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Lake Middle School crowns third season Idol champ

Seventh grader Abby Winston takes the gold in Lake Middle School's third season of Lake Idol for her performance of Taylor Swift's "You belong with me."

Lake Middle School crowned its new "Lake Idol" champion.

After three weeks of competition, and 16 contestants, seventh grader Abby Winston was named champion for her performance of the song "You belong with me," by Taylor Swift.

"I'm so excited and so surprised," Abby said, who walked away with a $100 gift certificate to any Woodbury store of her choice.

Abby said she isn't sure what store she wants to shop at yet.

Now in its third year, the Lake Idol competition, sponsored by the Lake Student Literacy Council, saw sixth- through eighth graders compete in front of their peers for the title.

During Abby's performance, the four judges -- science teacher Logan Carstenson, music teacher Gilian Teoh, art teacher Molly Otte and world language teacher Bill McNamara -- praised her for her vocal ability and poise.

"You sounded better than Taylor Swift did at the Grammy's," McNamara said.

Even though she is a first time Lake Idol competitor, Abby said she is no stranger to the stage as she is a frequent participant in the school musicals.

She chose "You belong with me," for the finale because it was the song she auditioned with, and Swift is one of her favorite artists.

"I love how she writes her own music and it's from the heart," she said.

All proceeds from this year's ticket sales will help purchase classroom libraries throughout the school and fund operating costs of the literacy council.

Go to the Woodbury Bulletin homepage video module to see a video of Abby Winston's performance of "You belong with me" by Taylor Swift.

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

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