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Maia Ramirez clinches second consecutive win in UCPS Holiday Card Contest

Congratulations to Maia Ramirez from Marvin Ridge High, who has won the UCPS Holiday Card Contest for the second time. Maia's artwork will again appear on the cover of the holiday card, with her name, grade, and school information displayed on the back.

"I'm surprised to be a two-time winner," said Maia, an 11th grader. "The medium I used was watercolor, which I prefer because it blends out easily. That's what I used last year, too. I designed my card with a snowman looking at a town to symbolize people coming together and to tell people that the holidays are coming."

More than 250 students across all grade levels submitted their original, festive artwork to the competition. On Oct. 31, the top 10 finalists were announced after careful consideration by the holiday card committee. The finalists' artwork received 5,683 votes.

"It's the first time we've had a back-to-back champion," said Superintendent Dr. Andrew Houlihan. "We are proud of all our finalists and art teachers. We are also thankful for their parents' support of the arts and the district."

On Nov. 18, UCPS organized a breakfast for the finalists, their families, art teachers and principals to celebrate their designs and announce the winner. During the event, students explained the meaning behind their artwork before being presented with a certificate recognizing their accomplishments. Some artists' inspiration came from holiday memories, gatherings, friendship, birds, towns and snow.

Maia's parents are proud of their daughter's accomplishments. Reflecting on Maia's artistic journey, her mom shared that her love for art blossomed in middle school during a summer camp, evolving into a passion that has grown stronger over the years.

"During the camp, the art teacher told us she had abilities for painting and that it was a good idea to push her to continue. We agreed. She really enjoys doing it, and it relaxes her," said Monica Romero, her mother. "It's a good challenge to try new things and compete. I'm so proud that she entered again this year."

As the winner, Maia received a framed copy of her card, a $100 Hobby Lobby gift card and special recognition on the district's website and social media platforms. 

Marvin Ridge High's principal, Matt Lasher, shared in their excitement.

"It feels amazing to have the winner be from our school," said Lasher. "To see the work that she does and to know the student and the young lady she is; she deserves it."

Watch the announcement. Pictures from the celebration are below.