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SVMS gingerbread house contest signals holiday season

This year’s first-place student winners in Sun Valley Middle School's annual Gingerbread House Competition were brother and sister team, Lexie and Owen Phillips.

You know the holiday season is here when Sun Valley Middle School staff and students fill their media center with the deliciously decorated gingerbread houses.
   
Event coordinator SVMS art/yearbook teacher Tiffany Medford says the annual competition is a lot of work, but both the students and staff enjoy the challenge of creating these delightfully colorful houses out of food. This year, there were a total of 75 entries; four of them done by Sun Valley faculty.
   
“This year’s houses were larger in scale and the attention to detail was phenomenal,” Medford said. “They really went above and beyond. You can see the participants growing each year, and this year exhibited that very noticeably. There’s a lot more groundwork around the houses, and detail that we haven’t seen in the past.”
   
Monday’s (Dec. 14, 2009) contest marked the seventh year the school has held the gingerbread house contest. Medford said the rules for the competition are based on the Grove Park Inn Gingerbread House Contest guidelines. Judging was Monday after school. The winners were notified Tuesday.
   
Entries had to be edible, with the houses being made primarily of gingerbread or graham crackers. They also had to have a Christmas theme. Judges gave each entry points in appearance, originality, difficulty, precision and consistency of theme.
   
This year’s first-place student winners were brother and sister team of Lexie and Owen Phillips, while the faculty/staff first-place winner was band teacher Leslie Craven.
   
The second-place student winner was sixth-grader Jordan Kratochiril; third-place, sixth-grader Hanneh Gundersen; and honorable mention went to sixth-grader Suraiya Khan.
   
The second-place faculty winner was assistant principal Pascale Glenn; while the third place winner was teacher Diana Ollis.
   
First-place winners in both the student and teacher categories win $60, while second-place winners win $30, and third-place winners receive $15.
   
The event was judged by members of the business community, while the school’s Parent Teacher Organization donated the monetary prizes.

Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe, UCPS Communications Coordinator
Posted: Dec 18, 2009 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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