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Student wins Carter postcard contest
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Haley with her winning postcard. - photo by Photo provided.
Haley Guisinger Longo, a fifth-grader at Carver Elementary School, recently had the honor of meeting former President Jimmy Carter in his hometown of Plains, Ga., when her entry into the “Plains, Peanuts, and a President” postcard contest placed third in the state for her grade level.

She and her family were invited along with other winners to the Plains Peanut Festival on September 10 to accept an award from Carter himself.

“I think my whole face was red,” she said of stepping on stage to meet the 39th president. “I was really shy and nervous.”

Carter presented her with a medal and certificate, shook her hand, and said “good job.”

The postcard contest, now in its 14th year, is open to Georgia students in grades K-12. Participants must design an original postcard featuring peanuts and either former President Carter or Plains, Ga.

Haley’s hand-drawn postcard depicts Carter’s face over an American flag adorned with peanuts.

“I decided that President Carter was the main subject of it, so I was thinking that he should be in the middle,” the young art enthusiast explained. “Then I researched him.”

Haley sketched Carter’s face from a picture in her social studies book.

“I started out in pencil … but then I couldn’t find my pencil, so I had to do some of it in pen,” she laughed.  

Mrs. Blocker, Haley’s teacher, had told her students about the contest earlier in the school year.

“I drew my picture, but I didn’t really think I was going to win because I thought a lot of people in my class's pictures were better than mine,” said Haley.

Though humble about her skills, Haley has always enjoyed drawing and does it well. Both she and her family have saved many of her drawings, some displayed in frames.
She retains much of what she has learned in art classes. For her postcard, she recalled using an “upside down egg” shape for faces, as well as laying out a cross to determine placement of eyes and nose.  

Haley actually uses art as a measure for whatever possible career choice she fancies at the moment. When she wanted to be a fashion designer, she drew clothes; when she wanted to be an architect, she got a book on how to draw buildings, and drew everything from teepees to log cabins to (soon, she plans) the Taj Mahal.

“Drawing is practically my way of expressing myself,” she said.

The 11-year-old also loves animals, especially horses, and currently hopes to have a career related to their care.

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