from the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy

For more information,contact
Brian McManus (402) 471-4223, or
Amanda Woita (402) 471-4243
For Immediate Release
August 7, 2014

Nebraska Students’ Environmental Artwork to be Featured in 2015 “Nebraska: Don’t Waste It” Calendar

The artwork of 13 Nebraska students will be featured in the 2015 “Nebraska: Don’t Waste It!” environmental calendar. The statewide contest is sponsored by the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) and focuses on the importance of waste reduction, recycling and litter cleanup.

The students whose submissions were selected for the 2015 calendar were invited to a ceremony at the State Capitol on Thursday, August 7, where they were honored by Gov. Dave Heineman and NDEQ Acting Director Patrick Rice. Each month, the calendar features one of the 12 winning environmental posters. A 13th winner’s artwork provides the cover for the calendar.

The entry featured on the cover was submitted by Vera Butterfield, a sixth grade student from St. Mary’s Grade School, O’Neill.

The other 12 winners who are featured in the calendar are:
Colby Thies, a sixth grade student from Sterling Public Schools, Sterling.
Cynthia Gutierrez-Centeno, a fourth grade student from Pawnee Elementary, Omaha.
Sydney Fleeman, a third grade student from Immanuel Lutheran, Columbus.
Ashlynn Lorenzoni, an eighth grade student from George Beadle Middle School, Omaha.
Malya Bussinger, a second grade student from St. Joseph School, Atkinson.
Lexus Ascencion, a fifth grade student from Knickrehm Elementary, Grand Island.
Abigail Lewis, a kindergarten student from Fischer’s 24 School, Schuyler.
McKayla Vermeer, a sixth grade student from Sterling Public Schools, Sterling.
Morgan Haner, a seventh grade student from Sterling Public Schools, Sterling.
Bela Jedlicka, a first grade student from Fischer’s 24 School, Schuyler.
Josi Millar, a seventh grade student from German Settlement School-Valentine Rural Schools, Crookston.
Briar Wipf, a tenth grade student from Weeping Water Public School, Weeping Water.
Over 1,000 students submitted entries into this year’s contest.

“We had some excellent artwork to choose from this year,” Rice said. “These winning entries not only show the students’ artistic talent, but they also express some important messages about protecting our environment.”

Copies of the calendar are available by contacting NDEQ at P.O. Box 98922, Lincoln, NE 68509-8922, or by sending an e-mail request to

Below are photos of the individual contest winners, taken at the Aug. 7 ceremony. In each photo, Governor Dave Heineman is at left, and NDEQ Acting Director Patrick Rice is at right. The last photo is a shot of the entire group.)

SizeFile Name
1,119 KB Vera Butterfield.jpg
1,165 KB Colby Thies.jpg
1,071 KB Sydney Fleeman.jpg
1,062 KB Ashlynn Lorenzoni.jpg
1,068 KB Malya Busssinger.jpg
1,118 KB Lexus Ascencion.jpg
1,091 KB McKayla Vermeer.jpg
1,064 KB Morgan Haner.jpg
1,118 KB Bela Jedlicka.jpg
1,121 KB Briar Wipf.jpg
1,641 KB Group photo.jpg