7 Students Recognized in Regional Scholastic High School Art Awards

Six Oak Knoll School photographers and one writer have been recognized in the 2022 Regional Scholastic High School Art and Writing Competition, presented by the nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. This is the largest competition for high school students to showcase their visual and written creative projects.

Oak Knoll’s all-girls middle and high school earned Gold Key, Silver Key, and Honorable Mentions in the photography award categories and an honorable mention for short story writing during this 99th annual competitive selection that yielded more than 400,000 entries from across the nation.

The Oak Knoll winner in the writing category is:

  • Vanessa Brum ’23 of Hillside, NJ, received an Honorable Mention for her Short Story “Something.”

“Since 1923 the Scholastic Awards have recognized some of America’s most celebrated artists when they were teenagers,” said Lisa Levchuk, Upper School English teacher. “In her short story, ‘Something,’ Vanessa uses metaphor to capture the mysterious nature of friendship between two young girls. Her narrative voice in the story is engaging – and the ending is masterful. Congratulations to all the Oak Knoll students who submitted to the contest. We have so many creative and courageous young writers in our community!” 

The Oak Knoll winners in the photography category are:

  • Gabriella Cilli ’23, of West Orange, who earned a Gold Key for “Side by Side,” a Silver Key for “Poseidon & Purse” & Honorable Mentions for “Court in May,” “On the Steps,” and “Pride in the Air”
  • Elisabeth Keenan ’22, of Summit, who earned a Gold Key for “East Coast Waves”
  • Sarah McManus ’22 of Chatham, who received a Silver Key for “Sunflowers”
  • Olivia O’Malley ’22, of Summit, who earned an Honorable Mention for “Limon e Lampone”
  • Natalie Sabatino ’22, of Warren, who received a Gold Key for “Truffula Tree”
  • Sophie Zangara ’22, of New Vernon, who earned a Silver Key Award for “Paw”

“The Scholastics High School Art and Writing Competition is one of the few nationally recognized opportunities for our photographers to have their entries viewed by professional photographers and artists,” said Oak Knoll Upper School photography teacher Jennifer Breitenstein. “Gold Key winners proceed to national judging in late February, with results in mid-March. Aside from the external recognition, I commend all my students who entered their images,” she said.

The student’s winning artwork work will be on display at Gallery Aferro in Newark, New Jersey. Details about the upcoming exhibit, whether in person or virtual, are forthcoming.