The two fifth-graders, Madelynne Schurdell, 11, and Zin Yadana Oo, 11, were two of three winners in the annual three-county Ottawa, Sandusky, Seneca Joint Solid Waste District billboard contest. The third winner, Regan Draeger, is a student at Woodmore Elementary in Woodville, in Sandusky County.
Both girls are students in Sue Joy’s science class. Joy has accumulated a remarkable winning streak in placing winning students in the contest. The billboards are on display through the month of April.
Madelynne lives in Margaretta Township and is a student in Danbury Schools.
She drew two owls sitting on a tree branch, above recycling containers. The owl offers some advice on recycling: “Be wise!”
“I like owls and I thought it would look good on the picture, too,” Madelynne said.
Madelynne’s picture was turned into a billboard on Ohio 163 in Ottawa County, west of Ohio 53, between the Walmart and the Kroger stores.
“I was happy that I won and it was cool to see it,” she said.
Zin drew an attractive yellow fish swimming through a blue lake towards pieces of garbage, with the message, “Don’t Pollute Our Lake.”
Zin lives in Marblehead and can see the lake from her house.
“Since we live by the lake, I thought it would be more important to put a lake in the picture,” she said.
The billboard with Zin’s design is on Ohio 2, east of Ohio 53. Drivers headed east from Port Clinton on Ohio 2 will see it just before reaching the Sandusky Bay bridge.
Zin said Joy didn’t tell the students what to draw.
“She didn’t’ really say anything particular to draw, just use your imagination and be creative,” Zin said.
Joy is a longtime teacher in Danbury. For 21 consecutive years, Danbury has had at least one winner in the competition, Danbury Middle School principal Joe Miller said.
“You’d think there would be a year in the course of 21 years we wouldn’t have a winner,” Miller said. “I think that’s a great accomplishment for Mrs. Joy’s classroom teaching and for the students in our program.”