Students earn multiple arts and writing awards

Six high school students and two middle school students recently won several awards in the 2014 South Central Pennsylvania Scholastic Art and Writing competition.

According to The Susquehannock News, the high school winners include freshman Adelaide Achterberg who won silver keys for both her poetry and humor entries, senior Sara Cerreta who earned a gold key and silver key in photography and three honorable mentions in photography and art, sophomore Emma Gruner with an honorable mention in the short story category, sophomore Kathleen Quinn who won a silver key in science fiction writing, senior Victoria Rassa with three gold keys in digital art and two honorable mentions for drawing and digital art, and sophomore Brooke Weber who earned a silver key for poetry.

Rassa’s Fish Face Guy was also featured as the banner for the show and printed on signs and advertisements.

Special education teacher Kate Newland has assisted students with submissions and spread the word about the awards for the past three years and has been ecstatic with the results so far.

“I definitely am excited for them and obviously very proud as well,” said Newland. “They took the time to revise their work and to submit it.  [Submitting something] is a risk to take because someone is going to look at the work and judge how creative it is.”

Since 1923, the Awards have gained national prestige according to the Scholastic arts and writing awards official website.  Over $250,000 is awarded to winners annually, and approximately 900,000 entries have been submitted throughout the last five years.  The awards are open to those in 7th through 12th grade who can enter into 28 different arts and writing categories.  Entries are judged based on the following criteria: originality, technical skill, and personal voice.

After all of her success with the awards, Rassa would definitely encourage students to submit work.

“I think it’s a great competition,” said Rassa.  “It’s a great way for students to get their art out there and for them to be able to honored and recognized.”

Many of the entrants had low expectations at first but were pleasantly surprised when they won.  Achterberg has participated in the awards in past years and was glad that she decided to compete again.

“I was pretty excited when I found out I won,” said Achterberg. “I’ve done it before and gotten a few awards, so I was hoping for at least an honorable mention.”

Many students’ works have been displayed at the state museum, which is a great opportunity for even more recognition.  Students can benefit greatly from taking the chance to submit a work.  Graded school work is even acceptable, which makes entering a fairly easy process.

Newland emphasizes that the judges’ tastes differ from year to year, making it worthwhile to enter.

“I had a student one year that submitted a writing piece last year and didn’t get anything,” said Newland. “She submitted the same piece this year and got something.  You never know what they’re going to deem as being very creative.”

Students can submit entries for the 2015 awards this coming September.  The complete guidelines for entries can be found on the How to Enter page.