The Jim Wells County Soil and Water Conservation District 2009 Conservation Awards Banquet was held on Dec. 8, 2009 at Jeanís Steakhouse in Alice.

The poster and conservation essay contest information was provided to all elementary, middle and high schools inthe county.

Student winners in each division received a certificate recognizing their accomplishment, signed by Nelda Garcia, Jim Wells County Soil and Water Conservation District chairwoman, along with a cash prize.† Also, each student winner received a Certificate of Recognition from the Texas House of Representatives from State Rep. Yvonne Gonzalez-Toureilles.

Alberto Garcia Jr., SWCD director presented awards to the Conservation Poster Contest winners,† who were as follows:

Third and fourth grade students: first place, Sara Slowinski (La Gloria School); second place,† Julianne Marie Rocha (Salazar Elementary School) and third place,† Isaiah Ortiz (La Gloria School).

Fifth and sixth grade students: first place, Alyssa Christine Guerra; second place,† Breanna E. Sawey and third place, Naomi Lynn Gonzalez, all of La Gloria School.

Nelda Garcia, SWCD chairwoman, presented awards to the Conservation Essay Contest winners, who were as follows:

Under age 13: first place,† Ruben Mandel; second place, Madison Katie Beltran and third place, Maria V. Smith.

Fourteen- to 18-year-olds: first place, Travis Blake Starr; second place, Raul A. Villapando and third place,† Rubi Rodas.

The first place posters as well as first place essays in all categories have been entered in the Area Level competition.

State winners in each category will be selected from five area winners and will be honored at the annual state meeting of soil and water conservation districts.

Special thanks were also extended to the parents and teachers Katherine Barrera of La Gloria School, Emerson Lucas of Salazar Elementary School and Trisha Terrell of William Adams Middle School, both of Alice.

Salazar Elementary School teacher Emerson Lucas and winning students Julianne Marie Rocha and Maria V. Smith were not present.