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Three Corning teens win Best of Show at Silver Dollar Fair
Jesse and Mendy Beardsley are very proud of the accomplishments three of their high school students have achieved.
The couple are teachers at local schools: Jesse teaches woodshop at Centennial High School, and Mendy is an art teacher at Corning High.
For the first time, one of Beardsley's woodshop students, Ronnie Johnson, brought home a Best of Show from the Silver Dollar Fair, which took place in Chico during the last week of May.
The winning piece was a table with a wine rack underneath.
"That is one of those moments when as a teacher you want to poke your chest out with pride," Beardsley said.
Johnson not only did the woodwork on his award-winning table and wine rack, he also hand-painted it with grapes surrounded by grapevines.
"I'm really happy with the results and especially winning the Best in Show for my division," Johnson said. "I was surprised for sure."
This was not a first Best in Show for one of Mendy Beardsley's students, but she said each one is just as special as the one before it.
"For 20 years at least, one of my students has brought home a Best in Show from the Silver Dollar Fair," she said. "But what is really special about this year, is not only did we bring home two Best in Shows, but our school's overall art booth won top honors, which earned the art department $1,250."
The art students who brought home the Best in Show awards were 17-year-old junior Marc Betenbaugh and 18-year-old senior Yovani Lopez.
Betenbaugh's win was in the graphite drawing division. Surprisingly, this is the first time he has ever taken an art class.
"I've never really drawn before except stick figures," Betenbaugh said. "It took me about three months to complete the piece that won. When I found out I had won I was speechless. I definitely plan on taking Art II next year."
Betenbaugh does not necessarily see a future in art, but "it might be a hobby I guess."
Such isn't the case for Lopez. His winning artwork was a self-portrait done completely in dots using only yellow, red and blue.
"I took a picture of myself and used that to work from," he said. "It took me about a month to finish."
Lopez was in Art III when he won the award, and this was his third year competing in the fair.
"There was a lot of really tough competition. I was amazed I won. I've won awards before but not ever a Best in Show," he said.
Lopez, who graduated this year, has plans of becoming a tattoo artist.
"I already have someone who is going to train me," he said.
Mendy Beardsley said the wins for all three students are extra special as they were competing against the big schools in the Chico area.
"Jesse and I are both very excited for our students and we hope they are as proud of their work as we are," Beardsley said.