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5th-grader wins Holiday Card Contest

By Kathy Chaffin
kchaffin@salisburypost.com
Rebecca Poole decided to draw a snowman for her entry in this year’s Rowan-Salisbury School System Holiday Card Contest because she and her mother have a tradition of making one every time it snows.
And usually at some point while schools are closed for the Christmas and New Year holidays, Rebecca said it snows enough for a snowman.
As for the red barn in the upper right background, “I don’t know,” she said. “It was just an accessory.”
Her mother, Holly, said Rebecca came home after hearing about the contest and said she was going to enter. “I asked if she knew what she wanted to do,” Holly recalled, “and she just started to draw something. She’s always been into drawing and stuff.”
Rebecca’s entry was one of five chosen by Danielle Wiles, art teacher at Knollwood Elementary, to represent the school in the systemwide Holiday Card Contest for elementary schools. Her entry ended up being selected from about 75 entries as the cover for the school system’s 2009 Christmas card.
Rita Foil, public information officer for the school system, said they’re getting ready to send them out. “We’ve already got them stuffed,” she said, “and we’re just tweaking the list and making sure we’ve got the address changes from last year.”
Foil said the school system will be sending out about 300 cards.
The contest alternates each year between being held in the system’s elementary, middle and high schools.
Rebecca Poole was recognized by the Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education at its Nov. 23 meeting and presented her with a “Celebrations” certificate honoring her as the winner of the 2009 Holiday Card Contest and a frame of her original artwork with an inset reading, “Holiday Card Contest 2009 Winner.”
Rebecca’s mother, Holly, and her grandparents, Sherri and Tony Beaver, accompanied her to the meeting.
The presentation brought back memories for Holly Poole, who won an art contest for the program cover of her elementary school’s annual Christmas play when she was in the fourth grade in Grand Rapids, S.D.
“It was just an odd coincidence,” she said. “The theme was ‘Grandmother’s Scrapbook,’ so I drew a grandmother sitting in a rocking chair reading stories to kids. It was like a stick person kind of thing.”
Holly said she can still remember hearing her name announced as the winner over the school’s public address system. “Everybody in class screamed and chased after me,” she said. “It was kind of weird.”
When Rebecca came home and told her she had won the Holiday Card Contest, she said it was also announced over the school’s public address system. “And I felt my face get red,” she said Rebecca told her. “She was happy about it.”
Holly has since shown Rebecca some of the artwork she did in middle school and high school. Though she enjoys art, Rebecca said she’s not sure if she’ll take art classes as electives in the higher grades.
Rebecca said she wants to be a doctor or an orthodontist when she grows up.
Holly, after being laid off from the Hanes Brand plant in China Grove last year, started classes in the biotechnical program at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.
They live off Airport Road, and Rebecca’s certificate and framed artwork are proudly displayed in their living room. They’re also keeping the three samples of the Rowan-Salisbury School System’s cards, a certificate from art teacher Danielle Wise and a congratulatory card from Rowan-Salisbury Schools Superintendent Dr. Judy Grissom as keepsakes.
“Your art was wonderful,” Grissom wrote to Rebecca, “and we look forward to sharing it with others.”
What’s next for Rebecca? It seems she’s going into politics, running as a candidate for vice president of the third, fourth and fifth grades at Knollwood Elementary.
She’s making her own posters and decorating them with colorful magic markers. One even features her photo at the top and says, “Vote for Rebecca Poole, Vice President, because I will help the president with his/her ideas.”
Contact Kathy Chaffin at 704-797-4249.

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