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Scholastic Awards celebrate gifted artists and authors

March 29, 2018

Before they were famous, authors and artists such as Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath, Stephen King and Lena Dunham won Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. This week, a batch of talented young Hillsborough County students added Scholastic Awards to their own budding resumes.

Judges for this year’s regional competition announced 97 Gold Key winners, 122 Silver Key winners and 213 Honorable Mention recipients. The 95th Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are the country's longest-running and most prestigious scholarship and recognition program for creative students in grades 7–12. This program year, nearly 350,000 works of art and writing were submitted to more than 100 Affiliate Partners across the country.

In celebration of this year’s regional recipients, student work will be displayed at the Scarfone/Hartley Gallery at the University of Tampa through April 4. An awards reception and ceremony honoring the students was held at the University of Tampa on Tuesday, March 27.

Winners from the regional competition advanced to nationals, and a record number of entries from Hillsborough County were selected for national recognition. These students will be recognized in June at Carnegie Hall in New York City:

  • Alanna Felton of Robinson High School, Silver Medal in Critical Essay (Teacher Susan DiFederico)
  • Elena Grant of Plant High School, Gold Medal in Painting (Teacher Stacy Rosende)
  • Coco Hull of Tampa Preparatory School, Silver Medal in Sculpture (Teacher Elle Ashworth)
  • Miracle Ingram of Durant High School, Gold Medal and American Voice Medal in Poetry (Teacher Chip Martin)
  • N'Jhari Jackson of Carrollwood Day School, Silver Medal in Poetry (Teacher Judith Anthony-Daffe)
  • Kaitlyn McHugh of Blake High School, Gold Medal in Science Fiction and Fantasy (Teacher Casey Curry)
  • Dennis Swift of Steinbrenner High School, Silver Medal in Humor (Teacher John Eric Vona)
  • Sadie Testa-Secca of Steinbrenner High School, Silver Medal in Photography (Teacher Kyle Wolf)
  • Noah Trevino of Blake High School, Gold Medal and Best in Grade Award in Poetry (Teacher Casey Curry)
  • Ashley Trowbridge of Blake High School, Silver Medal with Distinction in Writing Portfolio (Teacher Casey Curry)
  • Andy Villegas of Blake High School, Silver Medal in Art Portfolio (Teacher Molly Dressel)
  • Andy Villegas of Blake High School, Silver Medal in Design (Teacher Molly Dressel)
  • Laura Wu of King High School, Gold Medal and American Visions Medal in Painting (Teacher Emily McQuaig)

“At a time when the world is noticing that young people have much to say, I am excited to celebrate the creative expression of thoughts and ideas through the display of outstanding art and writing from across our Hillsborough Region,” said Elizabeth Brown, Supervisor of Secondary Language Arts and co-coordinator of the regional competition.

Her colleague, K-12 Art Supervisor Erin Erickson Saladino, added praise for the students whose works were selected and those who helped shape their artistic voices along the way.

“Opportunities like the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards give young artists and writers a chance to communicate ideals that make hearts soar, minds ponder and worlds change,” Saladino said. “The drive and passion instilled within these students can be attributed to influential family members, educators and the important idea that every person is significant and worthy of expression.”

A complete list of 2018 regional Gold Key Scholastic Art & Writing Awards recipients is available online at artandwriting.org.

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