Nanoose Bay Elementary students pose for photos with their certificates and cash awards after being presented with their prizes in the annual Canadian Legion Poppy Campaign contest by members of Arrowsmith Canadian Legion Branch 49. — J.R. Rardon photo

Nanoose Bay poppy winners come up roses

Local students earn prizes in Legion Poppy Campaign art, literacy contest

Students across School District 69 were awarded cash prizes for their excellence in art, poetry and literacy last week by Parksville’s Royal Canadian Legion Branch.

The Legion representatives took care of most of the awards with a single stop at Nanoose Bay Elementary School.

Twenty award-winners in Grade 6 and 7 classes at Nanoose Bay Elementary collected a total of $1,475 in the legion’s annual poppy campaign awards. The students were presented certificates and envelopes of money by poppy chair Sam Esopenko, past-president Dave Doskoch and first vice-president Dave Dollis of the Mt. Arrowsmith Legion branch in a ceremony led by school principal Tandy Gunn on Nov. 30.

The students were among 28 award-winners district-wide, for their submissions of colour posters, black-and-white posters, poetry and/or essays. The awards were presented to first-, second- and third-place winners in each category, and all first-place winners in the district had their work submitted to the zone to be judged against other winners in nine other districts, said Doskoch.

“The teachers are doing a magnificent job when it comes to art coming out of this community,” Doskoch said.

From the zone competition, winners can move on to the provincial and, eventually, dominion level.

National winners have their work displayed for a year at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, and are flown to the national Remembrance Day commemoration.

School District 69 has had two previous national champions in the Canadian Legion Poppy Campaign — Jung-Min Shin and Leah Drier, both in the 2005-06 school year.

Amy Fuchs led the prize haul at Nanoose Bay, sweeping first-place honours in all four categories in the junior division. Grace Bouman (poetry) and Makenna Copley (essay) also claimed top honours, in the intermediate division. Additional prizes for second- or third-place winners went to Nanoose Bay students Jade Holman, Liam Olsen, Kent Stouffer, Marin Jorgenson, Molly Cole, Sabrina Blaose, Karissa Hargreaves, Leah Radix, Jai Paul Singtro Koonmee, Jackson Miller, Jon Robbie Watson and Amelia Chalus.

Gunn credited the work of Nanoose Bay Elementary Grade 6-7 teachers Maria Mahoc and Karen Mostad with providing the proper context and motivation for the students to succeed in the contest.

Other first-place winners in the district included Amelia Bouman of Ballenas Secondary School (black-and-white poster, senior division); Linda Ann Yoder of Ballenas (senior colour poster) and Kai Kitazaki of Springwood Elementary (intermediate black-and-white poster). Additional runner-up prize-winners include Jos Jr Hernandez Aliguyon of Springwood and Chaetonn Crawford and Emily Mahony of Ballenas.

Each first-place winner received $100, second place was worth $75 and third place earned $50. In all, said Doskoch, there were more than 220 entries from across the district, and $2,250 awarded by the Mt. Arrowsmith Legion Branch 49.

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