A 12-year-old student from Pikeville has been named as the youngest ever Best of Show winner in a Tennessee Federal Junior Duck Stamp Design Contest.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Thursday that Joshua Lee had won with a portrayal of a sunset-lit hooded merganser.
Joan Howe, the Tennessee coordinator for the program who is a ranger at the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge in Henry County, said, “This is the youngest student we have had take top honors since the Tennessee contest began twenty-five years ago.”
Lee created his winning entry using acrylic paint.
Thirty-five Henry County students placed in the Tennessee state contest under art teacher Valerie Godina of Henry School. Brook Stewart and Reed Chase won third place.
Winning honorable mention in the contest were Callie Halstead, Sophie Reed, Bryce Philpot, Jonathan Hawbaker, Kase-Lynn Dunn, Draco Clark;
Izzi Hancock, Jackson Blackwell, Eli Crosser, Brady Blount, Nathaniel Maturo, La’arie Jones;
Katelyn Richardson, Sierra Davis, Katlynn Webb, Aubrey Thomasson, Zayden Wilson, Elizabeth Lucas;
Renesmee Clark, Andie Yoemans, Kingston Mockabee, Lakyn Park White, Aiden Mobley, Donna Williams;
Lsayla Bowerson, Ellie Grgic, Jaceigh Floyd, Bentley Gunnville, Kyzer Capps, Kaydence Wise, Americus Clark, Eduardo Zarate and Kyleigh Vogl.
WINNER GETS SCHOLARSHIP
Lee will receive the $1,000 Jeanette Rudy scholarship provided by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation, along with other prizes, including a framed Federal Duck Stamp Print provided by Ducks Unlimited.
His artwork also will be made into a Tennessee state waterfowl collector stamp made available from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.
The Tennessee Junior Duck Stamp program is a wetland and waterfowl conservation curriculum and art contest managed by the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service.
Its Tennessee partners include the TWRA, the foundation, Friends of Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge and Ducks Unlimited.
The contest judging was held at the local refuge, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year.
The Duck Stamp program also is celebrating an anniversary of 25 years of promoting excellence in student waterfowl conservation through the arts.
An awards ceremony, normally hosted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and its partners in Brentwood, has been canceled because of concerns about the coronavirus.
Awards and prizes that include plaques, ribbons and certificates will be mailed to all 100 winners in the contest.
The TWRA annually makes the Best of Show winning entry into collector stamps for the state.
All of these stamps can be purchased at a cost of $11 a stamp by calling 615-781-6585.
For more information about this program or to obtain a copy of the free curriculum, call the refuge office at 642-2091.