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Middle school student’s artwork used in UCPS greeting card

Jake Kenley, (center) a 12-year-old seventh grader at Marvin Ridge Middle School, won the Union County Public Schools’ second annual greeting card contest. Pictured from left, Marvin Ridge Middle School art teacher Heidi Cabatit, UCPS Superintendent Dr. Ed Davis, Jake Kenley, and his parents, Jeanne and Rob Kenley.

A 12-year-old Marvin Ridge Middle School student’s drawing of an acorn has won the Union County Public Schools’ second annual greeting card contest. (Picture used for Card)
“I didn’t think that I was going to win. I was really surprised because I saw some really good cards out there,” said Jake Kenley, a seventh grader at Marvin Ridge Middle School. “It was exciting. Everybody was congratulating me and saying, ‘Good job’ and stuff.”
He and dozens of other middle school students submitted entries for the greeting card contest, hoping theirs would be chosen to be the face of the school system’s 2009 greeting card.
 Jake, who says he really enjoys detailed pencil drawings, said he chose the acorn because he knew it was the new UCPS logo and he knew the school system was trying to focus more on global education. “I tried to tie the acorn and the globe together.”
“When we looked at this card during the selection process, it just jumped out,” said UCPS Superintendent Dr. Ed Davis. “It was pretty much unanimous that this would be the card representing Union County Public Schools.”
Davis presented Jake with a framed version of his greeting card as a keepsake during his art class at Marvin Ridge Middle School on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2009. He told Jake during the presentation that he is proud to send the card to other superintendents across the state.
“This holiday card will go to a lot of people that the Union County Public Schools work with and do business with throughout the state,” he said.
Davis said the card captures the essence of what Union County Public Schools is all about. “Our new logo, the acorn, represents the system’s motto of growing possibilities,” he said during the presentation. “We hope that the little acorns we get when they’re in kindergarten grow to be tall, strong oaks by the time they graduate from high school.” 
Davis noted that Jake also captured the school system’s focus on globalization by drawing the acorn as the world.
Jake’s parents, Rob and Jeanne Kenley of Waxhaw, came to share in Jake’s presentation. “We’re very excited,” said Rob Kenley. “We knew that Jake had a very strong artistic aptitude. He’s done creative things all through elementary school. He has a desire to become an architect. He’s a very creative boy.”
His mom, Jeanne Kenley, said since his design was chosen for the school system’s greeting card, Jake seems to be taking his talents more seriously.
“We always tried to get him to do more with his art because he’s very creative, but it was just something he did for fun,” she said. “I think this has pushed him a little bit because he’s asked me about scholarships in art. We saw some drawings at the high school and he said that maybe his drawings could be displayed there some day. Now I think he’s more interested.”
When explaining the contest rules to the students, Jake’s art teacher, Heidi Cabatit, said she brainstormed with students all the possible subjects that could be drawn. This included the school system’s goals to teach globalization and information on the new logo of the acorn that now represents UCPS.
“I thought Jake did a really good job,” Cabatit said. “He used the acorn. He had jingle bells on the side of the card, with the globe inside the acorn. I thought it met the Union County goals very well. He incorporated it all very well.”

Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe, UCPS Communications Coordinator
Posted: Dec 11, 2009 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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