North High teen wins Best in Show

February 20, 2009|By MARLO BARNHART

HAGERSTOWN -- Ever since she could hold a pencil in her hand, Hailee Koontz has been drawing pictures.

Hailee's passion for art grew along with her talent and Friday night, her art earned her Best in Show at the second annual art show for public school students sponsored by the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown.

"I've set my sights on Pratt University in New York City," the North Hagerstown High School senior said.

This year, 152 students entered the contest in painting, sculpture, drawing and photography. Last year, there were only 32 entrants.

Delany Lynch, a 12-year-old student at Western Heights Middle School, learned Thursday she had won first place in the painting category for middle-schoolers.

"I was surprised, but pleased," she said.

William Walker, 14, of Antietam Academy, proudly showed off his second-place photography entry to his family.

"I've enjoyed drawing, but now I'm into photography," William said of his misty outdoor scene.


All of the artwork was on display in the university library on West Washington Street.

C. David Warner III, USM-H executive director, introduced Michael Thorsen, principal of the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts, which will share space with the university.

Judges were introduced, then all 19 of the winners came to the front of the assembly to be recognized for their work in "Currents: Trends for Young Visual Arts."

In her excitement over winning best in show, Hailee didn't forget to thank her art teacher, Brandy Merchant.

"She inspired me," said Hailee, the daughter of Michelle and Steven Koontz of Hagerstown.

Merchant also taught last year's Best in Show recipient, Amber Cooper, who graduated from North High and now is doing freelance artwork while preparing to begin her art education, Merchant said.

The artwork will be on display through March.

Art show winners

The following were the winners in the "Currents: Trends for Young Visual Arts" show.

Middle school

Paintings, drawings -- Delany Lynch, Western Heights, first place; Tyler Odell, Northern, second place; Skyler Hall, Clear Spring, third place

Sculpture -- Destiny Hutchinson, Boonsboro, first place; Andrew Doub, Northern, second place; Luke Harsh, Boonsboro, third place

Photography -- Blake Ingram, Antietam Academy, first and third place; William Walker, Antietam Academy, second place

High school

Paintings, drawings -- Kai Bailey, Boonsboro, first place; Hayley Ruppenthal, Hancock, second place; Chris Conte, Boonsboro, third place.

Sculpture -- Vicki Johnson, Williamsport, first place; Bethany Stavrakas, Smithsburg, second place; Justine Tritapoe, Smithsburg, third place.

Photography -- Daphne Crosby, Boonsboro, first place; Jesse Cowdrick, Smithsburg, second place; Elizabeth Hutchison, Smithsburg, third place.

Best in Show -- Hailee Koontz, North Hagerstown High School

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