TOPEKA— Three Abilene High School students placed in the  Happy Birthday, Kansas! Student Photo Contest which was held  in conjunction with Kansas Day on Friday, January 29. 

Selena Espinoza, a sophomore, placed first with her photo “Team Sport.”

Marissa McKinney, a freshman, placed second with “One-Man Band,” and Taya Hoerner, a junior, placed second with “Still Giving That Cowboy Spirit a Boost!”

The photographers are journalist students of instructor Charity Bathurst at Abilene High School.

Video messages and congratulations were released as part of the virtual announcement from Governor Laura Kelly; Jennie Chinn, executive director of the Kansas Historical Society; and Marearl Denning, representing the legislative spouses. 

The statewide contest, now in its seventh year, invited students first through 12th grades to shoot photographs based on the theme, Learning in Kansas in 2020. 

The contest received 400 entries from 22 Kansas counties. First place in each grade receives an iPad and second place a Kindle. The annual contest is sponsored by the legislative spouses in conjunction with the Kansas Historical Society. Photographs from the winners can be seen online at

Contact Tim Horan at

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