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TxDOT, Keep Texas Beautiful Announce Winners of First Don’t mess with Texas® Art Contest

May 23, 2014

AUSTIN — Artwork by 12 Texas elementary school students will be featured in the 2015 Don’t mess with Texas Calendar. Keep Texas Beautiful and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) selected 12 winning entries from across the state in the first Don’t mess with Texas Elementary School Art Contest.

In an effort to motivate young Texans to keep the environment free from trash, Keep Texas Beautiful and TxDOT invited students across Texas to get creative about litter prevention with the Don’t mess with Texas Elementary School Art Contest. The contest was open to elementary school students enrolled in kindergarten through fifth grade and sponsored by H-E-B and Central Market. Students were asked to submit artwork that promotes the Don’t mess with Texas and/or Keep Texas Beautiful litter prevention slogans.

“We are thrilled with the overwhelming response to our art contest,” said Margo Richards, Travel Information Division Director at TxDOT. “Texas elementary school students and teachers took our litter prevention message to heart and turned it into some amazing artwork.”

Students selected to have their artwork featured in the calendar include:

  • Kindergartener Grayson Acker of Rhea Elementary in Forney.
  • Kindergartener Zoe Schneider of Shawnee Trail Elementary in Frisco.
  • First-grader Evan Jones of John F. Kennedy Elementary in Corpus Christi.
  • First-grader Victoria Vela of John F. Kennedy Elementary in Corpus Christi.
  • Second-grader McKenzie Fitzsimon of Mumford Elementary School in Mumford.
  • Second-grader Rishona Mopur of Dunbar Primary School in Lufkin.
  • Third-grader Kelly Chen of Castle Hills Elementary in Lewisville.
  • Third-grader Kara Kucera of Christian Evers Elementary in San Antonio.
  • Fourth-grader Emilia Abbud of Mesita Elementary School in El Paso.
  • Fourth-grader Zailey Flannery of Nanny Elementary in Riviera.
  • Fifth-grader Sarah DeForke of Ralph Parr Elementary in League City.
  • Fifth-grader Aditi Buch of Matthews Elementary School in Plano, whose artwork will be featured as the calendar cover and also appear inside the calendar.

Keep Texas Beautiful and TxDOT received more than 6,600 entries from across the state. Each of the 12 winning designs will be assigned to a month and placed in the 2015 Don’t mess with Texas calendar. Each student also will win an ASUS MeMO Pad HD 7 tablet donated by H-E-B and Central Market.

“We have some talented student artists in our state,” said Cathie Gail, Executive Director, Keep Texas Beautiful. “We had a tough time narrowing the entries down to just 12 winning designs. This contest was a fun way to celebrate the creativity of our youngest Texans while teaching them the importance of keeping our highways and environment litter-free.”

All student winners will be showcased on the Don’t mess with Texas and Keep Texas Beautiful websites and at the 2014 Keep Texas Beautiful annual conference in June. Teachers representing students who produce the top 12 designs will receive a $100 H-E-B and Central Market gift card.

More information is availabile at


Keep Texas Beautiful
Keep Texas Beautiful (KTB), a statewide grassroots environmental and community improvement organization and affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, strives to educate and engage Texans to take responsibility for improving their community environment. KTB and its more than 360 affiliates work with government, businesses, civic groups and volunteers to ensure that every Texans has the opportunity to take individual responsibility for making Texas the cleanest, most beautiful state in the nation. For more information about KTB, visit, follow us on Twitter at @keeptxbeautiful and like us on Facebook at @keeptxbeautiful.

Texas Department of Transportation
The Texas Department of Transportation is responsible for maintaining 80,000 miles of road and for supporting aviation, rail, and public transportation across the state. TxDOT and its 11,000 employees are committed to working with others to provide safe and reliable transportation solutions for Texas by maintaining a safe system, addressing congestion, connecting Texas communities, and being a Best in Class state agency. Find out more at Fan us on Facebook,; and follow us on Twitter, Don’t mess with Texas® is a registered trademark owned by the Texas Department of Transportation. For more information visit

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