Highland Students Have Won the USS Arizona Legacy Foundation Crest Contest

Highland Students Have Won the USS Arizona Legacy Foundation Crest Contest

Two students from Highland High School in Gilbert have emerged victorious in the USS Arizona Legacy Foundation’s Crest Design Competition.

Elyse Hansen, a freshman, claimed the top spot, while Kaylee Gerhauser, a sophomore, secured second place. Madison Deadmond from Safford High School clinched third place.

Following naval tradition, every ship boasts a unique emblem known as a ship’s crest, serving as its official symbol throughout its service. Similar to a coat of arms, the crest is prominently displayed on the ship’s brow banner for all to see both on board and ashore. It will be featured on various items such as stationery, plaques, patches, coins, hats, shirts, uniforms, and more.

The competition received over 165 submissions from high school students in grades 9-12 across Arizona. Judging criteria included simplicity, meaningful symbolism, color usage, and distinctiveness.

Each winner will receive a certificate from the foundation, recognition in its monthly newsletter, and exposure on its social media platforms.

Furthermore, their designs will be presented to the Commanding Officer of the USS Arizona SSN-803 submarine, serving as inspiration for its official crest.

“The USS Arizona Legacy Foundation is dedicated to inspiring the next generation to honor the past while creating a lasting legacy,” said Nicole LaSlavic, President and CEO of USSALF. “The creativity and dedication shown by these young artists ensure that the spirit of the USS Arizona will continue proudly into the future.”

For more details on each winning design, please visit