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ODOT Press Release — Record number of entries yields 13 winners in 2016 Trash Poster Contest

Thursday, April 16, 2015

From Goodwell to Idabel, nearly 11,000 students — a record number — sent in their anti-litter messages as part of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation’s 24th annual Trash Poster Contest.

From that initial pool, 13 emerged as the top winners whose work will be featured in the 2016 Trash Poster Calendar. ODOT distributes 35,000 calendars to Oklahoma schools, libraries, city, county, state and federal agencies, civic organizations, businesses and citizens.

The department and its partners honored the 13 students Wednesday at a luncheon in the lobby of the R.A. Ward Transportation Building in Oklahoma City. Also attending the luncheon were the artists’ parents and teachers, along with contest sponsors, Trash Poster Contest committee members and other guests.

Olivia Anderson, a ninth-grader at Ardmore’s Plainview High School, is the first student in the contest’s history to have a winning poster chosen for five consecutive years. Her winning 2015 poster titled “Reflection” features the caption “Litter Is a Bad Reflection on US: Keep Our Land Grand.” It shows an up-close view of a person’s face and trash is reflected in the individual’s sunglasses. Anderson’s teacher is Brenda Fisher. This poster will be featured for the month of July when the calendars are released by early December.

The ninth-grader said drawing is a passion that she hopes to pursue as a full-time career. Her dream is to be an animator for Walt Disney Animation Studios.

This year’s top-winning poster, chosen as the 2015 Promotional Display Poster of the Year, is titled “Clean Highways.” Created by eighth-grader Abby Reed, of Marietta, it features a sunset vista with a car traveling down a highway littered by trash. The slogan is “Slow Down, Turn Around: Get that Trash Off the Ground!” This poster will be printed on the inside back cover of the 2016 calendar and also will have 20,000 poster copies printed in full color and distributed statewide for display.

“Oklahoma students were incredibly creative this year in finding new ways to talk about litter abatement,” Melody Johnson, ODOT Beautification coordinator, said. “It’s an issue that is as important today as it was in 1992 when we started the Trash Poster Contest.”

Oklahoma Department of Transportation Deputy Director Tim Gatz welcomed attendees to the gathering and talked about the importance of litter abatement, which costs more than $4 million annually. OKC Beautiful put on an interactive skit titled “Mother Earth” about litter and recycling. Guests also were treated to a luncheon catered by Oklahoma’s Head Country Barbecue.

Following the luncheon, the students were escorted to the state Capitol and introduced to the House of Representatives by Rep. Harold Wright, R-Weatherford, Conference Committee on Higher Education and CareerTech chairman. Students also received honor citations and had an opportunity to take photos with their respective representatives and senators.

Poster winners from each category are:

9th – 12th grade:

First – Olivia Anderson, ninth grade, Ardmore

Second – Eleazar Rodriguez, 12th grade, Goodwell

Third – Rebel DeHart, 12th grade, Guthrie

6th – 8th grade:

First – Anna LeBarre, sixth grade, Walters

Second – Amorianna Dean, eighth grade, McAlester

Third – Katie Williams, seventh grade, Pocola

3rd – 5th grade:

First – Madison Ransom, fifth grade, Burneyville

Second – Thomas Buchanan, fifth grade, Newalla

Third – Emily Palmer, fifth grade, Blanchard

K – 2nd grade:

First – Tori Holt, first grade, Calera

Second – Bailey Cormany, first grade, Wilson

Third – Cambri Castleman, first grade, Idabel

Each state poster winner received a monetary award of $250, $150 or $100 for first, second or third place. The Promotional Display Poster of the Year received a $200 award. All winners received a mounted reprint of their poster, a laminated placemat and a T-shirt bearing the design.

The sponsoring teacher for the first-, second- and third-place winning entries received a voucher for a two-day stay at an Oklahoma state park, courtesy of the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department - Oklahoma State Parks. They also were presented with cash vouchers, provided by the Trash Poster Contest Committee, of $100, $75 or $50, respectively, to be used to purchase classroom art supplies.

The 13 winning posters, along with dozens of other entries are posted for viewing in the ODOT lobby through April 30. Winners’ posters also can be viewed on ODOT’s website at

Contest sponsors include ODOT, OGE Energy Corporation, Oklahoma Employees Credit Union, Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department – Oklahoma State Parks, Oklahoma Environmental Management Authority, Oklahoma Chapter of the Sierra Club, Oklahoma Rural Water Association, Solid Waste Institute of Northeast Oklahoma, Oklahoma City Beautiful, Waste Research Inc., Keep Oklahoma Beautiful, Oklahoma Arts Council, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Oklahoma Highway Safety Office, Oklahoma State Department of Education, Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality and Oklahoma Turnpike Authority.

Next year’s contest begins Dec. 1 and has a Feb. 1, 2016, deadline. For more information about the contest, contact the ODOT Beautification Office at 405-521-4037 or email

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(Editors and News Directors: Individual photos of each winner with his/her poster are available by calling the ODOT Media and Public Relations Division at 405-521-6000. For more information, visit ODOT’s website and click “Newsroom.”)

Last Modified on Oct 23, 2020
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