Independent Judges Select Artwork from St. Johns County School District Winners to be Used in ‘2018 Day Without Violence Calendar’ out This Fall

St. Augustine, Fla. (June 12, 2017) – Judges helped The Betty Griffin Center go through hundreds of entries from students in the St. Johns County School District to select winners in the 2018 Day Without Violence Art and Poetry Contest.

“We received more than 1,400 entries, representing about 1,300 drawings and 100 poems, which made it extremely difficult for our judges to choose 13 drawings and 12 poems to feature in the calendar,” said Betty Griffin Center Executive Director Joyce Mahr. “Despite the large number of submissions to choose from, they were able to narrow it down to some exceptional entries from our students.”

The 2018 calendar winners include the following:

Bartram Trail High School — Taylor Mattson – 12th Grade; Lucie Horton – 10th Grade
Creekside High School — Megan Lui – 9th Grade- Second Place; Sidney Usina – 11th Grade
Fruit Cove Middle School — Tejashree Vijay – 7th Grade- First Place; Gabriel Willens – 7th Grade; Isabella Aalto-Luque – 8th Grade; Anna Katherine Yarborough – 7th Grade
Patriot Oaks Academy — Ryan Hong – 7th Grade
Palmer Catholic Academy — Elizabeth Weldon – 6th Grade
PVPV Rawlings — Michelle Abboud – 4th Grade; Joy Qiu – 4th Grade
W.D Hartley Elementary — Kymra Koloss – 4th Grade

Bartram Trail High School — Jennifer Sloan – 12th Grade – First Place; Geethika Kataru – 10th Grade; Hannah
Nierenhausen – 10th Grade; Rebecca Jaeger- 11th Grade; Kalis Figueroa – 11th Grade
Fruit Cove Middle School — Paul Wood – 7th Grade; Anna Esmond – 7th Grade; Ryley Cetnar – 7th Grade
Ketterlinus Elementary School — Gabrielle Duncan – 2nd Grade
Patriot Oaks Academy — Josie Caruso – 7th Grade – Second Place; Landon Mickey – 7th Grade; Lily Clarke, 6th Grade

The contest judges were Dr. Nadia Ramoutar, Director of Enlighten Productions, LLC and professional public writer, educator, artist, entrepreneurial leader and film maker; and Ann Kiyonaga-Razon, a poet, painter and yoga teacher who holds a Master’s Degree in International Studies from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

The judges selected the winning entries based on their effectiveness in conveying a positive impression of peacefulness and cooperation, artistic merit, originality, diversity of images (race, gender, age, ability, etc.), and geographical diversity within St. Johns County.

“The work of these students will be published and distributed to every classroom in St. Johns County this fall,” Mahr said. “In addition, the winning art will be exhibited at the St. Johns County Administration Building throughout October, which is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.” The students will also be honored during an award ceremony to be held at the School Board meeting in October of 2017.

Any businesses or other donors interested in sponsoring the printing of the calendar should contact the Betty Griffin Center at

About Betty Griffin Center
The Betty Griffin Center was founded in 1990 by concerned citizens and incorporated as the Safety Shelter of St. Johns County to develop plans to provide shelter for local victims of domestic violence and their children. In 1992, the nonprofit agency contracted with a local motel for space and started a 24-hour crisis line and court advocacy program. By 1994, the agency purchased and opened Betty Griffin House as a permanent shelter. The shelter was expanded in 1998 to meet local demand, and a sexual assault program was added the same year. The Sexual Assault Victim Recovery Program is currently recruiting on call volunteers to provide victim advocacy. For information contact Kelly at 904-808-8544.

Today, Betty Griffin Center shelters 250 to 350 victims of domestic and sexual abuse annually, operates a 24-hour helpline, provides professional counseling for victims of domestic and sexual abuse, provides age appropriate violence prevention training and operates two thrift stores at Julington Square and Anastasia Square to assist in funding the agency’s ongoing operations
For more information or to make a donation, visit To report if you or someone you know is being abused, call the Betty Griffin Center 24-hour crisis helpline at (904) 824-1555.


Media Contact:
Ron Whittington
(904) 563-0402