U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith recently honored the winners of the 2023 Congressional Art Competition. From left: Katelyn Wheatley, Griffith, Autumn Selfridge, Sailor Jenkins and Kindle Conkin of Eastman Credit Union. Photo courtesy of Griffith's office.

Here’s a roundup of education briefs from around Southwest and Southside. Send yours for possible inclusion to news@cardinalnews.org.

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Carroll County student takes top prize in Ninth District’s Congressional Art Competition

“Highland Ponies,” by Katelyn Wheatley. Photos courtesy of the office of U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith.

Katelyn Wheatley of Carroll County High School won the 2023 Congressional Art Competition in Virginia’s Ninth Congressional District, the office of Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Salem, has announced.

Her artwork, “Highland Ponies,” will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol in Washington.

Autumn Selfridge of Virginia High School earned second place with “Harbingers of Spring” and Sailor Jenkins, also of Virginia High School, earned third with “Wonderful World.” Their work will be displayed in Griffith’s Christiansburg and Abingdon offices.

“Harbingers of Spring,” by Autumn Selfridge.
“Wonderful World,” by Sailor Jenkins.

“Congratulations to Katelyn Wheatley on winning first place,” said Griffith. “Her work is a beautiful display of this year’s theme, ‘Discovering Virginia’s Beautiful Ninth District,’ and has earned a place in the U.S. Capitol for all to see. I would also like to congratulate Autumn Selfridge and Sailor Jenkins for placing second and third in the competition with their excellent entries. Their work will hang in my Christiansburg and Abingdon offices.

“Throughout the Ninth District, we have so many creative and skilled students. I enjoy seeing their work showcased each year during the Congressional Art Competition, and I would like to thank all who participate,” Griffith said in a statement.

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Floyd third graders partner with Habitat to create stepping stones for new homes

Sixty third-grade students from Floyd Elementary School, their teachers and students from Floyd County High School recently met at the high school to create decorated concrete stepping stones for seven townhomes under construction by Habitat for Humanity of the New River Valley.

Sixty third graders at Floyd Elementary School created custom stepping stones for townhomes under construction by Habitat for Humanity of the New River Valley. Photo courtesy of Habitat NRV.

“We are very excited about this. It is a great opportunity for the kids to get involved and give back to their local community,” stated Brenda Sternfeld, volunteer coordinator at Habitat NRV.

The stepping stone project is the first partnership between Habitat NRV and Floyd Elementary, but they plan to continue to work together for future construction across the New River Valley.

The seven townhomes on Newtown Road in Floyd will each have three bedrooms and two baths. Four units will be ADA accessible. Construction is expected to be completed this fall. Families interested in applying for one of the seven townhomes can download an application from habitatnrv.org.

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Friends of the Blue Ridge awards $30,000 in inaugural Lynn Davis Scholarships

Twenty high school seniors from Southwest and Southside Virginia are among the 30 students receiving an inaugural $1,000 Lynn Davis Scholarship from Friends of the Blue Ridge.

Named in honor of Friends of the Blue Ridge co-founder Lynn Davis, the scholarship program was established in 2023 to assist students from communities of Virginia’s and North Carolina’s Blue Ridge who plan to pursue environmental or cultural studies in college, according to a news release from the organization.

Roanoke-area recipients: Lauren Cone, Hidden Valley High School; Case Crawford, William Byrd High School; Benjamin Dye, Roanoke Governor’s School; Eleanor Little, Patrick Henry High School; Emma Seidel, Patrick Henry; Sydney Smith, Cave Spring High School; Grace van Gerven, Glenvar High School.

New River Valley recipients: Iain Abbott, Governor School SWVA; Harrison Tracy, Blacksburg High School; Lilly Underwood, Eastern Montgomery High School.

Hillsville-Galax recipients: Lacy Griffith, Carroll County High School; Mia Llamas, Galax High School; Ainsley Nottingham, Carroll County.

Lynchburg-Bedford recipients: Adalynn Carter, Jefferson Forest High School; Mary-Caroline Cockerham, Amherst County High School; Andrew Fowler, James River High School; John Laughridge, James River; Maegan Lloyd, Amherst County; Levi Miller, James River; Nathan Neblett, Amherst County.