Anxiety turned to excitement in a matter of moments for Woodland High School student Clayton Sibert.
His drawing of many landmarks in Streator was voted to be the city’s commemorative postmark to celebrate its sesquicentennial.
Sibert said he was so nervous his hands were shaking as he, his principal and art teacher counted stamps, taken as votes, at the Streator Post Office for the past month.
Sibert, a junior at Woodland, and Maddie Phillips, a junior at Streator High School, had their drawings chosen from their respective schools. The post office put voting boxes out for residents to pick their favorite.
Sibert ended up with 2,299 votes and Phillips, whose drawing incorporated Streator’s history as the Glass Container Capital of the World, finished with 1,094 votes.
Now, Sibert’s postmark will be used at the Streator Post Office after July 4 for one month. The post office is planning to distribute the postmark at Pluto Fest on July 7, along with Illinois’ 200-year celebration stamp. Both students also will be honored at the festival.
“It’s exciting,” Sibert said. “I think it’s cool to look back 25 years from now and know that I drew that.”
His art teacher, Susan Trammel, said she reminded students and faculty often to vote for Sibert. She said some brought money to school for her to buy stamps and vote.
“The entire school was so supportive,” Trammel said.
Phillips said she heard a lot of compliments from her sketch being on display.
Streator historian Dave Reed said both depictions will be put into a time capsule to be opened at the city’s next 25-year anniversary.
Postmaster Kimberly Donner organized the contest and said the postmarks will be keepsakes for collectors and many other residents, especially those who wish to have it on mail for class reunions or invitations.