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William James Middle School Student Wins Eagle Nation In Education Competition

12-13 William James Middle School Student Wins Eagle Nation In Education CompetitionA Georgia Southern University Eagle Nation on Parade sculpture will find a home at William James Middle School in Statesboro after one of its students created the winning design for the Eagle Nation in Education competition.

The name of the winning artist and drawing will be revealed during a ceremony on Tuesday, Dec. 18, at 9 a.m. in the school cafeteria. During the celebration, nine additional awards will be announced to recognize the top three submissions in each of the elementary, middle and high school divisions. Honorable mentions will receive an official Eagle Nation on Parade rosette ribbon and all participants will receive participation certificates.

The student who creates the winning design will work with a Master of Fine Arts candidate from the Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art (BFSDOA) to perfectly craft their concept and rendering onto a six-foot-tall fiberglass Eagle Nation on Parade sculpture. Once completed, the sculpture will be prominently displayed at the school.

Eagle Nation in Education is a public service project of Eagle Nation on Parade. Recognizing the vast importance of art education for local youth, Eagle Nation on Parade initiated the project to offer Bulloch County K-12 students an opportunity to express, create and expand their artistic abilities. Eagle Nation in Education also provided art educators with a valuable opportunity to teach their students about public art.

The competition generated more than 450 submissions from elementary, middle and high school students. “I am just so very proud of all these kids,” said William James Middle School Principal Mike Yawn. “This is amazing! I can’t express how proud I am.”

Judges Rosalind Ragans, Ed.D., of Lawrenceville, Ga., and Bruce Little, Ed.D., of Savannah, Ga., judged the competition. Criteria for judging included concept and originality, clarity and interpretation of a theme, visual and aesthetic appeal, materials and technique.

Ragans is a Georgia Southern associate professor emerita and best-selling author of art textbooks for high school students. ArtTalk, her senior high art textbook, has sold more than half a million copies in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Asia. It was the first art education textbook to combine art history, criticism, aesthetics and artistic performance. Ragans was named the National Art Educator of the Year in 1992.

Little, also a University professor emeritus, joined Georgia Southern in 1988 after a successful career as a high school teacher. A former educator of both undergraduate and graduate students,

Little directed the Master of Fine Arts graduate program and chaired numerous thesis committees during his time at Georgia Southern. His research includes an extensive exhibition record and numerous publications, including the classic National Art Education Association publication, Secondary Art Education: An Anthology of Issues. Little was honored in 2003 by NAEA as Art Educator of the Year and was a 2010 recipient of Georgia Southern’s College of Liberal Arts and Social Science’s Ruffin Cup.

“Dr. Ragans and Dr. Little are highly esteemed and well known in each of their respected fields,” said Patricia Carter, chair of the BFSDOA. “We knew that with such an important and difficult decision as selecting the winning submission for the Eagle Nation in Education program, our judges needed to be the best of the best in the art field. By selecting Dr. Ragans and Dr. Little, we have done just that. They took every entry into consideration to carefully select the winner based on their immense experience in the arts.”

Georgia Southern University, a Carnegie Doctoral/Research University founded in 1906, offers more than 120 degree programs serving more than 20,500 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement.  In 2011, the University was named one of the Top 10 most popular universities in the country by U.S. News & World Report and is a top choice of Georgia’s HOPE scholars.  Georgia Southern is recognized for its student-centered approach to education. Visit: www.georgiasouthern.edu.

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