Norco Elementary student wins art contest

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 15, 2012

NEW ORLEANS – A Norco Elementary School student was among nine students from across the state that won $5,000 grants for their individual classrooms as part of an art, photography and essay contest sponsored by America’s Wetland Foundation.

Dalton Baglio, 10, of Montz was the fourth- through seventh-grade winner in the art category in the Wetland Foundation’s “Keep Your Eye on the Prize” contest to celebrate the foundation’s 10th anniversary.

Baglio, is a fourth-grader in Jessica Thomas’ class at Norco Elementary. Baglio joined students from Metairie, New Orleans, St. Francisville and Lake Charles who won awards in the contest for art, photography or essay. Each student received a $5,000 grant earmarked for educational materials, equipment and a school wetlands restoration project coordinated by the foundation. The overall winners in each category received an additional $1,000 for classroom equipment. The winners were announced Feb. 2, also known as World Wetlands Day.

“This is just another element of our mission to raise state, regional and national awareness of the plight of Louisiana’s wetlands,” said R. King Milling, founder and chair of Americas Wetland Foundation. “We work with schools to educate future leaders.”

Milling said the awards are the largest in the foundation’s history and come as a result of the organization’s upcoming 10-year anniversary. Students were asked to provide art, photography and essay submissions in response to the questions, “How can Louisiana adapt to coastal land loss?” and “Why should the area known as ‘America’s WETLAND’ be saved?”

Baglio’s artwork depicts a pair of pelicans nesting in a cypress tree.

“This contest is an extension of our public education mission,” said Lake Charles Mayor Randy Roach, a member of the foundation’s Board of Directors. “The entries from the hundreds who entered this contest show that they have paid attention to the story of the wetlands and why the marshes of Louisiana are so critically important to the nation.”

Local officials — accompanied by the Estuarians or “Estys,” the action heroes that represent wildlife and fisheries in the wetlands — will present the checks on behalf of the wetland foundation at school visits this spring. In addition, the winning classrooms will participate in a restoration project.

The winners, by category, are:


• Grades K-3 winner: Kaitlin Miller, 7, of Ragley, a student in Candace Marque’s second grade classroom, Bishop Noland Episcopal Day School, Lake Charles.

• Grades 4-7 winner: Aniese Kattash, 11, of Lake Charles, a student in Beverly Kelley’s sixth grade class at Bishop Noland Episcopal Day School, Lake Charles.

• Grades 8-12 winner: Emily Hart, 14, of Lake Charles, a student in Beverly Kelley’s eighth grade class, Bishop Noland Episcopal Day School in Lake Charles.


• Grades K-3 winner: Wesley Maze, 9, of Bell City, a student in teacher Libby Richards’ third grade class at Bishop Noland Episcopal Day School, Lake Charles.

• Grades 4-7 winner: Dalton Baglio, 10, of Montz, a student in teacher Jessica Thomas’ fourth grade classroom at Norco Elementary School, Norco.

• Grades 8-12 winner: Brittany Stagg, 15, of St. Francisville, a student in teacher Killian Williams’ tenth grade classroom at West Feliciana High School, St. Francisville.


• Grades K-3 winner: Athena Marks, 8, of New Orleans, a student in teacher

Catherine Coyle’s third grade classroom, Morris Jeff Elementary, New Orleans.

• Grades 4-7 winner: Justin Hugger, 11, Metairie, a student in teacher Juliet Kellam’s sixth grade classroom at Haynes Academy, Metairie.

• Grades 8-12 winner: Alyssa Duffourc, 13, a student in teacher Angela’s Griffin’s eighth grade classroom, Patrick F. Taylor Science and Technology School, Jefferson.