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2019 Gotcha! Photo Contest Winners

June 11, 2019


Camera-carrying teachers from around the province bombarded the ATA News with dozens of photos for the 25th annual Gotcha! Photo Contest.

Here are the judges’ top three picks, along with some honourable mentions. Prizes are awarded as follows: first, $200; second, $100; and third, $50.

The contest judges were Yuet Chan, veteran ATA News photographer and designer, and Cory Hare, ATA News managing editor.





Fresh snow


Students rush into the schoolyard for recess after a fresh dump of snow.
Photographer: Marissa Szawlowski, Belmont School, Edmonton
Date of photo: Dec. 14, 2018
Judges’ comments:
There’s nothing like fresh snow to inspire pure joy and enthusiasm in the faces of children. This photo captures these elements within a context of stark light and shadows that add an epic quality to the image. Also contributing to the photo’s strong impact are its depth and a sky containing lines that draw the eye down to the scene below.


Ready for recess


Grade 4 pupil Amaan Makeui, originally from South
Sudan, is ready to head outside for a break after spending many hours working hard inside.
Photographer: Janice Gibney, Our Lady of Fatima School, Calgary
Date of photo: May 10, 2019
Judges’ comments:
Sometimes a simple image of a single face can be very effective. With this image, a sense of irresistible intrigue is created by the juxtaposition of the student’s face and the jacket’s fur. The student’s enigmatic expression only heightens the appeal — what is she thinking?


Up for grabs


Students from Medicine Hat’s Monsignor McCoy High School battle with opponents from Chinook High School in Lethbridge.
Photographer: John Laing, Medicine Hat
High School
Date of photo: Jan. 12, 2019
Judges’ comments:
A chaotic moment during an intense game is captured, leaving the viewer (and possibly the players) to wonder, what the heck just happened?

Honourable mention

The Lion King


Grade 7 student Aiden Saganis plays the part of Simba in the school play.
Photographer: Rod Ince, Terrace Ridge School, Lacombe
Date of photo: March 5, 2019
Judges’ comments:
This photo is all about colour and the mournful look in the actor’s eyes.

Honourable mention

Suprise fire drill


Students make the best of it during a surprise fire drill. Facing the camera are (L-R) Kyra Tauber, Gwenaelle Mouafo Fome, Xander Leblanc and Kaleb Potts.
Photographer: Danielle Jean, Muriel Martin
Elementary School, St. Albert
Date of photo: Jan. 20, 2019
Judges’ comments:
Airborne snowflakes elevate this photo from routine to notable. Facial expressions also help — rather than lamenting their lot at being outside in their shirtsleeves, these children are embracing the adventure.

Honourable mention

Come and get it


Anei Majock and Joe Bilton engage in a little pick-up basketball.
Photographer: Dawnelle Salant, St. Mark School, Calgary
Date of photo: April 15, 2019
Judges’ comments:
This photo captures the innocent joy of play.


The ATA News thanks all teachers who participated in this year’s Gotcha! Photo Contest.


Teachers, keep your cameras at the ready for special education-related moments during the 2019–20 school year.

You might want to keep your best shots for submission to the 2020 Gotcha! contest but also consider sharing “routine” photos during the year — the ATA News is always looking to show what’s happening in education around the province.

The contact is managing editor Cory Hare at




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