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West Ashley high honored in giant greeting card competition

Charleston, SC - The holidays are shining a little brighter for students from the West Ashley High School (WAHS) Art Club and Wildcat International Club, along with a number of others who have an interest in the arts. They are celebrating an honorable mention honor in the annual James Island County Park Festival of the Lights Giant Greeting Card Competition. It is the first time ever the school has received an award in the high school division.


Students involved in the contest spent took two and a half weeks to complete their entry, with students staying after school for up to three hours each day.


This year's theme was "Let Your Heart Be Light," a line derived from the famous Christmas song Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. After a number planning meetings, the group decided to give their board a winter look with snowmen and a snowflake background. The group designed the snowmen to look like carolers and included found items at the top of the card in order to tie their entry to this year's theme.

Found items are things that are not conventionally used in art, such as picture frames, used books, and sheet music (all of which they incorporated into this project). Students used their skills and talent to help with specific aspects of the project. For example, sophomore Kimberly McCurdy painted "Let Your Heart Be Light" in calligraphy at the top of the greeting card.


"My favorite part about [this project] was watching the collaboration of the students," explained Wildcat International Club sponsor and Spanish teacher Mollie Soto. "Collaboration of teachers between departments is very important to building our inter-disciplinary studies at West Ashley High School. Students were able to watch the project's day-to-day progress and feel a sense of pride once it was complete."

West Ashley Art teacher Shannon Hopkins felt the project went well too. "I loved sharing the artistic process with the group," Hopkins said. "In the real world, this is how projects are done. One person alone couldn't have achieved such an outcome. I'm so proud of our project."

There were 38 entries from Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester counties in this year's contest, which was divided into four different categories: an elementary school division, a middle school division, a high school division, and honorable mention. The top three schools in each division, and those who received honorable mention, received trophies, certificates, and cash prizes.

The following schools placed in the three divisions:

Elementary School Division
  • 1st place - Charleston Collegiate
  • 2nd place - Orange Grove Charter
  • 3rd place - Malcolm C. Hursey
Middle School Division
  • 1st place - Charleston Christian
  • 2nd place - Camp Road
  • 3rd place - Ridge Christian Academy
High School Division
  • 1st place - Cathedral Academy
  • 2nd place - Crown Leadership Academy

    3rd place - St. John's

Along with West Ashley, GLOW Homeschool, Matilda F. Dunston Primary School, and St. James-Santee Elementary-Middle School received honorable mention.

"I believe that the Giant Greeting Card project went very well and turned out so much better than I could have predicted," said Soto. "I am very proud of our students, especially those who took on leadership roles over the course of the two and a half weeks, [such as] Maryann Royster and Caitlyn Still."

The giant greeting cards will be on display in Santa's Village as part of the annual Holiday Festival of Lights, now in its 28th season, until January 1, 2018.

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