Verona High School graduate’s ‘doodle’ is a winner with

When Michael Jones learned through a text that he was a Doodle for Google winner, he impulsively ran out of his German class at Verona High School and into the hallway.

First he called his mom who had just texted to tell him that out of thousands of entries, his artwork was one of 54 state and territory winners in the Doodle for Google competition. That means others now can vote for his design to be the one featured on the Google homepage.

“I got so excited and I did the whole jump around kind of thing,” Jones said. “People were looking at me.”

The next thing he did was run down from his school’s third floor to the first floor to tell all of his art teachers that he had won.

“I was very excited when he came down to celebrate with me as well,” said Sarilis Schoville, who teaches the class in which Jones created the design.

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Jones, a 2022 graduate, was pumped that he made it this far. Now he’s waiting to see if his doodle will advance further.

Everyone across the country can vote for their favorite doodle from the 54 state and territory winners through Tuesday, which will determine the five national finalists, one in each grade group.

To see a full list of state and territory winners and to vote online, visit go.madison.com/doodlevote.

The national finalists will be announced in July, and then one artist’s work will go on to be featured on the Google homepage for a day. The national winner also will take home a $30,000 college scholarship, and the winner’s school will receive a $50,000 tech package toward the establishment or improvement of a computer lab or technology program.

Google came to the high school for a surprise presentation in front of some students in the art department. Jones was presented with a poster-sized print of his doodle, a plaque, a Chromebook and a backpack with a sketchbook, a couple of other books and a water bottle.

The 14th annual contest allows students in kindergarten through 12th grade to create their own version of the Google logo inspired by a particular prompt. This year’s theme is “I care for myself by …,” and students were to share how they nurtured their minds, bodies, and/or spirits as they faced the opportunities and challenges every new day brought.

Jones titled his doodle, “Wellness through the Mirrors,” and his description was: “I care for myself by simply being myself. I enjoy nature and family. I feel wellness through my favorite foods and bubble baths. I feel my best with my sister and loved through my animals. Wellness is within me and looking back through my own reflection.”

Doodles were judged on artistic merit, creativity, including representation of the theme, use of the letters in the Google logo and a unique approach, and how well the theme was expressed through the artwork and written statement.

Jones said his doodle included images of things that make him happy, but he hoped viewers also would relate to them. Some of the images include his pets and the face of his sister, Isabel Jones, 20.

Jones said his family — including his mom and dad, Lisa Urquhart and Michael Jones, and his stepdad, Eric Urquhart — contribute to his wellness.

“They make me feel better. I love being around them,” Jones said.

His mom and sister are also artistic, which has been an inspiration for Jones.

He will attend UW-Eau Claire to pursue a degree in illustration but he also is interested in tattoo artistry, and some people have had him create tattoo designs for them. As another example of his wide range of talent, he recently made a charcoal drawing of an uncle who died.

Jones said he doesn’t expect to win, but he is OK with it and is happy he got as far as he has.

“I kind of got everything I wanted,” he said. “Someone probably needs it more than I do.”

Jones said all of his art teachers have made it possible for him to succeed, and he is appreciative of the classes his high school offered. He called Schoville an “amazing” teacher and said she was instrumental in helping him submit his design on a day he was visiting UW-Eau Claire.

Jones created his Doodle for Google as a class assignment in Computer Art and Design II. Students could design a doodle according to the contest theme and choose to submit it or they could design one about a social issue they cared about. This is the first time Schoville had students take part in the contest, because she thought the theme would resonate with them.

“I told him I really think you have a chance,” Schoville said. “He is just one of those kids who is always drawing something … I think he has taken every course we’ve offered … and he is really skilled at all of them, which is really cool to see.”

Schoville also said Jones is excited about the idea of winning but doesn’t want to get too excited. She thinks the scholarship could be life-changing.

“He doesn’t really realize how truly great he is, but that is a high schooler in a nutshell,” Schoville said. “I have been grateful to be a cheerleader.”

“(Michael Jones) doesn’t really realize how truly great he is, but that is a high schooler in a nutshell. I have been grateful to be a cheerleader.”

Sarilis Schoville, art teacher

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