Four Brookings-Harbor High School students won awards in the Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program Act state contest.

Among the 72 entrants in the 10th through 12th grade division, T.J. Axel placed third and Katie OHara, Adrian Kemp and Hank Hermansen were given honorable mention. Only the top 25 students received awards, said Pam Johnson, U.S. Fish and Wildlife contest coordinator in Newport.

The duck stamp contest began in 1994 when Congress authorized funding for the program, said Chuck Fenner, Brookings-Harbor High School art instructor. The high school has submitted entries since the inception of this national contest.

Every year since, students from Brookings-Harbor High School have had art work place on the state level, Fenner told the winners in a brief ceremony in Principal Floyd Strandbergs office Monday morning. We have had students win in all categories from best of show to honorable mention.

I am proud of your accomplishments, Fenner told the students. As educators, our greatest reward is to have our students succeed.

Three first, second and third place winners were selected in four age divisions. A total of 335 students entered the Oregon contest, Johnson said. Axel tied with Bethany Andres-Beck of Medford and Douglas Lane of Grants Pass.

Winning best of show was Stephanie Bishop, a home-schooled student in Forest Grove. Her entry represented Oregon in the national contest last month, fish and wildlife officials said. She placed third in the national contest, officials said.

Aremy McCann of St. Joseph, Minn., won the national contest and $2,500 grand prize, officials said.

Judging at the state level took place April 3 with results sent to teachers earlier this month. Judging took place at the fish and wildlife services regional office in Portland.

Judges were Charlie Quinn of The Nature Conservancy; Tom Dwyer, Ducks Unlimited; Grant McOmie, outdoor reporter for KATU-TV in Portland; Matt How, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; and Norris Peterson, a wildlife artist and sculptor.

The Federal Junior Duck Stamp Program integrates art and science in a curriculum that fosters student awareness and appreciation of waterfowl and wetlands through artistic talent, officials said.

Junior Duck Stamps may be purchased for $5 by calling the Federal Duck Stamp office at (877) 887-5508. Proceeds from the sales of Junior Duck Stamps support conservation, education, awards and scholarships.

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