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SEHS seniors win national design contest
Thompson Ashley
Ashley Thompson

Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation has awarded $5,000 for a winning pin in a national pin design contest and $5,000 for a winning T-shirt design in a national T-shirt design contest to South Effingham High School.

Two students, both enrolled in graphic design and production, designed the projects. Amanda Thaxton produced the winning pin design and Ashley Thompson produced the winning T-shirt design. Each participant at the National Leadership and Skills Conference will receive the conference pin and a T-shirt with the winning designs on them.  

The students will receive a plaque and a travel stipend to attend the National Leadership and Skills Conference in Kansas City from June 21-25 where the students and their advisor, Craig Owens, will be recognized on stage during the Opening Ceremony.

“I am so proud of Amanda and Ashley for winning the National T-Shirt and Pin Design Contest,” Owens said. “They spent approximately two weeks on the projects including research, thumbnails, designs and class critiques. It is nice to see a student’s hard work pay off in such a big way.”

The school will receive a plaque and $5,000 for each winner, totaling $10,000 for the advisor to use to improve curriculum or buy software or equipment for his classroom.

“There is always something you need when you teach graphic communications,” Owens said when asked what he would purchase with the $10,000.  “Most items are expensive, so it won’t be difficult to find a good way to use the money.”

Thaxton, who said she would love to use her photography skills to capture the world the way she sees it, was thrilled to learn that her design had been selected as the national winner.

“I knew it had been a while since we submitted our designs so I figured some other lucky person had won.  When Mr. Owens told me, I was completely shocked,” she said. “Turns out that lucky person was me!”

At the time of the contest, Thaxton was taking two graphic arts classes and was inspired by one of the design styles she had studied. She said that particular style inspired her pin design.  

Also shocked to have won the national competition, Thompson said she strived for “different” with her T-shirt design and pictures of the Kansas City memorial inspired her. She also wanted to depict a night-time image, so she chose to incorporate the memorial and the moon into her award-winning design.

In addition to being different, Thompson said what she likes most about graphic design is that there are no limits to what she can do.

“There may be guidelines, but from that point on, it’s all your own creativity,” she said.