Each September, the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards open their site for writing and art submissions from any student who wishes to enter. Students are critiqued over originality, skill, and authenticity by a panel of judges at the regional level. Winners can receive three levels of awards: Honorable Mention, Silver Key, or Gold Key. Regional Gold Key winners then continue on to national competition, where students have the opportunity to win at the same three levels nationally and could receive between $500-$10,000 cash prizes as well as tuition scholarships for summer programs and college/university scholarships in selective art and writing programs.
This year, seniors Isabella Bonner and Olivia Rohling both received awards at the regional level.
Bonner submitted an art piece this year which earned her a Gold Key in the regional competition. Her piece is entitled “Woody,” and she came up with the idea after gaining inspiration from her first Architecture class build which was nature-inspired. “The Scholastic Awards are beneficial for careers in the sense that it shows that the winners have some understanding of how to compose and design in space and around other subjects which can be helpful in either looking for design-oriented careers or just proving an extra recourse of general credibility,” Bonner said. She intends to take ceramics classes in college, but more for fun than for a career path. “I think if I tried to make a career out of it, it would take some of the fun away,” Bonner said.
Rohling won five Honorable Mentions in writing: three in the personal essay/memoir category and two in the journalism category. “I submitted what I felt was my strongest writing, and consulted with Mrs. Noble for her thoughts and input,” Rohling said.
This is the third year Rohling has been recognized in the competition. During her sophomore year, Rohling won a Gold Key in writing and an Honorable Mention in art. That year, she was also an American Voices writing finalist – only one of five chosen from the region. Her junior year submissions earned her a Gold Key in personal essay/memoir, a Silver Key in journalism, and an Honorable Mention in short story.
Rohling plans to major in journalism, and hopes to one day write a book. “I’ve realized that writing is something I’m good at, and I enjoy talking to people and learning their stories, as well as sharing my own,” Rohling said.