2010 N.M. Junior Duck Stamp winners announced


Not all New Mexico students are preoccupied with the latest video game sensation or have their cell phones permanently attached to their palms.

As proof, consider that 603 students submitted original artwork depicting ducks, geese and swans of North America in the just-completed Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Contest in New Mexico. The entries came from Kindergarten through 12th-grade students in 28 schools, home school programs and art studio or academy classes located across the state.



The Best of Show winner in the statewide contest, selected by judges on March 23, is a colored pencil rendering, titled “A Warm Place,” of a Mottled Duck with ducklings submitted by Gadsden High School 12th-grade student Lidia Avina. Her art teacher is Susana Arredondo. Avina will be presented with a $500 U.S. Savings Bond in a formal ceremony in Socorro on Saturday, May 1.

Avina’s entry will compete with Best of Show winners from other states in the national Junior Duck Stamp Contest in St. Paul, Minn., to select the design that will be reproduced on the 2010-2011 Junior Duck Stamp. The winner of this contest will be awarded a $5,000 U.S. Savings Bond and a trip to St. Paul to participate in a First Day of Sales ceremony.

Among 13 Socorro schools entries, Cottonwood Valley Charter School students Electra Burleigh was awarded second place and Samantha Hurtgen won third place; Parkview Elementary student Markeiska Lopez also received a third-place award. The others were to receive Honorable Mention ribbons or Certificates of Appreciation.

Honorable Mention ribbons or Certificates of Appreciation were also awarded to 20 students from Datil Elementary and 13 students from San Antonio Elementary.

The Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Contest is a nationwide art and science-based program for schools developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to teach greater awareness of our nation’s natural resources. The 603 New Mexico entries this year exceeded last year’s by 32 percent.

“Each year more and more students throughout the state showcase their artistic talent with this event. This outpouring of interest in nature’s creatures by New Mexico’s young folks is heartening, and bodes well for future efforts to protect Americas wild places and animals, by connecting children and nature,” remarked U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Director Benjamin N. Tuggle.

Duck Stamp entries in the New Mexico contest were judged in four grade categories: K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12. Three first-place winners were selected for each group and from these winners the Best of Show was selected. Each first-place winner will be awarded a $100 U.S. Savings Bond. All second-place, third-place and Honorable Mention winners will receive special contest ribbons and certificates that celebrate their winning achievements.

Shelby Siefres – Home school, Roswell

Emma Thomas and Matthew Voekel – Young at Art Studio, Albuquerque

Cory Seifres – Home school, Roswell

Emma Robb – Quillin Studio, Las Cruces

Christopher Voekel – Young at Art Studio, Albuquerque

William Thomas and Molly Thomas – Young at Art Studio, Albuquerque

Shelby Auge – Hope Christian School, Albuquerque.

Gerardo Marmomeljo and Cynthia Gonzales – Gadsden High School, Anthony

Students who submitted artwork also had the option to enter accompanying conservation messages, which were judged separately.

Molly Thomas, who won first place with her message “Preserving Our Environment, Preserves Our Future,” will receive a $100 U.S. Savings Bond. Yulissa Morales, of Salazar Elementary School in Santa Fe, was awarded second place, and Christopher Voekel won third place.

Entries were judged March 23, at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge by Jim Wolfe of the Ducks Unlimited National Conservation Program Committee and past New Mexico State Chairman of Ducks Unlimited; Skeeter Leard, award-winning artist and partner in Fullingim-Isenhouer-Leard Studios in Socorro; John Vradenburg, senior biologist at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge; Ken Garrahan, chief of Visitor Services and Robert Murphy, biologist in the Migratory Birds Division, at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Office in Albuquerque.

The 2010 Junior Duck competition in New Mexico was sponsored by Friends of the Bosque del Apache NWR, which contributed prize money for the Best of Show and first-place winners. Amigos de la Sevilleta and Friends of Bitter Lake NWR also contributed toward expenses. Bosque staff and resident volunteers contributed 270 hours of time to the conduct of the program. Daniel Perry, of the Bosque del Apache staff, was statewide coordinator.

All place winners and Honorable Mention winners will be formally recognized during a special New Mexico Junior Duck Stamp Contest Awards Ceremony at Macey Center on May 1.


Contact Submitted to El Defensor Chieftain