On Tuesday, January 29, PTA members, school staff, and family members gathered to recognize and celebrate the work of students who participated in the 2018-2019 Reflections program.
Participation in the program was low this year, with 33 entries in four categories and four age groups, but the PTA is not discouraged. PTA President Amanda Wotton said the PTA plans to revamp the program next year and hopes to enlist the support of community members. They’re planning a workshop in the fall to help students get started on their projects. The theme for next year, “Look Within” was announced at the celebration so students can already begin thinking about what they might like to do.
There are many reasons for the low participation, Wotton said, including the wide range of extracurricular activities available for students. A policy at the national level which dictates that the Reflections project cannot be part of the school curriculum, but must be completed on a student’s own time, is another factor, Wotton said.
The Reflections program needs support from both parents and the community in order to succeed, Wotton said. It’s an important program to offer, she added, because it gives students who may not be athletically inclined a chance to shine. “We want the students who are artistically gifted to be celebrated,” Wotton said. “Every child, everywhere, no matter what their talent.”
The celebration began with light refreshments and an opportunity to view visual arts and literature projects. Wotton opened the ceremony with a welcome, then introduced Reflections Chair, Katharine Slomczynski, to present the awards.
The first category announced was the musical composition category. First place winner Lydia Marden’s musical composition “Stronger Now,” a piece about her family, was played.
Slomczynski then called participants and first through third place winners in Literature, Photography, and Visual Arts to receive their certificates and ribbons.
Original “Heroes Around Me” themed pieces in each category were judged by community members with expertise in that category. Entries were judged using a rubric from the National PTA, on interpretation of theme, creativity, and technique with a focus on how well the students used their artistic vision to reflect the theme.
All first-place winners will be entered into the state competition. The state awards ceremony will be held on the weekend of April 5, 2019.
2018-19 Reflections winners in each category and age group were:
Intermediate grades third through fifth: First place, Morgan Yates “Anyone Can Be A Hero”; second place, Eduard Anghel “Heroes Around Us”; and third place, Megan Keary “My Hero”.
Middle school grades sixth through eighth: First place, Kaitlyn Farrin “A Hidden Hero”; and second place, Monica Farley “Why I Admire People In My Town”
Primary grades K through second: First place, Annabelle Riley “Major Mom”; and second place, Bryce Rogers “Firetruck”
Intermediate grades third through fifth: First place, Ewan O’Shea “Galaxy”; second place, Megan Keary "Dancer"; and third place, Marek Slomczynski “The Heroes Around Me”
Middle School grades sixth through eighth: First place, Tyler Kennedy “My Hero”
High School grades ninth through 12th: First place, Isabella Favereau “Heroes Honoring Heroes”
Middle school grades sixth through eighth: First place, Lydia Marden “Stronger Now”
Intermediate grades third through fifth: First place, Grace Hansen “Heroes Around Me: My Friends”