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Heuvelton student wins state award for art

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HEUVELTON – Mikayla Thompson, a senior at Heuvelton Central School, won first place in the first ever civics poster and essay contest held by the state Bar Association.

Her poster depicting the 26th Amendment to the Constitution – which lowered the voting age to 18 – beat out entries from 29 counties across the state.

“It’s totally awesome,” said Margaret M. Whalen, Mikayla’s social studies teacher. “It’s a big deal.”

Ms. Whalen said she heard about the contest in October and held her own competition with Heuvelton students to determine whose work they would send.

“I thought, ‘oh, perfect, this is great,’ because my juniors and seniors were both studying the Constitution,” Ms. Whalen said.

Miss Thompson was a clear winner.

“She had gotten a 100 on the assignment, so hers was an easy go,” Ms. Whalen said.

The painting, depicting a confused 18-year-old voter standing under the tree of democracy superimposed over the American flag, sprung from a simple concept, Miss Thompson said.

“The whole concept is that [the voter is] confused because she doesn’t know who to vote for,” Miss Thompson said.

After she won the competition at Heuvelton, Ms. Whalen submitted Miss Thompson’s poster to the statewide contest.

Along with the first-place distinction, she also won $300 that she said might help her buy a book for college this fall.

Miss Thompson will attend St. Lawrence University, Canton, where she plans to study fine art before becoming a tattoo artist.

“Our very own artist going to college for art,” Ms. Whalen said.

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