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Published May 16 2010

K-12 notebook: Moorhead boy wins online Artist of the Week contest

A Moorhead fifth-grader recently beat out thousands of student artists from across the world to become Artist of the Week in a popular online art gallery.

Thomas Klein’s collage self-portrait garnered the most votes last week on Artsonia.com, where students can post their artwork and create “fan clubs.” Thomas and his art teacher at Reinertsen Elementary, Michelle Sailer, won a total of $150 worth of art supplies.

Sailer discovered Artsonia earlier this year while looking for ways to give students more exposure than sending drawings home with them.

The site, billed as the world’s largest online kids’ art museum, features more than 5 million art pieces from some 100 countries. Since March, Sailer has posted more than 400 student pieces on the site.

“I thought, ‘What a neat medium,’ ” she said. “What a great way to share art with grandma and grandpa in a different state.”

But Thomas’ piece, which blends digital photography and 1939 newsprint, attracted attention beyond his family. He racked up the most votes to land his Artist of the Week recognition.

Sailer expects we might be seeing more from this young artist.

“Thomas is very talented,” she said.

DECA conference

Fargo South High School DECA students recently competed against some 14,000 other students from across the country at the International Career Development Conference.

Among the 25 students, Sean Ness, Kirsten Unhjem and Courtney Jacobson placed among the top 10 for a public relations project, and Evan Bong, Erik Diederich and Elle Weisenberger took second place for community service, earning a trophy for their school for the first time in nearly 20 years.

Top prize for principal

A Fargo principal was recently named the Region 5 Regional Principal of the Year by the North Dakota Association of Elementary School Principals.

Dana Carlson is in his second year as principal of Clara Barton Hawthorne Elementary School.

Teen writers wanted

Moorhead Community Education is offering a summer writing workshop for Horizon Middle School and Moorhead High School students interested in writing.

The Summer Workshop for Teen Writers will be from 4:30 to 6 p.m. June 14 through 17 and June 21 through 24 at the Moorhead Public Library.

The workshop aims to help teens become better thinkers, artists and writers in a fun atmosphere without the pressure of grades. Participants will share and discuss their work and get feedback from professional writers.

The cost is $45. For more information or to register, call (218) 284-3400 or go to communityed.moorhead.k12.mn.us.

Distinguished service

Fargo South High School’s Junior ROTC unit has been recognized for going above and beyond.

It will be one of 230 units across the country to receive the 2009-2010 Air Force Junior ROTC Distinguished Unit Award.

Readers can reach Forum reporters Kelly Smith at (701) 241-5515 and Mila Koumpilova at (701) 241-5524