Student artists celebrated by Alabama Power

Young artists from Birmingham City Schools were honored Tuesday, Oct. 27, at the first-ever Alabama Power Refrigerator Art contest celebration.

More than 770 drawings were submitted by students from 21 schools. Judges from the Birmingham arts community chose the best 15, with the top three earning a new Whirlpool refrigerator for their families and schools.

“Parents and teachers, thank you for encouraging our children to express their creativity however they see fit,” Ashley Robinett, area manager for Alabama Power’s Birmingham Division, said during the ceremony. “As you will see, Birmingham harbors much artistic talent.”

The three winners and 12 runners-up received certificates while their drawings were revealed, one-by-one, on easels, and on giant magnets placed on refrigerators that served as a backdrop for the event. 

“We know as a school district that we cannot do the work of educating students alone; it truly takes a village,” said Dr. Kelley Castlin-Gacutan, superintendent of Birmingham City Schools. “I want to thank Alabama Power for your partnership.”

In addition to the energy-efficient appliances, the three winning schools will receive $1,000 each for their libraries from the Alabama Power Foundation and its Brighter Minds Initiative. All 15 students will receive gift certificates to Books-A-Million.

“I was thinking about life,” said finalist Kourtlyn McCall, a fifth-grader at Oxmoor Valley Elementary, when asked what inspired her artwork.

“I thought it was awesome,” said her mother, Melanie Harris. “I’m very proud of my daughter for participating and doing her absolute best. That’s a major accomplishment and something to be honored.”

Here is the list of winners and runners-up from the contest:

WINNER, Grades K-1:

  • Krystalyn Menefield, first grade, Glen Iris Elementary


  • Aamiyah Calhoun, kindergarten, Phillips Academy
  • Aven Thompson, first grade, Martha Gaskins Elementary
  • Edeline Torres, first grade, Huffman Academy
  • Trinity Wooden, kindergarten, Avondale Elementary

WINNER, Grades 2-3:

  • Melina Robles, third grade, Inglenook K-8


  • Shekinah Bush, second grade, Phillips Academy
  • Erick Don-Garcia, third grade, Huffman Academy
  • Zaiderick Hayes, third grade, Avondale Elementary
  • Steven Kampi, third grade, Glen Iris Elementary

WINNER, grades 4-5:

  • Kirsten Smith, fifth grade, Phillips Academy


  • Jerry Cruz-Apolinar, fifth grade, Martha Gaskins Elementary
  • Widman Isrrael Cristobal Juarez, fifth grade, Hayes K-8
  • Keiara Nakia Kelley, fourth grade, Hemphill Elementary
  • Kourtlyn McCall, fifth grade, Oxmoor Valley Elementary