Student Winners Announced in Annual Water Awareness Poster and Video Contests

For Immediate Release - June 4, 2018

CONTACT: Brad Sherwood, 707.547.1927 (Office), 707.322.8192 (mobile), or Barry Dugan - 707.547.1930 (Office), 707.331.2040,

(Santa Rosa) – Winners of the Sonoma County Water Agency’s (Water Agency) 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 85 students, family members, teachers, and elected officials attended the May 17 event held at the Water Agency offices in Santa Rosa.

The Water Agency, 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 184 finalists were selected from thousands of entries from 52 schools in the Water Agency’s service area. The 13 winning entries will appear in the 2019 Water Awareness Calendar. The 14 poster winners (one entry had two artists) received a t-shirt with their winning poster art printed on the front and teachers were given a $50 gift certificate for school supplies. The poster contest is sponsored by the Sonoma Marin Water Saving Partnership, the Water Agency, and Sonoma Clean Power.

The Russian River Watershed Association’s High School Video Contest attracted 37 video entries from nine schools, with a total of 62 students participating. The top three winning videos will be used as public service announcements and as educational outreach materials. The winning videos can be viewed at: 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.

“The annual poster and video contests are a great way for students to learn about the value of water and the importance of protecting our creeks and streams from pollution,” said James Gore, chair of the Water Agency Board of Directors. “I love seeing the creativity of these students and their commitment to our watershed and the environment.”

The winners of the poster contest included:

Student                        Teacher                       Grade              School                                      City

Paul Llagas                   Karen Bandiera             3rd grade          J.X. Wilson School                   Santa Rosa

Ava Ramirez                 Patricia Hoskins            3rd grade          Loma Vista Immersion Academy Petaluma

Joel Hernandez             Craig Stone                  3rd grade          Waldo Rohnert Elementary            Rohnert Park

Mae Alstott                  Debra Bacher                3rd grade          Sassarini Elementary                 Sonoma

Ellie Llanos                  Debra Bacher                3rd grade          Sassarini Elementary                 Sonoma

Lisa Zheng                   Laura Knapp                 4th Grade         Austin Creek Elementary             Santa Rosa

Bryan Timbol               Julie McMurtrie                        4th Grade         Taylor Mt. Elementary                   Santa Rosa

Divier Mazariegos         Fran Rozoff                  5th Grade         Olive Elementary                      Novato

Hanne Thomsen           Nora Peterson               5th Grade         Strawberry Elementary             Santa Rosa

Quinn Gaidmore           Amy Turko                   5th Grade         McNear Elementary                  Petaluma

Eder Calderon Tapia      Amy Turko                   5th Grade         McNear Elementary                  Petaluma

Marc Santos                 Kevin Imm                   6th Grade         St. Eugene's Cathedral              Santa Rosa

Maggie Bromham         Michelle Holmstedt      6th Grade         Santa Rosa Charter School For the Arts, Santa Rosa

Christin Ingle               Michelle Holmstedt      6th Grade         Santa Rosa Charter School For the Arts, Santa Rosa

The video contest had a theme of “From the Street to the Creek, Be Part of the Pollution Solution!” The winners included:

  • 1st Place - “Rosie Knows,” by Henry Gomez; Healdsburg High School, Instructor: John Chevalier
  • 2nd Place - “A Simple Solution,” by Ashlie Edmonds; Healdsburg High School, Instructor: John Chevalier
  • 3rd Place - “Know the Little Things,” by Jordan Fetcko, Alexander Rivero, and Nicholas Bounkhoun; Montgomery High School, Instructor: Steve Forrest

The winning videos can be viewed at:

(NOTE TO EDITORS: Photos of the event and individual winners are available by request: Contact


The Sonoma County Water Agency 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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