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38 Students Earn Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards

38 Students Earn Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards

We are proud to announce that 38 students were presented with Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards. The Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards are the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious recognition program for creative teens. Last year, we had 19 students win awards.  

Miki Ozawa `23 and Jourdan Jones `23 were also named American Voices nominees. Only five nominations are bestowed in each region, and one winner will be named in the spring. This means that out of all Gold Keys in our region, these two students’ writing pieces were selected as the best representations of our region. Each region selects five writing (voices) pieces and five art (vision) pieces and submits them to the national level. In March, they will announce one regional winner – the best of the best in the region – in each category at nationals in New York.  

All 10 American Vision & Voices pieces will be displayed at the exhibition locally. The national award recipient will receive cash and scholarship money in addition to the award and honor. 

“I am extremely honored to be nominated for the American Voices award and thankful to my teacher, Dr. Bridge, who helped me through the whole process,” says Miki Ozawa. “I chose to write the essay about the movie “Parasite” because it is one of my favorite movies of all time, and I’m fascinated by its powerful impact and reflection on society as a whole.” 

Miki’s piece titled “Marxist Criticism in Parasite” explores how the 2019 film explores Marxist ideologies.  

“The concepts of voice and agency are more precious than ever as our culture competes for audience share,” says Head of Upper School Jenn Weinheimer. “Jourdan and Miki have been leaders at Country Day for a long time. They are both strong students and artists, and their ideas and the products of their ideas have always been valued in our community.  I’m so proud to see them acknowledged by others for their talents and hard work.” 

Twenty-eight Country Day students earned writing awards. Upper School students earned 17 awards, and eligible Middle School students earned 11. Among those awards are seven Gold Key awards; these awards indicate that these pieces will be entered into a more significant national competition for additional opportunities for recognition, including publication opportunities. 

Writing Award Winners 

  • Ayaan Arif '25 - Gold Key - Critical Essay 

  • Emily Connolly ’27 - Honorable Mention - Short Story 

  • Leah Coyle ’26 - Honorable Mention - Critical Essay 

  • Will Donovan ’23 - Gold Key- Critical Essay, Honorable Mention - Critical Essay 

  • Noor Elkasaby ’26 - Honorable Mention - Critical Essay 

  • Nicholas Freitas ’27 - Silver Key - Poetry 

  • Cece Hensley ’26 - Silver Key - Critical Essay 

  • Jourdan Jones ’23 - Gold Key - Poetry  

  • Kate Kranias ’26 - Honorable Mention - Short Story 

  • Ava Lewis ’26 - Gold Key - Critical Essay 

  • Jordan Lowe ’25 - Honorable Mention - Poetry 

  • Kat Miner ’27 - Silver Key - Poetry  

  • Evelyn Ni ’28 - Honorable Mention - Poetry  

  • Ria Patel ’27 - Honorable Mention - Short Story and Poetry 

  • Briggs Peters ’27 - Silver Key - Poetry 

  • Nik Shah ’25 - Honorable Mention - Critical Essay 

  • Shiva Shyam ’26 - Honorable Mention - Critical Essay 

  • Jason Starodumb '26 - Gold Key - Critical Essays 

  • Max Sun ’27 - silver key - Critical Essay 

  • Ryan Tennyson `27- Honorable Mention - Poetry 

  • Minna Vens ’27 - Honorable Mention - Poetry 

“The recognition for Country Day’s writers is wonderful to see,” says Sarah Beyreis, director of college counseling and external opportunities. “Our students really learn how to work with ideas—you can see that in the number of critical essays that won awards. To write well means to think clearly, and our students can do it!” 

In the arts, Country Day has three gold key award winners, five silver key awards, and 11 honorable mentions.  

“I am so excited for many of my past students and Art Club members who won awards in photography this year! I’m particularly excited that Caroline Van Landuyt submitted her photography portfolio and won a Silver Key,” says Amy Brand, Upper School art teacher. “Also, I’m so excited for Jessica Zhuo Chen, who won an award for a drawing she did in Art I! We have so many young, up-and-coming, talented underclassmen at CCDS.” 

Arts Award Winners 

  • Ellie Barlow ’24 - Honorable Mention - Mixed-Media 

  • Jessica Zhuo Chen '26 - Honorable Mention - Drawing & Illustration 

  • Shayon Choudhury ’25 - Honorable Mention - Pinhole Photo 

  • Max Fink '23 - Honorable Mention - Drawing & Illustration 

  • Marc Hayden ’25 - Honorable Mention-Pinhole Photo  

  • Maddy Heaton ’24 - Silver Key Award 

  • Gigi Macias Jaime '24 - Honorable Mention - Photo 

  • Riley McClearen ’23 - Honorable Mention - Design 

  • Grace Noack ’23 - Silver Medal - Mixed Media 

  • Evelyn Ni '27 - 2 Gold Keys in Drawing & Illustration - 1 Gold and 1 Silver in Painting  

  • Will Schiff ’24 - Silver Key Award 

  • Simon Smyth ’24 - Gold Key Award 

  • Alex Reimann ’24 

  • Gold Key Award: Film & Animation 

  • Two Honorable Mention Awards 

  • Silver Key Award 

  • Caroline Van Landuyt ’23 - Silver Key Award - Portfolio 

  • Andrew Zimmerman ’23 - Honorable Mention - Photo 

  • Elizabeth Zimmerman ’23 - Honorable Mention - Photo 

“Max Fink, Grace Noack, and Riley McClearen have come a long way over the years I have known them,” continues Brand. “They have grown in maturity and focus, and their artwork shows that. It is wonderful to see them rewarded for their hard work and growth. This is Ellie’s second year winning a Scholastic Arts award. Her voice has emerged over the past two years as she has deepened her study of visual art.” 

For more information about the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards click here.