HPS animation team headed for Ontario Skills Competition

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Main photo: Huntsville Public School’s animation team, Madison and Gabrielle Watts (foreground), Kade Vink (back left) and Trinity Spry (supplied)

Four grade eight students from Huntsville Public School (HPS) are headed to the Ontario Skills Competition this May in Toronto.

Trinity Spry, Kade Vink, Madison Watts, and Gabrielle Watts won the Trillium Lakelands District School Board (TLDSB) 2019 animation competition, and have qualified to move on to the provincial level. They were the only Huntsville-area team to enter.

Katrina Cotterchio read about the animation skills competition online and thought this group of students would love to practice their art skills on a new level, this time digital.

“All of these students are very independent,” said Cotterchio. “They’re all amazing artistically.”

HPS was up against Central Senior School and Monck Public School for the Elementary Best in TLDSB Character Animation on February 28. The teams weren’t given the theme, “The Unexpected Hero”, ahead of time and had just a four-hour time frame to complete their animation.

Jacki McPherson, experiential learning consultant for TLDSB, was the judge and visited each school to assess their animation. Students were judged on teamwork, story plan, completion time, setting and acting.

Huntsville Public School submitted the winning animation, which McPherson describes on YouTube: “A team of four creative students from Huntsville Public School created this animation of a boy who is threatened by a pack of wolves, but when the Alpha wolf prepares to attack, the boy is unexpectedly snatched by Gerald, a saviour wolf who rescues the boy from harm. The students used Adobe Animate and a drawing pad to create this animation, and look forward to enhancing their skills and techniques as they prepare to represent TLDSB as they compete at the 2019 Skills Ontario provincial competition.” See their animation below.

Although only 13 and 14 years old, all four students on the team say they already know they want to go into animation as a career path. Team member Trinity Spry says her dream is to one day work in comic book character design both digitally and through traditional paper to pen art. Gabrielle Watts says she wants to be a character/concept developer for a TV or movie animation company.

“I’ve always been interested in animation but I didn’t know where to start,” said 14-year-old student Madison Watts. “We now have access to programs such as Adobe so I have the determination and ability to practice my skills.”

Kade Vink, who also wants to be a character developer, added, “I’m always sitting in class thinking about unique superhero ideas.”

“What’s so impressive about this team is that there were six snow days during the few weeks they had to practice for the board-wide competition and they still pulled off the win,” said Cotterchio, who will be taking maternity leave soon and won’t be able to attend the provincial competition in May. Another teacher will take her place.

Skills competitions being held at the provincial event, other than animation, include construction, robotics, workplace safety, green energy, TV production and more.

The Ontario Skills Competition will be held at the Congress Centre in Toronto on May 6. Keep an eye out to see how the HPS team does.

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1 Comment

  1. Sharon Stahls on

    Congrats to all involved. Good things are happening for the school with heart.

    Former Retired Proud Principal of HPS

    Sharon Stahls

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