Ingrid Keene, a ninth-grade home-schooled student from Tipton, was recognized Tuesday for being one of four students across the state selected as finalists in Missouri's Bicentennial Poster Contest.
Keene was sponsored by the Price James Library in Tipton, where she unveiled her poster Tuesday and received her award of $200.
The theme for Missouri's Bicentennial Poster Contest was "Sharing Missouri's Stories: Past, Present and Future." The competition was open to all Missouri students in third through 12th grade. In total, there were 231 submissions from 45 counties throughout Missouri, with two rounds of judging.
The competition ended with three other finalists: Lehualina Taula, a sixth-grade student at Fire Prairie Upper Elementary School in Independence; Luke Ensor, a sixth-grade student at Holliday Elementary School in Holliday; and Mia Foote, an 11th-grade student from Jackson High School in Jackson.
Jefferson City Mayor Carrie Tergin started Tuesday's ceremony by thanking Keene for her hard work.
"You have used your talent and art to celebrate our history with our past, our present and future. And I think it's really great how you can take art and make that a part of something even bigger, and tell a story and a message through art and be able to commemorate that for our 200th year of our state's bicentennial is even more special," Tergin said. "This is more than just art on paper; it's a bigger story and a bigger message, so thank you for sharing that with our entire state. It's a gift that you're able to give to all of us and we're happy to share that with you."
Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft congratulated Keene on showcasing what Missouri has and continues to offer its people.
"I love the past, present, future motif of the Bicentennial," Ashcroft said. "I think it's so important to have an understanding that our past can prepare us for where we want to go, that it does not constrain us to a certain future. We can learn from it."
Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe was unable to attend, but he prepared a recording just for Keene.
Kehoe congratulated Keene for the honor, highlighting that she showed a consideration of geographic and cultural diversity and took care to present an original work that fit the poster contest's theme.
State Rep. Willard Haley read a resolution prepared from the Missouri House congratulating Keene.
After unveiling the poster, Keene, her family and state officials took photos with her interpretation of Missouri's stories.
"Thank you very much for picking me, and I do not deserve this," Keene said. "I prefer to just draw and use what I can to help others, and I hope that this was able to help my state."
Keene's entry, as well as the other winners and all other submitted posters, are available to view at missouri2021.org/ bicentennial-poster.