Three students win school design contest

Jan. 30, 2013 @ 07:10 PM

Students at Sun Valley Middle School showed their Spartan spirit by designing T-shirts for the school. 

Students created designs that were displayed without their names attached. The student body then voted on the designs and there was one winner from each grade level. They signed their work and they were turned into T-shirts and hooded sweatshirts. 

The sixth grade winning design was created by Bailey Dawson, the seventh grade winning design was created by Darious Murray and the eighth grade winning design was created by Johnny Pham.

"It actually started out with a conversation with my child and some of her friends talking about school spirit," Michelle Jeanniton-Garrett, parent-teacher organization vice president, said. "Being involved in the PTO for so many years and at the school, I wanted to do something different and I wanted the children to feel like they were a part of the school and that they had some input."

Sun Valley Middle School requires students to wear uniforms. Garrett said that some students have opinions on their uniform. She hoped that by including them in the process, they would feel better about having to dress in uniform. 

She was surprised by the response. 

"I thought it was a good idea...but I didn't think we would get as much participation as we have been getting," Garrett said. 

The shirts have become so popular, that they are ordering another batch to meet demand. Garrett sees parents, students at the high school and students at the lower level schools wearing the shirts. 

"Every day I'm getting orders in and trying to think of more ways to allow more people to actually order, even outside of the schools," Garrett said. "I want it to be a community. Something the community can be proud of and something that can expand to the other schools."

She hopes the PTO will hold the contest again next year. 

The design contest and shirt sales are not a fundraiser. Garrett worried parents would be turned off by the word fundraiser. The cost of the shirt or hooded sweatshirt covers the printing costs with a slight profit going to the PTO. Garrett does not mind if they lose money on the shirts. 

"It's all about showing the Spartan pride at the middle school," she said. 

In addition to her surprise at the response, she was amazed by the designs students submitted. 

"The three winners, the designs are outstanding," Garrett said. "There were so many great designs...you can tell they really put 100 percent into it. It was amazing."

"If we could print all of the designs, we would have done it," she added. 

Some students were upset that they missed the deadline or did not participate. Garrett hopes they can participate next year to give other kids a chance to show their work and have their names printed on hundreds of shirts. 

"I'm just very proud of all the spartan pride that's going on at the middle school...that's why I really am so proud of this one project we did," Garrett said. "You can see how proud the students are of this school....you can tell there's positive change going on and it's so great to be a part of the school."

The design had to incorporate words that promoted school pride and spirit like New Heights, responsibility, initiative and others. 

The designs could include no more than two colors and would be voted on by their grade classmates after going through an initial approval process by teachers, administrators and parents. The grade committee pre-selected the designs to be voted on.