Abigayle Stephens of Oak Hall Episcopal School won the South-central Zone of the Oklahoma Heritage Association poster contest with her entry celebrating Chuck Norris.


Abigayle Stephens of Oak Hall Episcopal School won the South-central Zone of the Oklahoma Heritage Association poster contest with her entry celebrating Chuck Norris.


Fourth- through sixth-graders across the state recently entered posters depicting Oklahomans and their impact on the state.


“Oklahoma’s history is full of diverse individuals, rich in the five characteristics presented in the Gaylord-Pickens Museum — perseverance, pioneer spirit, optimism, generosity and individualism,” said Shannon L. Nance, president of the Oklahoma Heritage Association and Gaylord-Pickens Museum in Oklahoma City.


“Through this competition and our museum, students have the opportunity to identify with someone who has made a meaningful impact on our state and then look forward to making their own mark on our history.”


Allison Dierlam, who teaches history and English at Oak Hall, assigned the competition to her students.


Stephens, who lives in Ryan, enjoys watching “Walker, Texas Ranger,” and movies that star Norris, she said.


Stephens also looked for originality when selecting a person.


“I didn’

t know he was an Oklahoman. If people don’t know, then people won’t do it,” Stephens said.
Other entries from Oak Hall included singers Carrie Underwood and the Flaming Lips, actress Rue McClanahan and oilman and philanthropist Sam Noble.


Stephens received a commendation from Gov. Brad Henry and a cash award of $75.
She plans to split the money between Christmas shopping and putting it into savings, she said.
She is the daughter of David and Dayna Stephens.


Stephens’ father is serving in Iraq and sent her a computer-generated card congratulating her.
Nance and Louise Painter, 31-year Oklahoma Heritage Week committee chairwoman, presented the awards and commendations to the students at Gaylord-Pickens.


Afterwards, Stephens toured the museum with her mother and looked for ideas for next year’s contest.


Next year, Stephens will move up to seventh- through ninth-grade essay competition, which has an added rule that entries must be from the student’s own county.


While she has not come up with a Carter County person to write about, she said she plans to enter next year.


“I like writing stories,” she said.


Entries at the state level included Woody Guthrie, E.W. Marland, Wilma Mankiller and Reba McEntire, as well as more local heroes such as Ruth Brown, a civil rights leader and former librarian at the Bartlesville Public Library.


Jennifer Lindsey, 221-6526
jennifer.lindsey@ardmoreite.com