Photo of the Year

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 31, 2010

‘P’ stands for photo of year: Cory, Kermit top year’s best

By Rita Howell

A close-up picture of a boy and his frog captured the imagination and the votes of a majority of those participating in The Panolian’s 2010 Photo of the Year online poll.

Batesville Elementary School teacher Frances Ashcraft had snapped the photo of Cory Langley, 5, on the day he brought to school a frog to represent the letter “f” for his preschool class.

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The photo was published on the Panolian’s front page on September 10.

The picture received 55,146 online votes earlier this week to claim the top spot in the informal balloting.

Ashcraft reported that, at the end of the school day, the frog took up residence in the pond in the school’s Outdoor Science Classroom. 

Cory  is the son of Chris and Lisa Robertson of Batesville and the late Robert Langley.

Ashcraft, who has been taking pictures at Batesville Elementary for “decades,” remembered making a photo of Robert Langley on May 18, 2006 when he visited the school while Cory’s sister Maci was a student there. Sgt. Langley had made a stop in Maci’s classrooom after he had returned from a deployment in Afghanistan.

Langley, while a University of Mississippi police officer, was killed during a traffic stop on October 21, 2006.

Regarding recognition of herself and Cory in this year’s Photo of the Year, Ashcraft said, “It’s by the grace of God.”

Coming in second in the Photo of the Year voting was a picture of Nick Hughes surprising his children when he returned from a National Guard deployment to Iraq on March 19. Panolian staff photographer Emily Williams took the photo. It received 33,077 votes.

Other Photo of the Year finalists are published inside today’s Panolian.