For as many times as she may have imagined it, Kendall Heiney finally must have felt as though she truly was on cloud nine.
The Slatington Elementary third-grader can thank one particular piece of artwork she created for sending her into another stratosphere.
A division winner in the state Department of Transportation's Aviation Art Contest, Kendall received her awards in front of her parents, classmates, and teachers, no less.
Toby Fauver, PennDOT's deputy secretary, said Kendall was one of two students to receive the award for creatively demonstrating the contest theme of "50 Years in American Space Flight".
Fauver told Kendall her artwork was selected among 22 students across the state, and, as a result, she was presented with a certificate of achievement signed by the state secretary of Aviation, as well as a blow-up copy of her work that was mounted, one for her, and one for the school.
State Rep. Julie Harhart (R-Lehigh/Northampton) told Kendall her achievement was "fantastic."
"I think this is great," Harhart said. "I think you and your parents ought to be very, very proud of your accomplishment."
Harhart then presented Kendall with a certificate of achievement on behalf of herself, the state, and the 183rd district.
Principal Scott Pyne said Kendall is among the school's many students who do a good job.
"We're very proud of the work that she does," Pyne said. "She's a shining example of that."
Kendall said she was excited to receive the recognition.
"I was very happy and proud of myself for doing this," said Kendall, 8. "A lot of people are really proud of me."
The daughter of Eric and Kelly Heiney of Slatington, Kendall said she has always had an interest in space shuttles.
"I wanted to learn more about space shuttles," she said. "I learned if you accomplish stuff, it will be fun to do every year."
Kelly Heiney said "it's really great that she won. A lot of kids were entered into the contest."
Eric Heiney added "we're proud of her. Our trips to the Smithsonian are hopefully what helped her."
Earlier in the day, Fauver presented the same accolades to Jasmine Heroux-Skirbst, a student at DeFranco Elementary School in the Bangor Area School District.
More than 300 entries were received statewide, with winners chosen in each of PennDOT's 11 engineering districts.