House Representative

Cook, Byron


Elkhart Students Visit State Capitol to View their Artwork and Meet their State Representative

AUSTIN, TX -- This week State Representative Byron Cook (Corsicana) was honored to host 16 art class students, principal Kevin Clark and art teacher, Kathy Marlowe from the Elkhart High School for a tour of the Texas State Capitol Complex and a viewing of the Christmas ornament, which they decorated.

Since 2009, members of the Texas House of Representatives have been invited to decorate the Texas House of Representatives' Christmas tree with an ornament created in their district. This year, Representative Cook asked Elkhart High School to decorate the ornament representing Texas House District 8.

After brainstorming with his classmates, National Art Honor Society member, Luis Banuelos, created a unique treasure, which now adorns the native Texas tree on display in the House Chamber from December 2, 2011, through January 6, 2012.

Cook remarked, "It was a real pleasure meeting and visiting with the bright students from Elkhart High School. Their hard work and creativity shines, as District 8 is proudly represented through their extraordinary Christmas ornament and its special story."

The Elkhart High School art class ornament's story is as follows: "It is said that Christ died on the branches of a Dogwood, a tree that is indigenous to the District 8 area. Painted on this ornament are images of a Dogwood blossom and Christ on the cross. The blossom is said to be like the cross with the red tip as a reminder of the blood Christ shed for our sins. The suns in the background represent the light of Jesus Christ in our lives and in our community."

"It was a great trip that was extremely enlightening and educational for the class. Viewing the tree in the House Chamber, hearing from Representative Cook and learning about Texas history was invaluable and memorable," stated Principal Clark.

2011 Texas House ornaments may be viewed at:

Toni Barcellona