Sequim youths ‘can make a difference’

Greywolf Elementary students brought out their crayons, cameras and creative skills to put an individual spin on a sentence that the national Parent Teacher Association asked children across the country to complete.

The sentence, “I Can Make a Difference by …” is the 2008 theme for the PTA’s annual Reflections program. The program has a different topic each year (previous themes have included “I Wonder Why …” and “My Favorite Place”), and according to the PTA Web site, “students in preschool through grade 12 are encouraged to create and submit works of art in four areas: literature, musical composition, photography and the visual arts (which includes art forms such as drawing, painting, print making and collage.)”

Seventeen Sequim students — 16 from Greywolf Elementary and one from Sequim Middle School — were recognized as finalists in their respective divisions.

Some of the finalists had ideas pertaining to the natural world: first-grader Ryan Begley drew an undersea scene with the words “I can make a difference by taking care of sea life,” while fourth-grader Melissa Copeland snapped a photo of a flock of birds with the words “I can make a difference by sharing with others my love for nature in the hopes that some people will do their best to help preserve it for the future.” Others, such as kindergartner Mazie Whitteker, had simpler goals: “I can make a difference by believing in my abilities,” she wrote, next to a close-up self photograph.

The varied responses are the goal of the program, according to the Washington state PTA Web site.

“The purpose of this program,” reads the site, “is to provide an opportunity for students to use their creative talents by expressing themselves through their own original works.”

The Reflections contest began nearly 40 years ago when then-Colorado PTA president Mary Lou Anderson felt the need for an art program of the sort.

“The kids love it,” said parent and Sequim Middle School PTA president Kate Galbraith. “It’s a great program.”

The 17 Sequim-area finalists will compete in the statewide competition in May.

The finalists Primary (K-2)


Amber Dietzman, second grade, Mrs. Raycraft

Toni Millet, first grade, Mrs. Somero

Visual arts

Ryan Begley, first grade, Mrs. Varner

Blake Hudson, first grade, Mrs. Varner

Isabelle MacMurchie, kindergarten, Mrs. Kruckeberg


Mazie Whitteker, kindergarten, Mrs. Kruckeberg

Porter Funston, first grade, Mrs. Varner

Elena Springer, second grade,, Mrs. Raycraft


Intermediate (third-fifth)


Becky Schroepler, fifth grade, Mr. Cole

Molly Earley-Crecelius, third grade, Mrs. Burke

Ali Saad, fifth grade, Mr. Cole

Visual arts

Bri Miller, fifth grade, Mrs. Sikes

Sarah Henry, fifth grade, Mr. Cole

Chelena Erickson, third grade, Mr. Stevens


Melissa Copeland, fourth grade, Mrs. Iversen

Megan Begley, third grade, Mrs. Burke


Middle school (sixth-eighth)


Miles Millet, sixth grade.

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