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Students tackle big issues in Buffalo News 2015 Editorial Cartoon Contest

More than 1,000 entries were received from area students in grades five through 12 for the The Buffalo News’ 21st annual Editorial Cartoon Contest.

The winners were selected by The News’ Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist, Adam Zyglis, who presented the awards to the winning students at a reception Tuesday evening at The News.

“We received well over 1,000 entries this year, an impressive tally for a contest that usually gets 600-700,” Zyglis said. “A few of my co-workers have dubbed it ‘The Pulitzer Effect.’ Common Core testing was by far the biggest topic that the students covered. Other popular topics included the Bills and Sabres, Hillary Clinton and ISIS. Many perennial issues remained, such as climate change, pollution, teen bullying and the American diet.

“The winners displayed an exceptional ability to decipher complex current events and creatively communicate an informed opinion,” he added.

The first-place cartoons in each division can be viewed here. To see all the winning entries, visit

The winners are:

Division III

Grades 9-12

First place: Erin K. Reilly, Immaculata Academy, Grade 10

Second place: Keziah Yahner, Lancaster High School, Grade 12

Third place: Bethany Reigelman, Amherst High School, Grade 10

Honorable Mention: Wyland Kiefer, Williamsville South High School, Grade 9

Division II

Grades 6-8

First place: Sean O’Connor, St. Amelia School, Grade 8

Second place: Jack Galvin, City Honors School, Grade 7

Third place: Michelle Shaposhnik, Mill Middle School, Grade 8

Honorable Mention: Sophia Semo, Nardin Academy Elementary, Grade 7

Division I

Grade 5

First place: Elizabeth Drake, Transit Middle School

Second place: Abigail Yoo, Mill Middle School

Third place: Claudia Lewis, Transit Middle School

Honorable Mention: Amanda Hausrath, Mill Middle School

Local Division

All grades

First place: Kelly Gampietro, Immaculate Conception School, East Aurora, Grade 8

Second place: Delaney Govenettio, Mill Middle School, Grade 8

Third place: Ibigaela “Natalie” Toledo, City Honors School, Grade 7

Honorable Mention: Jesse Crosby, Alfred Almond Central School, Grade 11