners included First Place-Heidi van der Heiden-Grade 11 (Fox Sculpture), Third Place-Miriam Voehl-Grade 11, Fourth Place-Samantha Oborny Grade 12, Fifth Place-Isaac Rolf-Grade 12, Sixth Place-Olivia Benes-Grade 10, Seventh Place-Allysen Gross-Grade 11, Eighth Place-Isaac Rolf-Grade 12 and Ninth Place-Gracen Sommerer-Grade 10.

The contest winners in the “Know Nebraska” Art Contest-two dimensional wall art include First Place: Miriam Voehl-Grade 11, Second Place-Ava Krahulik-Grade 9, Third Place: Hannah Kolterman/Wagner-Grade 11, Fourth Place: Rory Nolan-Grade 11, Sixth Place-Riken Koinzan-Grade 10, Ninth Place: Megan Hague-Grade 10, and Tenth Place-Riken Koinzan-Grade 10.

In the two dimensional Wall Art Contest, the winners included First Place Anna Sommerer-Grade 12, Third Place: Hannah Kolterman-Wagner-Grade 11, Fourth Place: Heidi van der Heiden-Grade 11, Fifth Place: Hannah Kolterman-Wagner-Grade 11, Seventh Place-Miriam Voehl-Grade 11, and Ninth Place: Zach Ellingson-Grade 12.

In the “Know Nebraska” Photography contest on the high school level, recognized SHS students included Fourth Place: Dillon Jones-Grade 12, Seventh Place: Dillon Jones-Grade 12, Eighth Place: Tyler Smith-Grade 12. 

In the area of community service, both first place winners were from Seward High, including: First Place-Individual Community Service Project: Elizabeth Gokie-Grade 11 (“Crocheting Bears for Kids” FCCLA) and First Place–Team Community Service Project: Hannah Kolterman-Wagner and Miriam Voehl-Grade 11 (“Teen Suicide Awareness” FCCLA).  

The annual overall individual and school “Sweepstakes” Awards and recognition have not been tallied yet and will be announced at a later date.

“We appreciate the longtime, annual support of the students and staff at Seward High towards our Nebraska State Fair Education Division programing and contests,” stated Judi Harper- State Fair Education Division Superintendent.  “Seward High has, time and again, displayed leadership in many of the contests, both in the static entries, live presentations, quiz bowls contests and tests, and it is our hope that the Nebraska State Fair Education Division contests can return to a full complement of both the static and live contests at the 2021 Nebraska State Fair.  However, this year we are very appreciative of the support of the Seward High students for this 2020 Nebraska State Fair Education Division contest and thank the Seward High students, teachers and their administration for an outstanding set of entries and for their participation in such a crazy year at the 2020 Nebraska State Fair!”  

Seward High teacher sponsors for the State Fair Education Division include both Nate Knott-Art Educator and Melissa Pohl-Language Arts Teacher who both coordinated the entries for this year’s State Fair Education Division entries for Seward High.  Judi Harper served as the volunteer State Fair Superintendent for the Nebraska State Fair Education Division competitions this year for students in Nebraska Grades K -12.  There is very limited funding for this year’s contests. The NEBRASKAland Foundation is the sole corporate sponsor for this year’s event--assisting in sponsoring the trophies, ribbons and tee shirts for the entries, along with the State Fair Board’s contributions.  

The static exhibit was in the large, new Pinnacle Bank Pavilion in the space where the Nebraska Quilt show is normally held, and the event and the State Fair featured free admission.  All the first place winners will be recognized at a future SHS “PRIDE” Rally and at the Nebraska Statehood Day Recognition in early March of 2021 at the State Capitol in Lincoln, NE by the NEBRASKAland Foundation and the State Fair.