"It was way beyond my expectations," Bill Pittsford, principal of Canyon Ridge High School, said about his school's Memorial Day essay and art contest.


"We had about 100 percent participation from our school," he added. "I'm really proud of that."


Overall winner was Kevin Nolasco, who both created an outstanding artwork and wrote a  powerful essay. Essay-only winner was Jimmy Barahona and winner of the art contest was Brenda Lucatero.


Feada Kakish won $250 scholarships from both the Hesperia Kiwanis and Hesperia Rotary clubs.


The contest was created by Pittsford and School Board President Dr. Robert Kirk, who previously was a teacher at Mojave High, the school district's other alternative high school.


The event, which was held in the Canyon Ridge cafeteria, began with a welcome by Pittsford. Summit Leadership Academy presented the colors followed by a presentation on freedom by Dr. Kirk.