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1-19-21 — Middle, High School Students Answer Call to Action

Jan. 19, 2021 ~ The 2021 Martin Luther King Jr. visual and written arts contest received more than 1,200 entries from middle and high school students in the Olathe Public Schools. Their writing, visual art and multi-media presentations focused on the theme “A Call to Action.”

This celebration was unique because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but organizers arranged a virtual presentation at noon on Jan. 17 presented by Garmin. Students were recognized online during the two-hour presentation as their parents watched the contest results being announced. The presentation may be watched on the city's YouTube channel..

Each year the celebration enables Olathe youth to promote a society free of bullying, discrimination and mistreatment of others based on race, gender or religion by sharing their beliefs in writing, visual artwork or mixed-media presentations. Contest winners received cash prizes. The celebration is presented by the Olathe Human Relations Commission, Olathe School District, MidAmerica Nazarene University, and the Olathe Public Library.

Watch the multi-media finalists’ entries on YouTube.

Best in Show

  • Skylar Saragusa, Olathe South, High School Writing

Middle School Multi-Media

  • First place: Riley Lewis and Sadie Vo, Prairie Trail, “Society’s Expectation of Girls”
  • Second place: Anjali George, Frontier Trail, “Indigenous People”
  • Third place: Kylie Freeman, Frontier Trail, “To Do Right”

Middle School Visual Arts

  • First place: Jackson Roller, Santa Fe Trail, “Breakthrough”
  • Second place: Ellie Trachsel, Prairie Trail, “The Puzzle”
  • Dana Davis and Melissa Klusman’s Academic Extension class, Prairie Trail, “Can You Help?”

Middle School Writing

  • First place: Coryn Jespersen, Prairie Trail, “With My Two Hands”
  • Second place: Ruth Brooks, Frontier Trail, “The Right Time”
  • Third place: Anna Ferguson, Frontier Trail, “MLK Project”

High School Multi-Media

  • First place: Jackson Brown, Olathe South, “Paintings of Equality”
  • Second place: Gannon Wallace, Olathe South, “Know Your Rights”
  • Third place: McKenna Cowles and Liz Stoeck, Olathe South, “Window of Opportunity”

High School Visual Arts

  • First place: Kutina Cabrera, Olathe North, “Am I Next?”
  • Second place: Sarah Manuel, Olathe North, “Fragile Justice?”
  • Third place: Tyler Phothirath, Olathe North, “The March Forward”

High School Writing

  • First place: Skylar Saragusa, Olathe South, “The American Dream”
  • Second place: Kaitlyn Savoy, Olathe North, “The Nature of Broken Things”
  • Third place: Darrell (Riley) Strait, Olathe North, “White Noise”