PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — Winners have been announced in Virginia Lottery’s “Thank a Teacher” Art Contest, one of whom is from Pittsylvania County.

“In the past, we have physically been able to go to the school for a big assembly to surprise the winners. These last two years, we have found new ways to still make this announcement just as special for students who are learning in different environments.”

Jennifer Mullen, Virginia Lottery’s Director of Public Affairs and Community Relations

Due to the ongoing restrictions with gatherings from the pandemic, the Virginia Lottery, in partnership with The Supply Room and the Virginia PTA, had to be creative with the winner announcements for the fourth annual contest.

Lottery officials joined the artists and their art teachers via video chats, surrounded virtually by classmates, teachers and school administrators, each of the winners were surprised with the news that his/her art would be featured on thousands of thank-you notes across Virginia during National Teacher Appreciation Week.

One winner was selected for each of the categories which included elementary, middle and high school levels.

The winners were:

  • Sarah Saravanan, first grader at McNair Lower Elementary School in Fairfax County
  • Karmare Brownlee, eighth grader at Tabb Middle School in York County
  • Andrew Gibson, senior at Gretna High School in Pittsylvania County

Winners were each presented with a $150 Visa gift card and their schools will each receive $1,000 from the Virginia Lottery and $1,000 from the Supply Room for their art departments.

To view a video of the three surprise presentations, click here.