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Six students honored by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Society

This month, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Society will honor six students from Tulsa Public Schools who won art, dance, and essay contests. Every year, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Society encourages students from across the area to participate in their contests leading up to the annual Tulsa MLK Parade.

“I’m so proud of our students and grateful to the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Society for recognizing our talented scholars,” said Superintendent Deborah A. Gist. “Dr. King’s life and work are powerful reminders of the difference that a leader can make in our world, and it is inspiring to see our students celebrating his important legacy.”

Student contest winners are as follows: 

Youth Art Contest: Students in grades K-6 were asked to create an illustration based on one of three themes that characterizes Dr. King’s life and work – Love, Peace, or Unity – and what the theme means to them. Winning drawings are showcased in the 2021 MLK Souvenir Book. 

  • 1st Place:  Hailey McGuire, 6th grade, McKinley Elementary.

Interpretive Dance of Peace Contest: Individuals and team ensembles (ages 18 and younger) were encouraged to create and perform an interpretive dance with the theme of “Peace.” Dancers were judged based on accuracy, showmanship, choreography and performance. All will perform their winning dance number at the Student Award Ceremony. Winners are as follows: 

  • 1st Place:  Hailey McGuire, 6th grade, McKinley Elementary; and
  • 2nd Place: Maharai and Marelin Olivares, in 1st and 6th grades, Mitchell Elementary. 

Essay Contest: Middle school students (grades 6-8) were asked to write a 350-500 word essay on the topic, “I live my life as a reflection of Dr. King’s dream by . . .”  Essays were judged based on originality/creativity, clarity, use of facts or specific examples and other criteria. Their essays are published in the 2021 MLK Souvenir Book. Winners are as follows: 

  • 3rd Place:  Jordan Dodd, 6th grade, McKinley Elementary; and
  • 5th Place: Kaylin Gomez, 6th Grade, McKinley Elementary. 

Sponsors of MLK Student Awards include Boston Avenue United Methodist Church, ONE Gas, and PepsiCo. 

This year marks the 42nd anniversary of the Tulsa MLK parade, with the theme “Standing Strong: For Justice, Truth and Freedom. This year’s virtual parade will take place on Monday, Jan. 18, 2021 at 11 a.m. and will be livestreamed at