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Young artists receive recognition from district

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Lathrop Elementary School seventh grader Phoebe Southimath holds her certificate of recognition from Manteca Unified while Principal David Silveira applauds. Phoebe’s original art work is featured ...


POSTED February 18, 2013 1:21 a.m.

Three young artists in the Manteca Unified School District just got an extension of their proverbial 15 minutes of fame.

Phoebe Southimath of Lathrop Elementary School, Nikolle Sanchis of Joseph Widmer, Jr. School, and Annel Mercado of August Knodt Elementary in Weston Ranch whose original art creations grace the 2013 Healthy Living Kids’ Calendar of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution District were given special recognitions by the school district Tuesday during the Board of Trustees meeting.

The phrase popularized by the iconic American artist Andy Warhol – that everyone will have their 15 minutes of fame – actually does not apply to the three budding artists anymore. Their time in the limelight is guaranteed to run through this year’s entire 12 months.

The certificates of recognition from the district were announced by Manteca Unified Director of Elementary Education Cheryl Meeker with Trustee Michael Seelye doing the honors of presenting the framed certificates to the outstanding students.

Joining Lathrop Elementary seventh grader Phoebe at the podium was proud school Principal David Silveira. August Knodt fifth grader Annel got more than just a certificate. She also received a red rose accented with baby’s breath plus a congratulatory hug from equally proud school Principal Debbie Forte. Watching in the audience while a smiling Nikolle of Joseph Widmer received her certificate were her beaming parents in the audience.

The 15 young artists featured in the 2013 calendar were chosen from hundreds of entries from K-12 students in the eight-county jurisdiction of the Valley Air Pollution Control District. The three Manteca Unified students were the only ones from San Joaquin County. The district holds the calendar art contest every year.

The 20,000 copies of the calendar that were printed were distributed to schools, community groups, healthcare facilities, churches, civic organizations and non-profits through the district’s geographical jurisdiction.

Phoebe is the girl artist for January. Her illustration shows a young boy and girl, each with a message. The girl’s message is bilingual – “Hacer del mundo un lugar major” – in English, “Make the world a better place.” “Keep the Air Clean” is the message coming from the boy. Phoebe titled her art work, “You Can Make a Difference.”

Sixth-grader Nikolle is the October artist. Her drawing shows two girls sitting in a colorful car with the art work titled, “Be Cool and Carpool!”

For the month of September, Annel drew a young girl wearing active summer wear and kicking a soccer ball on the grass with a row of trees, mountains and a lone flowering plant for backdrop. The Healthy Air Living bilingual slogan she incorporated in her crayon drawing is, “Less cars, more feet. Menos carros, mas pies.”

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