Panthers News · Two Lecanto High Students Win Congressional Art Competition


It’s a great day to be a Panther! Two 10th grade students, both from Lecanto High School, were surprised Wednesday morning when Florida Congressman Daniel Webster of the 11th Congressional District unveiled to them they had won the 2020 Congressional Art Competition.

LHS 10th grader Elizabeth Holmes won 1st place for Citrus County. Her artwork will be displayed at Webster’s District office in Inverness for one year.

LHS 10th grader Arielle Cooper was the overall district winner for the entire 11th Congressional District. Her artwork will be displayed at the Capitol in Washington, D.C. for one year. Arielle will also have an opportunity to travel to D.C. to receive an award and see her artwork displayed.

Due to current health restrictions, Congressman Webster, Superintendent of Schools Sam Himmel, along with several Lecanto High School faculty members took part in a virtual celebration to announce the winners.

This year’s theme for the competition was “Wonders of Florida.” Arielle says the inspiration for her artwork came from right here in Citrus County.

“I’m very grateful (for this recognition),” says Arielle. “My drawing was something that I saw at Homosassa Wildlife Park. Little turtles sitting on a log and I thought it was adorable.”

“It’s not every day that we have two winners of the same school,” says Congressman Webster during the virtual call. “But these were both so creative. This is a unique win and this competition is something we’ve really been proud of.”

Superintendent Himmel recognized two of LHS’s art teachers who have a passion for teaching art to students. “Dave Brown and Polly Hilgert’s love, commitment, and dedication to kids is truly wonderful. They put 100 percent of their time and effort into teaching. Both great representatives of what it means to be a teacher in Citrus County.”

Students from 10 schools across the district participated in this year’s competition.

Background on the annual Congressional Art Competition:

Open to all high school students in Florida’s 11th Congressional District, the Artistic Discovery Contest is an opportunity to recognize artistic talent in the nation. Since its creation in 1982, over 650,000 high school students have been involved in the nationwide competition.