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Media Contact: Larry Hodge, (903) 670-2255,; Zoeann Stinchcomb, (903) 670-2238,

May 5, 2014

Texas State-Fish Art Contest Announces 2014 Winners

ATHENS—The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, headquarters for the Texas division of Wildlife Forever’s State-Fish Art Contest, has announced the Texas division winners for 2014.

In the K-3 category, winners were: First Place, Tatyana Panchishna of Flower Mound; Second Place, Isha Goel of Flower Mound; Third Place, Livia Thomas of Coppell.

In the grades 4–6 category, winners were: First Place, Madeleine Alexander of Keller; Second Place, Sarah Slater of Coppell; Third Place, Alina Ponomarenko of Lewisville.

In the grades 7–9 category, winners were: First Place, Kealey Yoakum of Village Mills; Second Place, Savannah Walker of Keller; Third Place, Jacob Litsey of Northlake.

In the grades 10–12 category, winners were: First Place, Brady King of Livingston; Second Place, Bryce BonAnno of Canyon; Third Place, Nasa Xu of Katy.

Texas artists and their families will be recognized at an awards ceremony at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens on July 12

First-place winners will advance to the national level and compete against winners from other states. National winners will be announced at an expo to be held August 15 and 16 in Columbia, South Carolina. One outstanding piece of artwork each year is selected for the Art of Conservation Award, and a commemorative stamp featuring the artwork is produced for sale. Proceeds from sales of the stamp are used to fund conservation projects.

Scholarships and financial assistance for Texas winners to attend the state and national awards are provided by the Toyota Texas Bass Classic. Scholarships in the grades 10–12 division are $1,000 for first place, $750 for second place and $500 for third place. Awards in the 4–6 and 7–9 grade levels are $200 for first, $150 for second, $100 for third. In the K—3 division awards are $100 for first, $75 for second, $50 for third.

Additional support for the contest is provided by the William E. Armentrout Foundation, Friends of the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center and FishFlops®.

“Sponsor support for the Texas contest has been a key factor in making it the biggest in the nation,” said Zoe Ann Stinchcomb, Texas coordinator. “This year the Texas contest had more than 1,100 entries, more than any other state and a quarter of all the entries nationwide. In addition to the scholarships, Texas first-, second- and third-place winners also receive quality fishing gear. The top 10 winners in each of the four grade divisions receive fish-themed beachwear from FishFlops®. And each child participating in the Texas contest receives a certificate. None of this could happen without the support of our sponsors.”

Stinchcomb also pointed out that research done on the Texas contest shows that participation in the contest makes students more likely to become interested in fishing. “Getting youth involved in the outdoors is a key goal of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and we applaud our sponsors for helping grow the future generation of stewards of our outdoors,” she said.

Honorable mentions for Texas students in grades K–3 were awarded to: Bhavik Menon of Houston; John William Maggart of Highland Village; Joey Zhu of Southlake; Riya Jadeja of Flower Mound; Madeline Terry of Brownsboro; Lauren Assenheimer of Southlake; and Kimberlyn Nickell of Whitney.

Honorable mentions in grades 4–6 were awarded to: Ariana Tashakkori of Lantana; Sara Busch of Flower Mound; Nikita Madhavaram of Coppell; Sneha Mathew of The Colony; Skylar Stevenson of Coppell; Samuel Garvens of Austin; and Katie Little of Sugarland.

Honorable mentions for grades 7–9 were: Samantha Parrot of Flower Mound; Rachel Alvey of Flower Mound; Audrey Damaske of Copper Canyon; Daria Ludlow of Roanoke; Noah Irby of Midlothian; Zailyn Todasco of Johnson City; and James Witthohl of Johnson City.

Honorable mentions for grades 10–12 were: Brittany Spence of Warren; Laura Schmidt of Tomball; Emily Shirey of Keller; Anna Brock of Coppell; Daniel Heaney of Keller; Courtney Conner of Rancho Viejo; and Lauren Mohn of Hardin.

Educators who wish to have their students enter the contest can download the free “State-Fish Art Contest Lesson Plan” at The interdisciplinary curriculum includes lessons and activities, a species identification section profiling each state fish, a glossary and student worksheets. Entries must be postmarked by March 31 each year.

The State-Fish Art Contest is a project of Wildlife Forever. Located in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, Wildlife Forever is a non-profit multi-species conservation organization dedicated to conserving America’s wildlife heritage. Working at the grassroots level, Wildlife Forever has funded conservation projects in all 50 states, committing millions of dollars to “on-the-ground” efforts. Wildlife Forever supports habitat restoration and enhancement, land acquisition, research and management of fish and wildlife populations.

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