Daniel Leigh, a fourth-grade student at Duncombe Elementary, was one of 20 winners of the 2011 Iowa State Education Association "Design a Decal" contest. His is the only winning entry from Fort Dodge Community School District.
Leigh said he was proud of the accomplishment and had fun working on the project.
"I enjoyed working on it because I love art, and really it's just a big pleasure to do all this," he said.
-Messenger photo by Brandon L. Summers
Daniel Leigh, left, a fourth-grade student at Duncombe Elementary, shows art teacher Meg Beshey the plaque he received as a winner of the 2011 ISEA “Design a Decal” contest. The plaque, featuring his sticker design, is displayed in the Duncombe school library.
Leigh completed his design, depicting a sunrise and with the slogan "You're Bright," in 2010, while in the third grade. The school was notified that he was one of the winners in May, and his design was revealed at the start of the school year in September. At the last meeting of the school board, Leigh was awarded an engraved plaque emblazoned with his design, which is now on display in the Duncombe Elementary library.
According to Meg Beshey, Duncombe art teacher, the project is sent to art teachers around the state.
"The goal is to have students design a 5-by-5 inch project for a little sticker that a teacher could use as a reward sticker, like for a worksheet that was done correctly and things like that," she said. "Incentive stickers, was the goal."
The design is presented in black and white, with the colors later determined by the ISEA, Beshey said. Because of the limited space, students can only use a few words, specifically positive expressions that would be appropriate for a reward sticker.
"They draw it out first in pencil and then they go over it with a marker," she said. "They really have to think about craftsmanship, in the very tiny confined space. It's not necessarily an easy project to do."
The designs are sent in a bundle to the ISEA in Des Moines, which receives designs from across the state. Because Beshey also taught third-grade art at Feelhaver Elementary, she sent in more than 100 designs to the ISEA alone. The winners are announced the following spring.
"We found out last spring that Daniel had won. That was pretty exciting," she said.
As a member of the local teachers union, Beshey received sheets of the brightly covered stickers featuring Leigh's and other winning designs. Leigh's design is featured on two rows of the sheet. Beshey said she gave her sheet of stickers to Leigh's parents.
"It's fun because when you get a student that does well in your class and takes the time and craftsmanship to do well, then you get a really nice reward," she said. "He's so proud of it. He'll be remembering this for a long long time. And it's something he can have in his portfolio if he goes into art."
Beshey said she was proud of Leigh's accomplishment.
"For me it's rewarding because it's something that we push and promote," she said. "We don't do a lot of poster contests in the district because they have to have some merit to them, and this one has merit to it because it's going to be seen by such a wide audience. To me, that's a wonderful way to show a child's art in such a positive manner."
Contest Brandon L. Summers at (515) 573-2141 or firstname.lastname@example.org