020616-mis-nws-googledoodle

Hellgate High School senior Jessie Novak’s Doodle 4 Google entry, “My Family,” features herself, her father, her two sisters and her brother.

Provided by Jessie Novak

A Hellgate High School senior is one in 100,000.

Jessie Novak's doodle was chosen as one of 53 finalists nationwide – hers was the Montana pick – in the eighth annual Doodle 4 Google competition.

About 100,000 submissions were received this year, and were judged by a panel that included actress Julie Bowen; astronaut Yvonne Cagle; Golden State Warriors basketball player Stephen Curry; professional soccer player Alex Morgan; director and animator Glen Keane; and writer, director and producer B.J. Novak.

The winner's artwork will be featured on the Google homepage on March 28.

The contest gives K-12 students a shot at redesigning the Google logo, this year using the theme, "What makes me ... me."

For Novak, that's family.

Her doodle, "My Family," features herself, her father, her two sisters and her brother.

"I think they're the most important thing to me," she said. "They affect every decision I make. They're the ones that have really encouraged me to get into art. They are constantly willing to critique my work and offer their constructive criticism. They're just super helpful."

That support at home, as well as an inspiring art program at Hellgate High, combined to paint Novak's dream of becoming a high school art teacher.

"My middle school didn't really have an art department, so getting into Hellgate's art department was amazing," she said. "All the teachers are super passionate about what they do. They're more than happy to teach you what you want to know. If I have a question I can go up to them before, after or during class.

"They're amazing people and I want to be like them."

Voting is open now, and runs until Feb. 22 at google.com/doodle4google/vote.html. Five national finalists – one from each grade group – and the national winner will be announced March 28. The winning doodle will go live on Google that day.

As one of the 53 state and territory winners, Novak won an Android tablet and a T-shirt with her doodle printed on it. If she moves forward in the competition, the winnings keep piling up.

Four national finalists will receive a $5,000 college scholarship, an Android tablet and a T-shirt with their doodle printed on it. They'll also join the national winner in California to meet with Google's doodling team.

The national winner will earn a $30,000 college scholarship, a Chromebook, an Android tablet and a T-shirt with his or her doodle printed on it. His or her school will also receive a $50,000 Google for Education grant, which will help establish or improve upon a computer lab or technology program.

The national winner also will be able to nominate an inspirational teacher to come along on the California trip.

Novak's success was announced Friday morning in teacher Courtney Christopher's International Baccalaureate art class – the teacher Novak said she'd pick to accompany her if she's named the national winner.

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Reporter for the Missoulian