An 11-year-old fifth grade student won state and national awards for her photograph of her great-grandfather’s World War II uniform.

The Second Street School student, Maddie Starkey, won an Award of Excellence in the state division for third through fifth grade students in the Kentucky PTA’s Reflections competition and received an honorable mention at the national level. Reflections is annual competition that recognizes students for their creative projects in photography, film, dance, literature, music and visual art.

Maddie is a member of the SSS Parent, Teacher and Student Association. She said she had entered the contest previously, but this was her first time to win award.

Maddie said she takes photos as a hobby. She enjoys taking videos of her dog and uses an instant print camera to take photos. Now that she has been recognized for her photography, she said that she might consider pursuing it beyond a hobby and that she feels like she has some potential now. Maddie plans to be either a teacher or a graphic designer when she gets older.

The theme for this year’s Reflections competition was “Heroes Around Me.” Maddie chose to create a photograph that encompassed the memory of her great-grandfather, a World War II veteran who died about two years ago. He received a Purple Heart after getting frostbite in his fingers.

“I thought that since he was considered a hero and he survived through the war, that this (photograph) would be a good decision do this, since he was a hero to our nation,” Maddie said.

Maddie’s mother, Stephanie Starkey, said that Maddie’s great-grandfather was a hero for their family, especially for her Maddie’s father David Starkey. The family plans to hang the winning photograph somewhere in their home and print a copy for her great-grandmother.

Stephanie said she is proud of Maddie’s recent accomplishments but that she has always been a good student and child. Maddie is also involved with various sports and dance outside of school.

“It makes me very proud, because she is a well-rounded child,” Stephanie said.

Maddie’s photograph is on display at the U.S Department of Education in Washington, D.C. Sam Peach, a third grader at Second Street, won an Award of Merit at the state level of Reflections.

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