HAE student gains national recognition in PTA Reflections contest

HAE student gains national recognition in PTA Reflections contest
Hendricks Avenue Elementary Principal Mindy McClendon with Reflections award winners Sophia Michelle MacDowell and her sister, Ava MacDowell

Ava MacDowell, a rising fourth grader at Hendricks Avenue Elementary, placed among the top 10 in the national PTA Reflections contest with this photo of her two sisters, Leanna and Sophia, reaching for balloons in Memorial Park in Riverside.

Grabbing one of the top prizes in her division in the 2018 National PTA Reflections Competition was “within reach” for 9-year-old Ava MacDowell of San Marco.

MacDowell’s photo, “Dream Big by Reaching High in the Sky,” earned the rising fourth-grader at Hendricks Avenue Elementary Awards of Excellence in both the PTA’s Duval County and State of Florida competitions, and a merit award nationally in the intermediate division, where she placed among the top five Award of Merit winners.

With the national recognition came an invitation to attend the 2018 National PTA Celebration in New Orleans June 23. MacDowell’s photo also will be showcased along with others national winners at the United States Department of Education in Washington, D.C.

She also attended a reception for the Duval County winners April 13 at Atlantic Coast High School. In May, MacDowell traveled to Orlando to be recognized at a special reception for winners in the Florida PTA Reflections state competition.

Seeking to describe the theme “Within Reach,” MacDowell used a Canon EOS camera to take a photo of her two sisters, Leanna and Sophia, stretching to grasp a cluster of pink balloons during an outing at Riverside’s Memorial Park. “Everyone should reach for their dreams and try to accomplish them,” she said. “I feel honored and grateful that I could be in the Reflections contest doing something I love.”

MacDowell was not the only member of her family recognized in the PTA Reflections contest. Her sister, Sophia, who is also a student at Hendricks Avenue Elementary, won an Award of Excellence in music composition among Duval County students in the primary division.

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