Whether they are painting a downtown mural for the city's bicentennial, creating a Christmas ornament for a Limestone County contest or making artwork for various local and state art shows, students at Athens City Schools have showed off their artistic prowess this past year.

Dozens of students received certificates and plaques for their work during the May 16 Athens City school board meeting.

"We are so proud that year after year we get to celebrate the accomplishments of our Fine Arts Department," Ginger Hickman, communications and strategic planning for Athens City Schools, told school board members and the audience at the meeting.

"We are very excited to celebrate our students' talent, creativity and accomplishments," she said. "The art they create matters, and it's an important contribution to our schools and to our community. We are very proud of these students."

Here is list of the students who received recognition for artwork:

Downton mural

Seven students were recognized for creating the bicentennial mural in downtown Athens: Marci Hall, Sydney Johnston, Elizabeth Hobbs, Beda Ascencio, Tucker Constable, Isaac Smith and Tommy Jerome.

Golden Eagle Art Awards

Eighth-grader Tess Higginbotham received the first semester Athens Middle School Golden Eagle Art Award and eighth-grader Bailee Redus won the second semester art award.

The award recognizes students who exemplify hard work, creativity, kindness and respect on a daily basis in art, Hickman said. These students go above and beyond to create meaningful artwork and are always willing to help their peers, she said.

Cancer awareness/Contest winner

Avery Dumas of Athens High School was recognized for his winning artwork during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

Arabella Parsons of Athens Intermediate School won the Limestone County Christmas Tree Ornament Contest.

Art contest

Five students placed in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Art Contest this year, including Natalie White, AHS, first place; Brenda Marcial, AHS, second place; Aysa Taylor, AHS, third place; Haylie Sontay, AIS, third place; and Darian Camarena, FAME Academy at Brookhill Elementary School, second place.

Huntsville's 'Youth Art Month'

Eight students were selected to present their work as part of the Huntsville Museum of Art's "Youth Art Month." They include: Justin Wyatt, AHS; Sarah Grace Bottcher, AHS; Jack Jones, AMS; Lilly Weeks, AIS; Francisca Gutierrez, iAcademy at Athens Elementary School; Natalie Klaus, FAME Academy; Alak Patel, SPARK Academy at Cowart Elementary School; and Marley Sutherland, HEART Academy at Julian Newman Elementary School.


Two AIS students — Layne Tarokh and Rylan Black — won awards for creating the best Huntsville Symphony Orchestra program covers.

State contest

Avery Covin of AHS received honorable mention in drawing for his entry in the Shelby County Statewide Juried Art Exhibition.

Super exhibit

Twelve students had artwork selected to appear in the State Superintendent Visual Arts Exhibit, including Selah Parsons, iAcademy; Bailey Grace Hardison, FAME Academy; Tori White, SPARK Academy; James Collier, HEART Academy; Addison Walker, AIS; Lauren Godbee, AIS; Anna Hargrove, AHS; Aysa Taylor, AHS; Natalie White, AHS; Sarah Kerr, AHS; Justin Wyatt, AHS; and Whitney Wycoff, AHS.

Four local students won places at the Superintendent Visual Arts Exhibit, including Ashley Parnell, sophomore at AHS, second place in photograph; Lauren Thomas, eighth grader at AMS, second place in the seventh- and eighth-grade bicentennial division; Stella Whitt, sixth-grader at AMS, second place bicentennial judges' choice; and Selah Parsons, iAcademy, bicentennial award winner for Division K-2.


The following art teachers were there to encourage, inspire and challenge their students: Beverly Bobo and Tavia Slaton, AHS; Valerie Vaughn, AMS; Jennifer Hooper, AIS; Katie Blair, iAcademy and FAME Academy; and Leah Pierce, SPARK Academy and HEART Academy.


Reporter for News Courier since 2006.