EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Ivy Montelongo was in her freshman year at Pebble Hills High School when she entered the Franklin Mountains State Park Junior Ranger Patch Design Competition for the 2020-2021 school year.
While the judging for the competition was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic; nearly a year later Ivy – in her sophomore year – learned she won first place for the Level 2 patch design.
Montelongo’s design was chosen first place in one of three levels among several outstanding creations entered in the contest.
“We were really blown away by the number and the quality of the entries we received,” said Lydia Pagel, a park interpreter for the Franklin Mountains State Park.
Her design incorporated the sun setting over the Franklin Mountains with a quail passing by, which she said is an image that is a tribute to the El Paso region.
The Franklin Mountains State Park worked with manufacturers to produce the final patch designs that were chosen in the contest.
The patches will be distributed to children ages 5 to 13 as they complete each of three levels in the program to become junior rangers.
Art teacher Veronica Chaparro said Montelongo has participated in many art competitions and he is a great student who is self-driven.
“Ivy has shown great promise in her artwork,” Chaparro said. “She has continued to grow and blossom further, and I know that that’s why she received first place in this patch work competition.”
Chaparro said that Montelongo’s combination of her growth as an artist and love for competing has contributed to her success in art early on in her high school career.
Last year, Montelongo’s talent and dedication to the arts earned her a Division 4 rating at the Visual Arts Scholastic Event, among many other artistic accolades.
“I like everything about art because it encourages me to be competitive as well as to be creative,” Montelongo said.
Montelongo is also in AP art this year at the recommendation of Chaparro, an honor usually reserved for juniors and seniors. She also was named vice president of the Pebble Hills High School art club.
She said that seeing her teacher being enthusiastic about art encouraged her to feel the same way.
“The classes here at Pebble Hills are so great and the teachers are nice,” Montelongo said. “I can see their passion.”