Record 176 National Scholastic Art & Writing Medals Awarded to Area Teens after Regional Advancement with HCDE

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March 17, 2020 by HCDE Communications

Vallery Orr, American Visions Award, Spring Branch ISD

Harris County student artists and writers in grades 7-12 earned a record-breaking 176 national Scholastic Art & Writing Medals through awards announced by the New York nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers March 16.

View Awardee List

The student art and prose entries advanced from a regional competition sponsored by Harris County Department of Education.

Sharing the national limelight are students from Aldine, Alief, Crosby, Cy-Fair, Deer Park, Galena Park, Houston, Katy, Klein, Pasadena, Pearland, Spring Branch and Tomball independent school districts and Calvin Nelms Charter.

Private school recipients are from Bridgeland High, Duchesne Academy Of Sacred Heart, Emery Weiner, The Kinkaid School, Northland Christian, St. Agnes, St. John’s, St. Thomas High School, Veritas Christian Academy and The Village School.

The Awards, founded in 1923, allow creative teen artists and writers to earn recognition, exhibition, publication and scholarships.  View the list of the Silver and Gold Harris County Medalists:

Specialty Gold Medal awards went to two Houston-area teens. Grace Yin, an eleventh grader from Tomball Memorial High School in Tomball ISD earned the best-in-class, prestigious American Voices award for poetry while Vallery Orr, a tenth grader from Memorial High in Spring Branch ISD was named the best-in-class American Visions awardee for her digital art entry.

Gold Medalists are recognized each year at a ceremony in New York City.

Area celebrations and exhibits have been hosted throughout Houston to celebrate the artists, including exhibits at Texas Art Supply and The Galleria.

“Scholastic Art & Writing is important because it allows teens to express themselves creatively and compete through writing and art genres,” said Harris County School Superintendent James Colbert, Jr. “In addition to the prestige of the Awards, students have scholarship opportunities for college. As regional sponsor, we are supporting fine arts initiatives in Harris County schools and celebrate the teachers and volunteer judges, along with the community supporters who provide venues for artist ceremonies and receptions.”

For more information about how to enter, judge or sponsor the Awards in Harris County, go to or email HCDE coordinator Andrea Segraves, .

About Scholastic Art & Writing: Founded in 1923, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards is the nation’s longest-running, most prestigious educational initiative supporting student achievement in the visual and literary arts. Through the Awards, students receive opportunities for recognition, exhibition, publication and scholarships. Past winners include celebrated artists and writers such as Robert Redford, Andy Warhol, Truman Capote, John Lithgow, Joyce Carol Oates and Sylvia Plath. More at .

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