Cedar Hill High Sophomore Wins District Christmas Card Contest

Zariel Williams with Christmas card design on computer monitor
Zariel Williams Photo credit CHISD

(CEDAR HILL, TEXAS) When the holidays roll around, it’s important to believe in the holiday spirit. But also to have confidence in your own abilities.

Cedar Hill High School sophomore Zariel Williams doubted whether she could win the Christmas Art Contest. But her entry of a child and mother sitting next to a Christmas Tree won first place.

The winning entry is featured on the Cedar Hill ISD Christmas Card, which is mailed out each December, to teachers and staff.

“I thought someone who was using a digital drawing or someone from the Advanced Placement class would win,” said Williams, who sketched out the winning drawing.

Williams, 15, loves to draw by hand. She credits her mother with inspiring her interest in art, and Cedar Hill Art Teacher Danielle Grays-Johnson with encouragement.

Williams submitted an entry into the contest last year, as a freshman. She also submitted art for the Black History Month Art Contest last February, placing third with an entry that portrayed actress Danai Gurira of “Black Panther” and “Walking Dead.”

“Zariel drew this by hand, and it’s cool to see that,” Grays-Johnson said. “You can definitely see her improvement from freshman year to this year. When scholars love art, they put more time and effort into it. Everything she’s submitted has been good.”

Williams said the idea for the Christmas card was biographical.

“My family always opens a gift on Christmas Eve and saves the rest for Christmas morning,” Williams said.

Williams often watches movies while she does her drawings. The genre of the movie will often have an impact on the finished product. For the Christmas card drawing she watched the 1990s holiday class, “Home Alone.”

Williams plans to enter more competitions, including the Christmas card contest during her junior and senior years at CHHS. She hopes to pursue a career that encompasses her artistic skills, such as decorator or event planner.

Collegiate High School sophomore Ivette Pena placed second with a drawing of a snowman. Lake Ridge Elementary fifth grader Harper Campbell was third with a dog-themed holiday card, and Cedar Hill High School senior Ashlie Ramirez placed fourth with a card featuring a Christmas tree and a CHISD Longhorn.