PARIS – A young award-winning artist and student at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School will represent Maine at the SkillsUSA National Championship in Kansas City, Mo., in June.

“It’s just my whole life,” said Carly Sauro of her passion for creating art. As the state’s SkillsUSA Advertising Design Gold Medal winner, she will travel to Kansas City with her graphic design teacher, Virginia Valdes, on June 27 for five days, competing against 50 plus other students from across the nation.

The SkillsUSA Maine Championship is the state-level competition for high school and college students enrolled in trade, technical and skilled-service instructional programs. Sauro and hundreds of other students from nearly four dozen career technical education programs competed in fields ranging from video production to culinary arts in Bangor last month.

Her winning informational graphic design centered around a cluster of 16 Maine lighthouses.

The high school junior has been involved in artistic endeavors for years. In 2010, she helped create a book character mural for the Teen Room at the Norway Memorial Library. She recently won the school’s Aspire Higher logo design contest, and she now designs posters for Open Mic Night at Cafe Nomad in Norway, held the first Friday of each month.

On Tuesday, she was informed that she won second place for the Sebago-Long Lake Music Festival poster contest for the second year in a row.

The honor roll student comes from a family of artists. Her mother is Brenda Ellis Sauro, an accomplished painter and art and rug-hooking teacher who owns the Painted Mermaid Gallery in South Paris. Her father, Michael Sauro, is a self-taught metal sculptor.

Sauro hopes to continue in her parents’ footsteps, perhaps illustrating children’s books and working in human form art. She also wants to attend college after graduation to pursue a degree in art therapy and serve in AmeriCorps.

This week, Sauro will travel to Costa Rica for spring break with her Spanish class. After her return, she will prepare for the SkillsUSA National Competition.

During the summer, she will be working on her Senior Project at the Allen Day Community Garden in Norway, where she will create a 5- by 5-foot symmetrical design on the side of a barn which depicts a community of people working together under the sun.

After she completes that project, she’ll work at the ice cream stand at Smedberg’s Crystal Spring Farm in Oxford, where she’ll serve up “one cow” ice cream.

“I like ice cream,” she said with a chuckle.


PARIS – A ticket auction will be held April 27 to raise funds for Carly Sauro’s trip to Kansas City, Mo., to represent Maine in the National SkillsUSA Advertising Design Competition in June.

More than 100 items will be auctioned, including handmade afghans, beautiful jewelry and donations from local businesses. The Norway Country Club has donated a round of golf and a cart for two; JEM Motorsports has donated three Kawasaki T-shirts; and SAD 17 has offered a free adult education class. Many other gift certificates from other businesses are available, including Bolster’s Decorating, In The Zone and Babbling Brook Quilt Shop.

Additionally, the Oxford Hills Technical School carpentry class has made a 4- by 2-foot dollhouse, complete with a shingled roof. Other trades in the school are donating items such as oil changes and car detailing.

The store will open at 11 a.m. with ticket calling beginning at 1 p.m.

Monetary donations are also being accepted. Mail checks to the Oxford Hills Technical School, care of Skills Maine, P.O. Box 313, Norway, ME 04268. Checks should be made out to OHTS Skills Maine. Please add “for Carly Sauro” in the memo section of the check.

For more information, contact Stephanie Grover at [email protected]

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