NESS Announces Winning Artists in Annual Statewide Drawing Contest

STONINGTON, CT. New England Science & Sailing Foundation (NESS) announced this year’s winning artists for the statewide calendar drawing contest entitled “Long Island Sound and Its Watershed: What It Means to Me.” The annual drawing contest is open to all Connecticut students currently in Grades K-6. Santiago Araujo of the Shelter Rock School in Danbury was named the overall winner. His artwork will be featured on the cover of next year’s calendar.

NESS’s President and CEO Spike Lobdell commented,This year’s contest involved over 2,000 Connecticut students whose inspiring artwork depicted the importance of preserving Long Island Sound. Many thanks to the students as well as their teachers and parents who provided support in this environmental stewardship project.”

A panel of judges chose two first place and two honorable mention winners from each grade as this year’s award recipients. The students will be honored at an award ceremony in Hartford later this month. The artwork will also be part of a calendar in 2019.

Honorees include:

Student Name Grade School Place
Dayne Elvis Lecy K Dr. Charles E Murphy Elementary School 1st Place
Evelyn Leff K Niantic Center School 1st Place
Evelyn Coronado K Harbor School Honorable Mention
Mylez Mitchell K Roosevelt Early Learning Center Honorable Mention
Kaylah De Jesus 1 MM Generali Honorable Mention
Lena Cosentino 1 Niantic Center School Honorable Mention
Keishlyanne Garcia Lopez 1 Individual Entry 1st Place
Julia Banda 1 Preston Veterans’ Memorial School 1st Place
Santiago Araujo 2 Shelter Rock School Overall Winner
Amelia Auten 2 St. Mark School Honorable Mention
Landon Bourque 2 Dr. Charles E Murphy Elementary School Honorable Mention
Aidan Naktenis 2 Niantic Center School 1st Place
Laila Vondle 3 Shelter Rock School Honorable Mention
Aya Yoshimuta 3 Greenwich Japanese School 1st Place
Juliana Braz 3 Shelter Rock School 1st Place
Lillian Harney 3 West Broad Street School Honorable Mention
Grace McKee 4 Niantic Center School 1st Place
Ken Nikaido 4 Greenwich Japanese School 1st Place
Matayo Swepson 4 West Broad Street School Honorable Mention
Shea Cullen 4 Dr. Charles E Murphy Elementary School Honorable Mention
Marcella Hamm 5 St. Michael School Honorable Mention
Emily Jenniges 5 Individual Entry Honorable Mention
Sydney Lombard 5 St. Mark School 1st Place
Yosuke Miura 5 Greenwich Japanese School 1st Place
Jonathan Wutka 6 Hartland School Honorable Mention
Sebastian Gawrys 6 HALS Academy Honorable Mention
Momoka Morimoto 6 Greenwich Japanese School 1st Place
Julia Lacasse 6 Individual Entry 1st Place


Nancy Bulkeley of Dominion (center) presents NESS’s CEO Spike Lobdell and Advancement Director Marggie Slichter with a check in support of the contest. Marggie is holding the winning piece of artwork by Santiago Araujo of Danbury, CT.

NESS, a nationally-recognized and award-winning nonprofit ocean adventure education organization, provides students of all ages with year-round ocean adventure programming that includes marine science, sailing, and water sports. NESS scholastic programs support teachers’ STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) curricula with a unique combination of on-the-water and in-the-classroom lessons intended to build confidence, teamwork, and leadership skills.

The annual “Long Island Sound & Its Watershed” calendar drawing contest is funded by a grant from the Dominion Foundation and was previously overseen by the Long Island Sound Foundation. For more information about the drawing contest, please visit

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