The Buffalo News held its 17th annual Editorial Cartoon Contest for area students in grades five through 12. More than 1,500 entries were received. The winners were selected by News Editorial Cartoonist Adam Zyglis, who announced the winners at a reception last week at the Burchfield Penney Art Center.

"There was a noticeable uptick in cartoons on technology and childhood obesity among the entries this year," Zyglis said. "This may reflect a growing concern about the negative impacts of social media technology and the American diet. The cartoons on perennial issues like gas prices and the stalled peace bridge expansion seemed to be less frequent this time around. Overall, the winners displayed an excellent ability to convey an important message through the use of an original idea."

And the winners are:

>First place

Division III Grades 9-12

Casey Schultz

Age: 17

School: St. Joseph Collegiate Institute

Grade: 11

"I was very surprised that I won the contest," said Casey. "This was an art project for our graphics class. ... The cartoon isn't to suggest that we shouldn't have gotten involved in Libya, or to suggest that we should have gotten involved in other similar situations as seen in places like Darfur and Rwanda, but rather just questioning the true motives of intervention because it seems to be so inconsistent."


>First Place

Division II Grades 6-8

Margaret Gramza

Age: 13

School: Christ the King School

Grade: 8

"I was very surprised when I received a phone call telling me I won! I couldn't believe the news!" Margaret said. "I thought of 'texting while driving' and worked on my idea for a while and remembered that many people have died from texting while driving and I want to have it stop. ... I worked on my cartoon in art class and at home and I even drew my phone and some of my friends phones in my cartoon!"


First Place

Division I Grade 5

Laura Wannemacher

Age: 10

School: Mill Middle School

Laura said the idea for her cartoon came to her when she was "in the car and I saw someone texting and driving and they were swerving around. ... Someone could have gotten hurt."

She said she was happy to learn that she had won the contest. "I called my mom to tell her and she was [also] very happy."


>First Place

Local Division All Grades

Hanna Sheridan

Age: 15

School: Nardin Academy

Grade: 9

"I was extremely surprised that I won," Hanna said. "It was an assignment from my global teacher, Mrs. Attea, and I was talking to my dad about what I should do. A few days earlier we were in the car listening to the radio when we heard that a politician was considering putting taxes on bicycles. My dad and I laughed at this and thought it was a little over the top. So when this assignment was given to us I thought it would be a great topic."


The rest of the winners are:

>Local Division

Second Place: Silvana Payne, Grade 11, Holy Angels Academy

Third Place: Tristan Rose, Grade 9, Amherst High School

Honorable Mention: Alise Jarmusz, Grade 11, Nardin Academy

>Division I

Second Place: Katie Panasci, Grade 5, Fredonia Middle School

Third Place: Melinda Waag, Grade 5, Fredonia Middle School

Honorable Mention: Aiden O'Lay, Grade 5, St. Francis of Assisi School

>Division II

Second Place: Grant Johnson, Grade 8, Veronica Connor Middle School

Third Place: Sawyer Matheny, Grade 8, Mill Middle School

Honorable Mention: Robert Zenger, Grade 6, Transit Middle School

>Division III

Second Place: Tom Mascari, Grade 12, Amherst High School

Third Place: Leslie Crane, Grade 12, Amherst High School

Honorable Mention: Nicole Blenski, Grade 12, Lancaster High School