Jayda Sarges, a third grader at the Academy of St. Bartholomew, was surprised by some unexpected visitors to her classroom on the morning of May 29.

Jerry Dabrowski, state educator with the Ohio State Fire Marshal’s Office, along with Middleburg Heights Fire Chief Briant Galgas and Assistant Chief John Desmarteau arrived to present several awards and gifts to Jayda for her winning entry in the Ohio State Fire Marshal’s annual Fire Safety Poster Contest. Gifts from the state included two photoelectric smoke alarms and six tickets to the Ohio State Fair.  Jayda’s family members were on hand, joining her classmates and Academy principal Betty Palascak in congratulating her.

Jayda’s entry (see photo) was one of 13 state winners in the Fire Safety Poster Contest. Jayda was the local winner for her grade category in our City contest and her artwork was then entered in the State contest.  Jayda is no stranger to winning with her artistry.  She also won the local contest as a Kindergartener and as a First Grader.

St. Bartholomew and Big Creek Elementary students have participated in the annual contest for many years. Our local elementary schools have celebrated seven state winners since 2003, two from Big Creek Elementary and five from the Academy of St. Bartholomew. Mayor Gary Starr and the Middleburg Heights Fire Department are very proud of the fine achievements of our elementary school students in the state and local coloring contests. Their teachers are to be commended for their enthusiasm and diligence in promoting fire safety education.