Avella High School is thrilled with the results of the 13th Annual Vans High School Custom Crop Contest.
The high school finished in the top five in the national shoe design competition, winning $15,000 for the school’s art department.
“We’re so excited,” said high school art teacher Jessie Miller. “We are overwhelmed. The kids have so many plans for what we’re going to do.
The winner, Moanalua High School in Honolulu, Hawaii, took home the top prize of $50,000.
Vans selected just 250 schools across the country to enter the contest, and students were given two pairs of Vans shoes to design. One pair had to reflect his hometown pride while the second was based on the four pillars of the Van D(I)oren Legacy theme: action sports, art, music and street culture.
Schools submitted their designs in early April.
On April 25, Avella was chosen by the shoe company judges as one of the top 50 contestants. Then, a public vote from April 25 to May 5 determined the winners.
Avella was recently notified that the district had been chosen as one of five finalists, guaranteeing them $15,000 as a finalist.
In addition to the cash prize, each of the top five schools will receive an artist mentoring lesson from one of Vans’ artistic ambassadors and a trophy.
The 19 Avella students who helped design the shoes will also receive a pair of their own custom-designed Vans shoes, valued at around $2,000.
Miller thanked the Avella community, Washington County, and everyone who voted for the school.
She was surprised to learn that nearby school districts, organizations and other groups posted information about the contest on Facebook and websites and encouraged people to vote for the small rural school of 680 students.
“We just had overwhelming support from the community and everyone who made the effort to vote for us,” Miller said. “I was finding people coming up to me and telling me they saw it on Facebook and in the paper, and that helped me a lot.”
For the pair of slip-on vans, the students represented the fusion of country living and city living.
In addition to the shoe designs, Avella also submitted an impact document that included an explanation of how the high school art department would be impacted by the prize money.
Miller said the art department plans to purchase a new sublimation heat press that will allow students to design, make and sell shirts, hats, coffee mugs and other items as a source of revenue for the department. artistic and its projects and outings in the field.
He would also like to renovate the art room and buy new art tables and chairs.
“I’m so proud of the kids,” Miller said. “It was a great experience.”