The 2024 Alaska Junior Duck Stamp Contest winning painting of an American Wigeon titled “Perusing in the Pond” by Jade Hicks, a student at Thunder Mountain High School. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

The 2024 Alaska Junior Duck Stamp Contest winning painting of an American Wigeon titled “Perusing in the Pond” by Jade Hicks, a student at Thunder Mountain High School. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

THMS student Jade Hicks wins 2024 Alaska Junior Duck Stamp Contest

Jade Hicks, 18, a student at Thunder Mountain High School, took top honors in the 2024 Alaska Junior Duck Stamp Contest with a painting of an American Wigeon titled “Perusing in the Pond.”

Hicks’ artwork was chosen as the Best of Show out of 218 entries from across the state and will represent Alaska at the National Jr. Duck Stamp Contest on April 19 held in Falls Church, Virginia.

It is the ninth year in a row TMHS has won the best of show award, according to school officials. Notorious among the previous winners is Alain Soltys-Gray, who won the award all four years he attended the school from 2018 and 2022.

This is also the last year TMHS will claim the award, since students from the school will be merged into Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé as part of a districtwide consolidation plan.

The Best of Show Conservation Message, “Don’t use lead bullets because it is poisonous to the ducks and their habitats”, was submitted by Lindi Saunders, age 10, with Pioneer Peak Elementary in Palmer. Lindi’s conservation message will also compete at the National Jr. Duck Stamp Contest.

Judges for this year’s contest were Helen Strackeljahn and Erik Osnas from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Dave Weber from Ducks Unlimited, Rich Capitan from the Alaska Zoo, and Arin Underwood from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Appreciation goes out to Katie Pervier, Chuck Frost, and Callie Gesmundo with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for their behind-the-scenes support. A tremendous Thank You to The Moose’s Tooth for lunch, Ducks Unlimited for prizes and awards, and the Alaska Zoo for hosting the contest.

The Federal Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest is the culmination of a year-long Junior Duck Stamp conservation program used by educators across the nation. Junior Duck Stamp competitions occur in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Proceeds from sales of the $5 Junior Duck Stamp support environmental education.

To learn more visit the National Jr. Duck webpage at https://www.fws.gov/program/junior-duck-stamp.

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