SHERIDAN — Sheridan High School freshman Lauren Sarantopulos is one of 10 finalists in the national Doodle 4 Google art contest.
The contest invites art students in grades K-12 to submit designs for the Google “doodle” on the homepage, based on a theme. This year’s theme is “My Best Day Ever…”
More than 130,000 students across the country entered the competition. Ten finalists were selected in each category of kindergarten through third grade, fourth and fifth grade, sixth and seventh grade, eighth and ninth grade, and 10th-12th grades.
In recognition of her achievement, SHS held an assembly yesterday with representatives of Google in attendance to congratulate Sarantopulos and share information with the students and faculty about Google and its products.
Sarantopulos and her family were notified of her finalist status two weeks ago, but could not speak about it to anyone until today. Sarantopulos said her mom learned about the award while she was at school and when she picked her up at school that day, filled the car with balloons in the Google hues of blue, red, green and yellow.
Google has provided Sarantopulos with a trip to New York City to attend an awards ceremony May 22. At the ceremony, the top winner in each grade group will be announced. Of those five finalists, one winner will be the national winner and their Google doodle will be featured on the Google homepage May 23.
In addition, the national winner will receive the grand prize of a $30,000 scholarship and $50,000 of technology products for their school.
Winners are based on national voting that is happening online now through May 10.
SHS Principal Dirlene Wheeler encouraged community members to visit the www.doodle4google.com website and vote for Sarantopulos’ artwork in the eighth- and ninth-grade category.
“If people in our high school, community and state will go on Google and vote for her, there will be huge dividends for her as well as the school,” Wheeler said.
Surprisingly, Sarantopulos is not enrolled in art classes at SHS, but has entered the Doodle 4 Google contest for the past several years.
“I’ve entered the contest every year since I was in elementary school,” Sarantopulos said. “I don’t really take art at school, but my mom is an artist and she teaches me and I love to do art at home.”
Working within the “Best Day Ever…” theme, Sarantopulos designed a scene based on a fairytale, incorporating a dragon, a castle, a tower with a damsel being rescued by a prince and of course, the Google logo. She said it took her approximately two weeks to complete the design.
“Another reason I did this is if you live in a fairytale, everything always works out and it is like living in a perfect world,” Sarantopulos said about how she decided on a fairytale design. “Everyone lives happily ever after.”