(Shenandoah) -- A Shenandoah High School student took top honors in an unusual art competition over the summer.
Senior Roxy Denton won first place in the grade 10 through 12 division in the 2019 Iowa Junior Duck Stamp Competition, administered for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by the Neil Smith National Wildlife Refuge. Speaking on KMA's "Dean and Friends" program earlier this week, Denton says her art teacher encouraged her to enter the competition earlier this year.
"I didn't really know about it at first," said Denton. "Then, my amazing art teacher, Mrs. (Crystal) Wittmer, she was like, 'you should try this contest.' I said, 'okay, I don't know how good it will look.' So, I chose the duck, and started drawing it. At first, I was like, oh, I don't know how well this is going, because I had to draw it with water colored pencils. So, at first, it was looking really rough. She was giving me pointers. She said, 'try this, maybe press a little harder to get more color.' It worked out, and it looked really well at the end."
Denton found out she won the contest in her age group before the end of last school year.
"We waited for what felt like forever," she said. "We were like, 'when are we going to get it back? Is it ever going to get back before the school year ends?' So, one day it came. Mrs. Wittmer said, 'you got first place.' I said, 'what do you mean?' She was like, 'in Iowa, you got first place.' I knew it was good, but I didn't it was first-place-in-the-state good."
Another SHS senior, Kelsi Carlson, placed second in the competition. The winning designs are currently on display at Shenandoah Public Library through the month of September.