Students attending all schools within Fountain Hills were recently invited to take part in the Dark Sky Student Art Contest.

According to one of the event’s organizers, Cindy Couture, teachers from around town encouraged their students to participate, including Karla Primosch, Tracy Perry, Lisa Ristuccia and Megan Johnson.

Prizes awarded for each age category rangred from $100 for first place to $50 for second and $25 for third. Submissions arrived in March, with Couture saying judges struggled to select the finalists due to the skillful and creative entries.

Students’ winning “cosmic art skills” are being displayed on the Fountain Hills Dark Sky Association website ( and Facebook page.

This contest was coordinated by Peggy Yeargain and Cindy Couture and cash prizes were sponsored in part by a grant from Republic Services. The entries have been returned to students at their schools, where many will be put on display.

“The Dark Sky Festival Committee extends its thanks to all students who shared their talent with Fountain Hills,” Couture added.

Winning students for the digital art competition include Fountain Hills High School students Daniel Gonzalez (first), Julie Owers (second) and Joshua Ball (third).

Sophie Dehombreux took first place in the high school art category, with first through third in the middle school category going to Amara Schader, Sophia Schader and Matthew Wasielewski, respectively.

Fountain Hills Charter School student Eli Brandstetter took first place in the fourth to fifth grade category.

For students in kindergarten through third grade, FHCS student Violet Atkins took first place, with second going to McDowell Mountain Elementary School student Liliana Viren and third going to MMES student Colton Shattuck-Carreno.

Several of the winning entries accompany this story.