Video: Hancock High student wins Mississippi Doodle4Google contest
In her Google Doodle, Marie Konopacki wanted to depict what made her unique -- to answer Google's question, "What makes me, me?"
So the 17-year-old Hancock High School junior drew the search engine's logo between two magnolia trees that represented her Mississippi upbringing. She drew a scroll to represent her love of writing and literature, which doubled as a path. Konopacki, a track runner and captain of the school's cross-country team, illustrated herself running on the path.
The design was good enough to become Mississippi's winner of the Doodle 4 Google contest. Now she is one of 53 from US states and territories who will compete to have their doodle on Google's homepage for a day.
"It went through a lot of phases," Konopacki said of her entry. "I found out a few weeks ago when they called my dad. It was an exciting moment."
Hancock County schools officials announced the win Friday at an assembly at Hancock High School.
"This is phenomenal," Principal Tara Ladner said before the assembly. "We have something special here at Hancock and it's great when we have a student get recognition."
Representatives from Google, which donated $2,500 in running equipment to the school, had a presentation about Google's latest ventures.
U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker was also on hand for the assembly.
He used the moment as an example of what students -- no matter whether their talent is in sports, academics or arts -- can do.
"You've got special talents. You're you for a reason. Use those talents," he said. Then recalling a conversation with an intern, "Do your best to make it special and crush it."
The top five finalists will be decided through a vote, which will be open through Feb. 22.