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FRONTPAGE

May 04. 2013 3:07AM

My Best Day Ever

A doodle with a goal: the Google homepage


Neville Caulfield, a freshman at Oyster River High School in Durham, was honored on Wednesday for being chosen as the state's "Doodle 4 Google" contest winner. The public can vote for Caulfield's doodle online through May 10. One national winner will be announced on May 22. (GRETYL MACALASTER/Union Leader Correspondent)

DURHAM - The statewide winner of the Doodle 4 Google contest was the "worst-kept secret" at Oyster River High School on Wednesday. By the time freshman Neville Caulfield, 14, was called on stage to be recognized around 2 p.m., nearly the entire student body already knew he was the winner.

Caulfield and 130,000 other students from around the country submitted "doodles" to the Google contest. One winner was chosen from each state, and those students were invited to New York City for the May 22 announcement of the national winner.

That student will receive a $30,000 scholarship, a $50,000 technology grant for his or her school, and the recognition that comes with having the doodle featured on Google's homepage on May 23.

This is the sixth year Google has conducted the contest. Students in grades K-12 are invited to participate.

"It gets (the Google name) out there and allows students to play with a logo that is already established," Lindsey Gilligan, university programs specialist with Google, said.

Now that Caulfield has been chosen as a finalist, it's up to the public to support him.

All 50 state winners have their work displayed at www.doodle4google.com, where Americans can vote for their favorite doodle through Friday. After the voting closes, Google will announce five national finalists, one of whom will be announced as the national winner during the May 22 ceremony at Google's Manhattan office.

The theme of this year's contest was "My Best Day Ever."

Caulfield focused on his summer vacations in Southwest Harbor, Maine, and the peace of sailing on a sunny afternoon. He titled the piece "Sun-filled Sails."

"It is very exciting. Neville is a great kid and clearly quite a talented artist," said Oyster River principal Todd Allen said, adding that he had already put in his vote for Caulfield on Wednesday morning when the voting site went live. "It is great to have an Oyster River student represent the state of New Hampshire."

Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., sent a commendation recognizing Caulfield's accomplishment.

Caulfield said he was "ecstatic" when he got the news that he had won the statewide competition a couple of weeks ago.

"It's always a background dream when you enter," he said.

His mom, Mary Caulfield, said she was "floored" when she picked up the phone one day and someone from Google was on the other end. She had a banner made to greet her son with the news when he came home from school.

His dad, John Caulfield, said they were all looking forward to the trip to New York.

"Neville is really looking forward to New York, as well to being with the other doodle Googlers," he said.


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