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KJHS Students Named As Finalists in National Design Contest

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Community encouraged to vote for hometown entries

Kearney, Mo., February 8, 2022: Kearney Junior High School eighth-grader Anthony Dutzel and ninth-grader Libby Carpenter learned recently that they are two of just five finalists selected in the grade 6-12 category by the SC Johnson Professional company for its “Happy Hands” national contest.

The contest promotes the importance of hand washing at school by encouraging K-12 students to use their creative skills and imagination to design a custom soap/sanitizer dispenser, according to the company’s website. Anthony and Libby created their own designs as projects in Rayma McKinney’s KJHS art class.

“I’m always looking for ways to get students excited and engaged in creating art, and this contest was the perfect opportunity,” Ms. McKinney said. “This is amazing because Kearney Junior High School is the only school with two students who were selected in the grade 6-12 category!”

Both students said they were surprised to learn that their designs had been chosen as finalists. They also credited Ms. McKinney for helping them tap into their own creativity.

“She really pushed us in a good way to think outside the box and have fun with it,” Libby said. “I really didn’t think my design would go anywhere, so this is great.”

A record number of designs were submitted for this year’s “Happy Hands” contest, according to the company. The submissions were evaluated for visual appeal, overall hand hygiene design, creativity and unique design elements.

Finalists in the K-5 and 6-12 categories were announced on Feb. 1, and the public can now vote for their favorite designs at One vote can be made each day for each design.

Anthony encouraged the entire Kearney School District community to cast their votes for his and Libby’s entries.

“I hope people vote for both of our designs,” Anthony said. “It would be awesome if our school won.”

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