Oakbrook students win big honors from Atlantic Institute
Oakbrook students Evangeline Bingham (1st place MS essay) and Alexis Reinhardt (1st place HS art) earned top honors from the Atlantic Institute. As part of their award both students plus their teachers Karen Huminski and Erin Biggar won trips to Peru.
This is the fourth time Oakbrook students have earned the top award and a trip to either Turkey or Peru. This is the fifth consecutive year that Oakbrook students have placed in top 10. Students Christy Hudson (4th place MS essay) and Keagan Cudd (7th place MS essay) also received high honors.
The contest challenges middle and high school students to submit art and essay compositions based on a yearly humanitarian theme. This year's theme was "Building Community: The Role of Teens."
"I am very proud of how our students have been able to reflect each year's theme through creative writing. This year Evangeline, Christy, and Keagan all did a wonderful job reflecting the theme of building community through the role of teens," said English Teacher Karen Huminski,who added that Bingham's persuasive essay outlined her idea of incorporating teenagers into our government.
"She was very convincing in her argument that teens today not only have a keen awareness of societal issues, they also have passion and fresh perspective that is largely untapped by our nation's politicians. I think the judges were attracted to her concept of motivated, concerned teens and seasoned adults working together to improve our government, thus building a stronger community of cooperation to benefit all Americans. I think this is a powerful message and reaffirms my belief that as an educator, I need to continue to inspire my students to believe in the possibility of their ideas and to not set limits upon their potential. I am so proud of these wonderful students and their desire to improve our community, our nation, and our world."
Senior Alexis Reinhardt's won the art category of the contest with her drawing of the earth as a puzzle and a young person adding a piece in the puzzle world.
"She explained how each person has an important role is part of putting the puzzle together to help build a strong and impacting community," said Art Teacher Erin Biggar, who has taught Reindhardt since elementary school.
"I have seen her blossom into a beautiful and very talented artist over these years. Her artwork looks as if it is coming out of the drawing so you can touch it."
Junior Hannah Melotte's artwork was named the "Most Liked Art Award" because it received the most likes on the group's Facebook page.
This is the ninth annual Art & Essay contest. It was first organized by the Istanbul Center in Atlanta, Georgia and has spread to the southeast region of Alabama, Florida and South Carolina. All essay entries are submitted online while artwork is either mailed directly to the branch offices or to specified drop-off locations.