Headmaster’s Newsletter

SJA Students Honored in Vermont Scholastic Art and Writing Awards

February 22, 2023

St. Johnsbury Academy students won thirteen regional art awards in this year’s 2023 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards for both Fine Art and Writing. A total of eight students won awards for their work in Drawing & Illustration, Digital Art, Ceramics & Glass, Comic Art, Expanded Projects, Fashion, Critical Essay, Poetry, and Flash Fiction. They received two Gold Keys, five Silver Keys, and six Honorable Mentions. Entries winning regional Gold Keys will be judged at the national level of the competition in the coming weeks.


Gold Keys were awarded to seniors Michaela Kane for Mother Earth Will Always Persevere in Ceramics and Glass and Ryoma Kato for The Clown Mana: One Pitiful Bird Holding One Soul Burning in Drawing and Illustration and. Ryoma also earned a Silver Key for The Space Called Muscle and The Elegance of Best Calcium in Expanded Projects and Honorable Mention for The First Epic of a Beautiful Romance Story in Comic Art.

Silver Keys were also awarded to junior Peyton Qualter for An Empty Field in Poetry, and African Nationalism Recreates Reunification in Musical Honoration and Ritual Celebration in Critical Essay.


Additional Silver Keys were awarded to ninth grader Ruby Tillotson for Diamond Reeds in Flash Fiction and senior Jenna Zorn for White Peacock Dress in Fashion.

Senior Julian Lumbra earned Honorable Mention for Lolita Collection in Fashion, and sophomore Fernanda Yabur Bustamante Falcon earned Honorable Mention for Flores in Drawing and Illustration.


Junior Uma Chirkova also earned Honorable Mention recognition for Excavation Site and Grief in Digital Art, and Peyton Qualter earned Honorable Mention for The Scientific Concerns of the Health and Safety of Miners in the African Diamond Industry in Critical Essay.


Head of the Fine Arts department Rosie Prevost said, “Congratulation to the students for putting in the time and effort to make quality and intriguing art, and to the teachers for providing rich and thoughtful instruction.”


Headmaster Sharon Howell said, “I’m proud of how many of our young writers and artists are being honored with these awards — they are a tribute to these students’ creativity and to the support and encouragement of their dedicated teachers.”


The work will be on display at the Brattleboro Museum from February 18th — March 4th. There will be an awards ceremony on March 7th at noon, and the ceremony is free and open to the public.  


Pieces receiving Gold Keys move on to be judged at the national level by an impressive panel of creative-industry experts. National Medalists are recognized at the National Ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York City. 

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