Contest “Promotes The Vote” to school students

DeSoto County students and teacher among award winners at Thursday program.

Photo: From left, Charlize Clark of DeSoto Central Middle School (2nd place-cartoon), Sondra Hilton of DeSoto Central Middle School (Teacher Award), Ellie Nehls of DeSoto Central Middle School (2nd place-digital art), and Kelcie Byars of DeSoto Central Middle School (1st place-essay). Other winners not able to attend were Lindsey Ruff of DeSoto Central High School (1st place-essay), and Ryan Crosby of DeSoto Central High School (1st place-essay), and teacher Mary Kylie Ruff of DeSoto Central High School (Teacher Award). (Bob Bakken/DeSoto County News)

Mississippi Secretary of State Michael Watson and Mississippi Public Broadcasting (MPB) honored the student and teacher winners of the 2021 Promote the Vote (PTV) program Thursday morning at Two Mississippi Museums in Jackson. A number of DeSoto County students and a DCS teacher were recognized as award winners in the Secretary of State’s comprehensive K-12 voter education program.   

Separate contests were held using cartoons, essays, and digital art with winners coming from different age divisions, from third-through-fifth grade, to sixth-through-eighth, ninth-through-10th, and 11th-through-12th grades.  Click here for the complete list of the winners.

In the Cartoon Contest: Students were encouraged to draw a political cartoon regarding the local election process. 

In the Essay Contest: Students constructed an essay addressing the following prompt: “What characteristics or leadership qualities do you look for when choosing a candidate to best represent your community?” 

In the Digital Art Contest: Students were encouraged to design the homepage for a fictional campaign website. 

And, in the MPB Social Media Contest: Students were encouraged to develop a catchy and creative campaign slogan relative to their community.

Six contest judges were asked to judge the different entries and they came from various areas of the state. Bob Bakken of DeSoto County News was among the essay judges for this year’s contest.

Following are the DeSoto County Schools winners in this year’s Promote the Vote Contests: 

Secretary of State Michael Watson with Charlize Clark, DeSoto Central Middle School. Clark won second place in the 6th-8th grade Cartoon Contest. (Bob Bakken/DeSoto County News)
Secretary of State Michael Watson with Ellie Nehls, DeSoto Central Middle School. Nehls won second place in the 6th-8th grade Digital Art Contest. (Bob Bakken/DeSoto County News)
Secretary of State Michael Watson with Kelci Byars, DeSoto Central Middle School. Byars won first place in the 6th-8th grade Essay Contest. (Bob Bakken/DeSoto County News)
First place winners in the Mississippi Public Broadcasting Social Media Contest.
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Bob Bakken

Bob Bakken is the most recognized and most trusted name in DeSoto County news and sports reporting, as readers continue to express their appreciation for his accuracy and fairness in the stories he writes. Bob provides content for DeSoto County News and occasionally is heard on the OB Pod podcast talking about area happenings. A former newspaper editor and writer, his award-winning background also includes television news producing, sports media relations, and radio broadcasting.

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