Since 1923, the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers has honored high school students with exceptional artistic and literary talent from around the nation with the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. This year, students submitted 340,000 original works of art and writing in 29 different categories, and two STMA students, Morgan Smith and Cobin Szymanski, have received national awards for their work. This places them in the top one percent of high school artists across the nation.
“It’s truly remarkable,” Superintendent Dr. Ann-Marie Foucault said.
“It is quite an honor that STMA has two award winners,” Board Chair Drew Scherber added. “This speaks to the level of skill of these two students and the high quality of their work.”
Smith’s work of photography called “Soulful Moments” won both the gold medal and the American Vision Medal, which is the highest regional honor available. Smith is the first STMA student to win an American Vision medal.
Szymanski submitted a critical essay titled “School Shootings: Safety is the First Priority,” for which he won a silver medal and a Gold Key regional award. This is the first writing award received by a STMA student.
Kari-Halker Saathof, a district art teacher, said she has had 22 National Scholastic Award winners in her tenure at STMA dating back to 1997.
High school principal, Bob Driver, said the opportunity for STMA’s talented young artists to be recognized at Carnegie Hall in New York City through the Scholastic Art Awards is a wonderful experience. The National Ceremony takes place in June and has had recent celebrity speakers such as Whoopi Goldberg, Sarah Jessica Parker, Alec Baldwin and Amy Schumer.
“Thank you to the board for supporting the arts, thank you parents for supporting your children, and thank you teachers for working so hard with kids,” Driver said.