The National Parent Teacher Association has given Murray fourth-grader Taylor Marie Fidel second-place honors, including cash and other prizes, for her photography entry in this year's Reflections contest.
Her winning entry was judged from a pool of 60 national finalists in the intermediate group, which includes third- to fifth-graders. The annual competition, sponsored by the PTA since 1969, includes writing, visual arts and music categories and had more than 600,000 participants this year, according to the PTA's headquarters in Chicago.Entries must first win in school, school district and then state competitions before advancing to the national competition. This is the second year in a row Fidel's photography entries have advanced to national competition.
Each year's contest follows a theme, which was "Open Your Eyes and See" for the 1995-96 school year. Fidel's photograph was titled "Open Your Eyes and See the Sunset" and shows her 4-year-old sister, Alison, peeking through the blinds on a window toward a blazing sunset. The sunset can be seen reflected in the glass.
The picture will join an exhibit scheduled to debut at the PTA's national convention later this month. The exhibit will then travel to state PTA conventions and other sites.
Fidel has had to borrow a camera from her parents, Steve and Melia Fidel, to take her Reflections pictures the past two years but plans to spend the $200 prize money she received to buy a camera of her own. She also likes experimenting in her dad's darkroom. Besides photography, Fidel looks for chances to work her interest in koalas into school assignments and is studying flute and piano.