Seventh-grader Ryan Geertgens was named a finalist in the Crayola “Empowering Students Through Creative Leadership” art contest for 2016-2017. Ryan submitted a painting of scientist Stephen Hawking in response to the requirement that entrants depict a leader who illustrates wisdom and whose decisions have affected others. 

Ryan said he finds Hawking an inspiration because he overcame adversity and continued his work as a leader in the field of science. Ryan’s art teacher, Donna Chaplin, said that according to Crayola, his painting showed a true connection to the theme, had stunning visual appeal, presented age-appropriate critical thinking and responded to the theme with originality.  

Ryan’s original artwork has been donated to the U.S. Department of Education to be on permanent display in Washington, D.C.

Congratulations, Ryan!