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Teen's love of animals is reflected in her art

July 28, 2006|by ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN - Trista Taylor's favorite school subjects are language arts and science, and she wants to work in an animal shelter someday.

Trista, who is deaf, depicted her dream in a drawing, which shows a girl with tears in her eyes as she looks at a dog locked in a cage.

The drawing, "Kennel Owner," won a Judge's Choice award in the annual Gallaudet National Essay and Art Contests for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students. The contest asked students to answer the question, "What will I be doing when I'm 30 years old? How am I preparing for it today?"

Trista, 13, whose mother, father and brother also are deaf, has attended the Maryland School for the Deaf in Frederick, Md., for nine years.

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Her parents make the hour-long round trip from their home in Hagerstown each school day to take Trista and her brother, Taran, 11, to school.

Trista's talent for art did not surprise Marsha Flowers, assistant principal at the Maryland School for the Deaf.

"Trista is a very curious student, and a bright student also," Flowers said in an e-mail. "When it comes to expressing her thoughts, feelings and work, she is very serious, and enjoys taking the time to complete her work."

In a written interview with The Herald-Mail, Trista wrote that she would like to be a veterinarian and work with big animals. She said her favorite animals are horses.

The occupants of Trista's home prove her love of animals. She has four cats, two goldfish, two dogs, two iguanas and a green anole, all of which she cares for herself, with some help from her family, she wrote.

This summer, Trista is taking horse-riding lessons in Mercersburg, Pa., as she has for the last two years. Flowers said that Trista also is an "outstanding athlete."

Trista wrote that she fell in love with animals when she was about 5 years old. Her first pet was a dog.

Deafness will not deter Trista from her chosen career path.

"They provide new technology for deaf people," she said.

Flowers said that e-mail, pagers and fax will enable Trista to work successfully in her chosen field.

"Trista will definitely be a true leader someday," Flowers said.

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