Twenty-five of the best artists and writers from Harris County traveled to New York City this month to be honored with National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Gold Medals at Carnegie Hall. Harris County teens received 28 National Gold Medals for 2017, more than double the 12 earned last year, and 59 national medals in total. The Awards are sponsored regionally by Harris County Department of Education.
Students traveling to New York City’s Carnegie Hall represent HCDE and the following school districts and private schools: Aldine, Klein, Deer Park, Clear Creek, Pasadena, Katy, Cy-Fair, Pearland and Spring Branch independent school districts and private schools River Oaks Baptist, St. John’s School and The Village School.
“For more than 90 years, Scholastic Art & Writing Awards has recognized the vision, ingenuity and talent of our students and provided opportunities for creative teens to be celebrated,” said Andrea Segraves, Harris County Department of Education coordinator for Scholastic Art & Writing. “With more than 330,000 entries nationally, we are proud of our Harris County medalists.”
During the National Ceremony on June 8, hundreds of teens from across the U.S. were honored by actress and comedian Amy Schumer, Scholastic CEO and President Richard Robinson, actress Ellie Kemper, artist Paul Chan and more. Among those students was Saranna Zhang, Spring Branch Independent School District student and winner of a National Gold Key award for her artwork, “My Journey.”
“This experience has really encouraged me to be more creative and open with my work,” said Zhang. “It has definitely given me the motivation to keep making art and to share my views on what is important to me and the future of the world.”
The Harris County writers who traveled to New York City for the Awards were Jacob DuPont, Klein ISD; Taylor Gleason, Deer Park ISD; Mary Ann Hurtado, Klein ISD; Shania Hurtado, Klein ISD; Tyler King, St. John’s School; Vivian Tsao, The Village School; Peyton Vasquez, Deer Park ISD; Elizabeth Willms, Deer Park ISD; Julia Smith, St. John’s School; and Urvashi Deshpande, The Village School.
The artists were Alexis Cazares, Pasadena ISD; Alexus Castillo, River Oaks Baptist; Alliemarie Crochet, Katy ISD; Fatemeh Ebrahimi, Katy ISD; Nallely Garza, Clear Creek ISD; Connie Lau, Katy ISD; Mackenzie Lopez, Klein ISD; Alec Martinez, Cy-Fair ISD; Asma Mashal, Katy ISD; Melissa Sosa, Pasadena ISD; Akhil Thadani, Aldine ISD; Bryce Williams, Cy-Fair ISD; Wendy Xie, Pearland ISD; Juwon Yoo, Spring Branch ISD; and Saranna Zhang, Spring Branch ISD.
For more information on the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and the complete list of national medalists from Harris County, visit www.hcde-texas.org/scholastic.
Photo: Harris County students attending the 2017 National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards pose on a bridge in Central Park.
About Harris County Department of Education: HCDE helps school districts in the state’s largest county meet the needs of uniquely challenged learners, directly serving students at their schools or one of four HCDE-operated campuses across the county. Learn about these services and more at www.hcde-texas.org.