Pahrump student earns top honors in Nevada contest

A Hafen Elementary School student is being recognized for her artistic talents.

Fifth-grader Angelina Valdez created a colorful poster for the 2017 Fire Prevention Week.

Chief Bart J. Chambers of the State Fire Marshal Division visited Hafen Elementary on Tuesday to congratulate Valdez on her accomplishment and present two awards.

Chambers was joined by Lt. Mike Dzyak and Wayne Dailey, president of the Fire Prevention Association of Nevada.

The theme of this year’s contest is “Every Second Counts: Plan Two Ways Out.”

“This event is designed to get the fire prevention message out statewide,” Chambers said. “One of the best ways to do it, especially with this year’s theme, is to reach out to our children. There are different themes each year, generally around the first of July coming out from the National Fire Protection Association.”

Valdez, a soft-spoken 10-year-old, said she spent roughly two weeks to create the poster.

Her favorite subjects are math and reading.

“I really didn’t have any help, so I did it all myself,” she said. “It took me awhile to do it because I had to get a little help by looking at some of my friends’ drawings because they are really good artists. I did the lettering, which I learned from my brother and I put it all together to create it.”

Nye County School District Superintendent Dale Norton was also on hand for the award ceremony.

“This is very exciting for the poster winner to be out of the Nye County School District at Hafen Elementary School,” he said. “It is indeed an honor and privilege for that young lady as well as our school, our school district, and for the entire state of Nevada. We have three officials from the State Fire Marshal’s office here today, which tells us how important this message is. Later on, we’ll recognize the winners at our Board of Trustees meeting, along with the news release from myself to the community.”

Hafen Principal Scott Moore also expressed pride in Valdez’ achievements.

“To have Angelina Valdez recognized by Nevada Department of Public Safety regarding fire prevention week is phenomenal,” Moore said. “She is a great student and leader in her classroom. She always does what she needs to do and she’s an all-around great kid. We are very happy to have her.”

Chambers, meanwhile, said Valdez’s artwork will be prominently displayed throughout the entire Silver State, on such highways as Interstate 80 in Northern Nevada and Interstate 15 in Clark County, while noting that Valdez’ creation was reviewed by the Board of Fire Services as well as the State Superintendent of Schools out of Carson City.

“The one nice thing about this, is it will be presented statewide on billboards, in key locations throughout the Reno and Sparks area, including Carson City, Wells, Elko and Las Vegas,” Chambers said. “We are going to have millions of people seeing this in key arteries around the state of Nevada, nationally.”

Valdez’s artwork will begin to appear on the billboards later this month.

Meanwhile, Pahrump Valley High School saw two students place in the high school category.

Jade Harvey took second place, while Miryam Aguilar received third-place honors.

In Northern Nevada, Chase Carpenter from Depoali Middle School in Reno won in the middle school category, while Carson High School’s Ashley Figuera also took home the honor.

This year’s annual fire safety poster contest was sponsored by the Nevada Department of Public Safety, Nevada Department of Education, Fire Prevention Association of Nevada, statewide local fire departments and the State Fire Marshal Division.

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com, on Twitter: @pvtimes

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