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Fifth grader wins $5,000 for elementary school

It’s been quite a year for one local elementary school student.

Fiona Mobley, a fifth grader at Manse Elementary School once again earned the admiration of her fellow students as well as faculty members at the campus this week when she took top honors in her category for Nevada State Bank’s “What Makes Nevada Beautiful to you” essay contest.

She was the only student in southern Nevada’s K-5 category to win the prestigious honor and school officials held an assembly Monday to announce Mobley’s good fortune to the entire student body.

The contest was open to all Nevada public school students K-12 to describe in 500 words or less, the Silver State’s natural beauty.

A total of $30,000 was given out to Nevada’s public schools courtesy of the bank-sponsored contest.

Following the event, Mobley noted how she felt when she first learned of the honor.

“I was really happy and excited. It took me about a week or something to finish it. It really wasn’t that hard because I can think up good ideas and I read a lot,” she said.

Mobley’s academic achievements at the school have been well documented as of late.

Late last year Principal Kyle Lindberg issued a challenge and agreed to step down from his administrative duties and allow the first student who read 2 million words to assume his position.

During the second week in January, Mobley did just that as she was selected to be “Principal for the Day.”

Mobley’s mother Kay, needless to say was extremely proud of her oldest daughter.

Mobley, who is also a second grade teacher at the school, said she had actually forgotten about the contest until she and her husband Robert, a Board of Trustees member, were contacted by contest officials just recently.

She made sure to note that her daughter’s entry was completed without the help of she or her husband.

“She worked through the whole thing and I still have the rough draft. When she finished she had about four paragraphs. She did some rewriting and added a bonus paragraph. A couple of days later she typed it up and that was it. It was a little bit of a process to turn it in because it’s only done electronically. It had to be typed, and then you have to scan it and fill out a release form. We had kind of forgotten about it,” she said.

Memory lapse aside, Fiona’s mother also said that she and her husband had to resist the temptation of informing their daughter of her big achievement in order to keep it a complete surprise.

Sandi Milton, senior vice president of public relations, said, “We got over a thousand essays from students all over the state of Nevada and we are pleased to award Fiona Mobley for her great effort. She wrote a beautiful essay that answered the question. She earned herself an IPad mini and she earned her school $5,000 from the bank,” she said.

In the light of her success, Fiona, meanwhile, said she now has an idea for a career when she gets older.

“I want to be a writer and write books. I am writing a chapter book right now,” she said.

Lindberg said the $5,000 cash prize will be used for various activities including field trips and incentive prizes for students who excel academically.“We have been looking for ways to fund our field trips. The money will help the school to continue to allow students to go on field trips to educational locations around the southern part of the state. It will also keep us from having continuous fundraisers to help pay for the trips. I just would like to thank Fiona for all her hard work this year and for Nevada State Bank for supporting our schools,” he said.

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