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Five judges unanimously selected Bethany Panhorst’s acrylic rendition of a green-winged teal out of 588 entries.

2014 Georgia junior duck stamp student art competition winners chosen

Bethany Panhorst, 17, from Savannah Arts Academy, Savannah is the winner of the annual 2014 Georgia Junior Duck Stamp Art Competition held April 8, 2014, in Atlanta, Georgia.  Five judges unanimously selected Bethany’s acrylic rendition of a green-winged teal out of 588 total entries as the Georgia Best of Show. 

Ms. Panhorst will receive a $250 scholarship from Georgia Power, a long-time sponsor of the Georgia Junior Duck Stamp Program, as well as additional prizes.  As Georgia’s Best of Show, her original artwork will be sent to compete in the national Junior Duck Stamp Competition being held Friday, April 18, at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Conservation Training Center in Sheperdstown, West Virginia. 

This was Bethany’s first duck painting completed in oil and her first submission to the Georgia Junior Duck Stamp Contest.

“It took me probably over 20 hours to paint this duck. I chose this species because it was so small and cute”, said Bethany, when notified today by Carmen Simonton, Georgia Junior Duck Contest Coordinator, that she was the Best of Show winner.

This year, 588 Junior Duck Stamp entries were submitted from 20 different public and private schools, home schools, art studios, and after-school programs statewide.  Bethany Panhorst’s winning entry was submitted through Art Teacher Steve Schetski from Savannah Arts Academy.  This is the third time in four years that one of Schetski’s students has been selected as the “Best of Show” in the state competition.

About the Judges

A panel of distinguished judges selected for their expertise in artistic design, wildlife art, and waterfowl biology decided the winners of this year’s Georgia Junior Duck Stamp Contest. A total of 100 winners were selected, featuring twenty-five winners in each of four different age groups:  Kindergarten to third grade, fourth to sixth grade, seventh to ninth grade and 10th to 12th grade, as well as the state’s Best of Show. Three First Place, three Second Place, three Third Place and 16 Honorable Mention winners were chosen in each of the four categories. The Best of Show was selected from among the First Place winners.

This year’s esteemed judges featured:  Greg Balkcom, expert waterfowl biologist with Georgia Department of Natural Resources; Jim Candler, Environmental Affairs Supervisor, Georgia Power, long-time sponsors of the Georgia Junior Duck program; Mike Piccirilli, Chief of the Region’s Wildlife & Sport Fish Restoration; Dr. Ronnie Haynes, Regional Coordinator for the Region’s, Partners for Fish and Wildlife program, and Debbie Harris, a Service biologist and former Georgia Junior Duck Stamp Contest Coordinator.

Please visit  or contact Contest Coordinator Carmen Simonton (404) 679-7070, or for a complete list of the 100 winners for the 2014 Georgia Junior Duck Stamp Contest. 


Prizes and ribbons are also given for the best student conservation message that expresses the spirit of what they learned while researching and planning for their Duck Stamp Contest artwork entry. This year’s winning conservation message was submitted by 12 year-old Brock Taylor from Savannah Country Day School, Savannah:

“Conservation is like a half full cup, you can always do more”.

What is a Duck Stamp?

Junior Duck Stamps are sold by the U.S. Postal Service and Amplex Corporation consignees for $5 per stamp.  Proceeds from the sale of Junior Duck Stamps support conservation education, and provide awards and scholarships for students, teachers, and schools that participate in the program.

The Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest is open to all youth in Kindergarten through 12th grade.  All participants receive a certificate of appreciation. To learn more about the Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest including a new curriculum and study guide for students, teachers and parents, visit the Service web site

For further information about the Junior Duck Stamp contest or the Fish and Wildlife Service, please contact Carmen Simonton in the Division of Migratory Birds, (404) 679-7070 or by e-mail at


Elsie Davis, USFWS

Carmen Simonton, USFWS

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who can make it happen, visit Connect with the Service on Facebook, follow our tweets, watch the YouTube Channel and download photos from Flickr.

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