Students honored with Scholastic Art and Writing National Awards

Story by Lilian Zhu
Staff Writer

Photo by Bailey Negrete

Four SPHS students and four SPUSD teachers were honored with national gold and silver medals from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.

Senior Yvonne Ma won a gold medal for her digital artwork, “Library in a Train,” while senior Bailey Negrete took home a silver medal for his piece “The Living Dead.” Sophomores Zhiqin Jiang and Cloe Maurer earned silver medal awards for their pieces “Deception” and “In California,” respectively.

The Scholastic program bestowed a total of 71 Western Region awards to SPHS students in January. Gold Western Region award recipients qualified for the national competition and competed with other recipients across the nation for a chance to be among the top one percent who are recognized at a national level. 

Students from grades 7 to 12 submitted nearly 320,000 pieces this year in categories ranging from photography to creative writing. All pieces are judged by panels of creative professionals who are trained to identify talented young artists and writers.

In addition to students, SPHS faculty members such as visual art teachers Rouzanna Berberian and Aimee Levie and English teachers Jennifer Cutler and Diane Shires received gold and silver Scholastic Educator Awards.

“I feel honored to have my work recognized by the professionals… It means a lot to me” Negrete said. “In Mexican and other Hispanic cultures they celebrate the dead as if they are living. When I went to that Día de Los Muertos festival [pictured in the piece], it felt exactly like that.” 

National award winners will be invited to Carnegie Hall in June to attend the 2020 National Ceremony and will have their works published on the Scholastic website.

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