ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The Maryland Judiciary’s Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office (MACRO) held its 15th annual bookmark art contest and announced the student winners from schools throughout Maryland. Students were asked to create bookmarks on the theme of preventing or resolving conflicts peacefully.

This year, for the first time ever, the bookmark contest and the awards ceremonies were held remotely due to COVID-19 restrictions. Contest winners in kindergarten through eighth grade were announced via three separate ZOOM ceremonies on January 19, 20, and 21. The awards ceremonies were hosted by Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera.

“The creativity and artwork of Maryland’s schoolchildren is inspiring, especially during this year of virtual learning at home,” said Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera. “It shows the resilience and positive focus of our children and young people during these challenging times. It is also inspiring to know that teachers and parents are continuing to talk to students about positive forms of conflict resolution and alternatives to violence so that they can grow up knowing that conflicts can indeed be resolved peacefully.”

The Maryland Judiciary received more than 300 bookmark entries from students in a number of counties and Baltimore City for its 15th Annual Conflict Resolution Day Bookmark Art Contest.

Chief Judge Barbera, a former early-education teacher in Baltimore City public schools, announced the prize winners, congratulating each winner. She discussed with them the meaning and important message of their original artwork. Students created bookmarks focused on themes of resolving or preventing conflicts, including peer mediation, apologizing, respecting differences, talking things out, solving problems together, listening, tolerance, diversity, inclusion, building peace, respecting one another, consideration for others, and other alternatives to violence. A total of $775 in prizes were awarded to 11 first, second, and third place winners.

Bookmark Contest winners:

Grades K-2.First Place Winner: Isabella L. Taborda, St. Elizabeth Catholic School (Grade 2); Second Place Winner: Briella Dryer, Kent Island Elementary School (Grade 1); Third Place Winner: Heather Nguyen, St. Elizabeth Catholic School (Grade 2); Honorable Mentions: Kian Thiong, St. Pius X Regional School (Grade 1), Sarah Taylor, Severna Park Elementary School (Kindergarten), Jewels Sherbert, Kent Island Elementary School (Kindergarten), Syed Ayaan, Heather Hills Elementary School (Grade 2), and Kamal Wright-Cunningham, Jr., Heather Hills Elementary School (Grade 2).

Grades 3-5.First Place Winner: Vivian Custer, Kennard Elementary School (Grade 3); Second Place Winner: Julia Kleckner, Bayside Elementary School (Grade 3); Third Place Winner (tie): William Smarick, Matapeake Elementary School (Grade 5) and Makena Perillo, Bayside Elementary School (Grade 4); Honorable Mentions: Dominic Masone, Bayside Elementary School (Grade 3), Jennnavieve Sherbert, Bayside Elementary School (Grade 3), Anushka Mathai, St. Elizabeth Catholic School (Grade 3), Tania Rivera, St. Elizabeth Catholic School (Grade 4), and Lauryn Hill, Bayside Elementary School (Grade 5).

Grades 6-8. First Place Winner: Cora Moore, Hyattsville Middle School (Grade 8); Second Place Winner: Dominic Giannini, Urbana Middle School (Grade 6); Third Place Winner (tie): Camila Aguayo, Hyattsville Middle School (Grade 8) and Adreyanna Weitzel, George Fox Middle School (Grade 8); Honorable Mentions: Karalie D. Gustave, Hyattsville Middle School (Grade 8), Alexandre Delahaye-Anero, St. Elizabeth Catholic School (Grade 6), Megan Webb, New Market Middle School (Grade 6), Willow Stone, St. Elizabeth Catholic School (Grade 7), and Sabrina Spencer, Theodore G. Davis Middle School (Grade 8).


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