Student Winners Announced in Annual Water Awareness Poster and Video Contests


CONTACT: Barry Dugan - Principal Programs Specialist, 707-547-1930, 707-331-2040,

(Santa Rosa) – Winners of the Sonoma County Water Agency’s (Sonoma Water) annual Water Awareness school poster contest and the Russian River Watershed Association’s high school video contest were announced recently during a celebration held to acknowledge the winning entries and hand out prizes. More than 108 students, family members, teachers, and elected officials attended the event held May 23 at the Sonoma Water offices in Santa Rosa.

Sonoma Water, in partnership with local water suppliers, has held an annual Water Awareness Poster Contest since 1994. Winners of the poster contest are featured in the following year’s Water Awareness calendar. The contest allows students to creatively express the importance of water as a natural resource. This year, 2,373 students from 39 schools in Sonoma Water’s service area participated and 13 winners were chosen from a pool of 135 finalists. Each winner received a t-shirt with their winning poster art printed on the front and teachers were given a $50 check for school supplies. The poster contest is sponsored by the Sonoma Marin Water Saving Partnership, Sonoma Water, and Sonoma Clean Power.

The Russian River Watershed Association’s High School Video Contest attracted 44 video entries from 6 schools, with a total of 116 students participating. The top three winning videos will be used as public service announcements and as educational outreach materials. The first place entry will be aired during preview ads in local movie theaters. In addition, winners received cash prizes of $1,500 (first place), $1,000 (second place), and $500 (third place). The prizes were split evenly between the student winners and their schools.

“These contests are a wonderful way to showcase the talents of students throughout our communities,” said David Rabbitt, chair of Sonoma Water’s Board of Directors. “By highlighting their ideas and insights, we can increase awareness among all age groups about the importance of conserving and protecting our water resources.”

The winners of the poster contest included:

Student    Teacher                       Grade              School                                      City
Ruby Adams Melissa Kang   3 Sonoma Country Day School     Santa Rosa
Pippa Allen   Kim Edwards 3 San Miguel Charter School   Santa Rosa
Maddy Azzolino Talia Howard   3 Madrone Elementary School      Santa Rosa
Cheyann Cena  Michelle Holmstedt  6 Santa Rosa Charter School for the Arts  Santa Rosa
Wyatt Daily    Christa Knapp   3 Abraham Lincoln Elementary School   Santa Rosa
Samantha Reed   Samantha Grimaldo-Uribe 6 Loma Vista Immersion Academy   Petaluma
Aliya Rehberg     Charlotte Schiffman 5 Jack London Elementary       Santa Rosa
Ibeth Rivera  Samantha Grimaldo-Uribe 5 Loma Vista Immersion Academy   Petaluma
Kaeya Shipp Jennifer Priest    4 Harvest Christian School   Petaluma
Brooklyn Soukup   Laura Knapp   Austin Creek Elementary School    Santa Rosa
Anam Tariq   Craig Stone    3 John Reed Elementary School    Rohnert Park
Bella Yazzolino Melissa Yazzolino  3 The Presentation School    Sonoma
Belen Zamora-Garcia Bonnie Thomasson 5 Forestville Academy  Forestville

The video contest had a theme of “Litter to Zero, Be A Water Hero!” The winners included:

  • 1st Place – “Waterman Saves the Day” by Nathan Schanz, Hannah Ricioli, Eli Begley, Zavier Grech, and Ian Knop; El Molino High School. Instructor: Seth Friesen
  • 2nd Place – “Be A River Hero” by Eden Winniford; Cloverdale High School. Instructor: Jeff Cogorno
  • 3rd Place – “If You Wouldn't Throw it in the River, Don't Throw it in the Street” by Jackson Conger, Strider Risley, Mael Chevrolet, and Sasha Senal; El Molino High School. Instructor: Seth Friesen

The winning videos can be viewed at:  

Sonoma Water is working to secure our future by investing in our water resources, community and environment.  The Water Agency provides water supply, flood protection and sanitation services for portions of Sonoma and Marin counties. Visit us on the Web at

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