A packed crowd and a surprise visit from Google welcomed eighth-grader Drexel Blair to school Wednesday morning.
"I was really, really surprised," Blair said. "I pretty much freaked out when I found out I won."
The Albert D. Lawton middle schooler was recognized by the corporate giant as one of 50 finalists in its challenge to students across the country to put their own twist on the Google logo.
"It is a portal to basically my imagination," Blair explained.
The pencil drawing was one of 130,000 entries and the only finalist to come from Vermont.
"There weren't any rough drafts, but I spent like weeks on it," Blair said.
"I feel like a proud mama, is how I feel," said Tina Logan, Blair's art teacher. "I have had Drexel for three years and Drexel is just the most incredible artist."
He's an artist who needed a little nudging; Blair initially did not want to submit his work to the competition. But Logan knew her student and his potential well. She talked to his parents and helped get everyone on board.
"We pulled it out to show Drexel's parents, and I said this is Drexel's incredible entry and he has chosen not to enter it," Logan said. "And thank goodness they said we are entering it and they overnighted it, and they rushed it, so it made it on time."
A decision the young artist is celebrating as he sets his sights on getting his creation on Google's home page.