ANNAPOLIS — Queen Anne’s County Public Schools amassed nine record-breaking awards —the most the district has ever seen, including several first, second, third places and honorable mentions, in observance of National Conflict Resolution Day.

The Maryland Judiciary’s Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office sponsored the 14th annual Conflict Resolution Day Bookmark Art Contest, which kicks off annually in October. The contest is open to all Maryland students in kindergarten through eighth grade, and a record-setting 2,735 entries from students in 11 counties and Baltimore City, more than double last year’s entries, were received.

Queen Anne’s County Public Schools was publicly recognized for having the most entries and the most award winners in the state.

Students created bookmarks focused on preventing or resolving conflicts peacefully. Winners were chosen based on their creative and imaginative interpretation of the theme and the inclusion of a strong conflict resolution message.

The top 1,000 entries are on display at the new Maryland Judicial Center in Annapolis, and on Dec. 5, winning teachers, students and their families were invited to the awards ceremony and reception at the MJC, where Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera proudly presented the awards.

“It is heartening that many children participated this year and learned about resolving conflicts peacefully, as well as the respect for self and others that it requires,” Barbera said. “This contest has grown significantly and is being embraced by many educators as a way to encourage students to think imaginatively about peacemaking. We want young people to be inspired by the theme and use this contest as a starting point to engage in meaningful peer-to-peer discussions and learn about settling disputes without violence.”

Many of this year’s participants created artwork expressing messages about respect for others, inclusion, and self-acceptance.

During the Dec. 5 celebration, Chief Judge Barbera met with students and congratulated them on their bookmark artwork. Eleven first-, second-, and third-place contest winners in grades K-2, 3-5, and 6-8 received prizes and 15 students were recognized for earning honorable mentions for their artwork. Several of the students’ bookmarks will be printed and distributed throughout Maryland to promote peaceful conflict resolution.

Hundreds of dignitaries, teachers, student award winners and their families applauded these students’ artistic accomplishments.

Michael Bell, supervisor of Visual and Performing Arts, World Languages and Media for QACPS, was very impressed with the level of participation from his Media Specialists, and the contests’ strong message of anti-bullying in schools.

“I was so impressed with the powerful message in last years’ contest that I promoted it widely to our outstanding media specialists, and they ran with it,” Bell said. “Social-emotional learning is so important, and schools need to be safe havens for kids. They also need to be creative places where inspiring stories are born. I give our media specialists all the credit for QACPS sweeping the state in record-breaking fashion. They work so hard to inspire reading, and this year — visual journaling in our new maker spaces within school libraries. They do a fabulous job day in and day out, and their role is so important to our children and our schools.”

Cheryl Jackson, coordinator of media resources for Mediation and Conflict Resolution, congratulated Bell on the tremendous increase in Queen Anne’s County’s participation, “We surely appreciate the word-of-mouth publicity .... It worked!”

Bell said to be on the lookout for more creative endeavors for the school library media specialists in Queen Anne’s County, as they play an important role in educating the whole child and to help increase verbal and visual language proficiency.

QACPS State Bookmark Art Contest Winners:

Category: K – 2nd Grade

1st Place

Harlynn Crew, 2nd Grade

Sudlersville Elementary

Media Specialist: Pamela Renfrow

3rd Place

Rachel Wishart, 1st Grade

Matapeake Elementary

Media Specialist: Christine Clow

Honorable Mention

Kendyll Ross Meise, 1st Grade

Grasonville Elementary

Media Specialist: Jamie Gettings-Welch

Honorable Mention

Hazel Ann Peachey, 2nd Grade

Grasonville Elementary

Media Specialist: Jamie Gettings-Welch

Category: 3rd – 5th Grade

1st Place

Skye Lizmi, 5th Grade

Grasonville Elementary

Media Specialist: Jamie Gettings-Welch

2nd Place

Lauryn Hill, 4th Grade

Bayside Elementary

Media Specialist: Sharon Murdoch

Honorable Mention

Baily McMahon, 4th Grade

Bayside Elementary

Media Specialist: Sharon Murdoch

Honorable Mention

Aubrey Kline, 5th Grade

Bayside Elementary

Media Specialist: Sharon Murdoch

Honorable Mention

Brooklynn Dorrell, 5th Grade

Kennard Elementary

Media Specialist: Susan Miller

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.