We at the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, the nonprofit organization that administers the Scholastic Awards, are incredibly appreciative of all of the educators in our community. We can’t thank you enough for all you do to support teens applying to the Scholastic Awards!

This year we’re honored to partner with one of our generous sponsors, BLICK Art Materials, to present BLICK Gift Certificates to six outstanding art teachers in each region of our remote program. To find out more information about BLICK Art Materials, and its mission to support artists at all stages of their artistic journey, check out its website here. Because of BLICK’s generous donation, we have the opportunity to present a gift certificate to the following educators:

Region-at-Large East

  • Rick Wilson, Wheatley School, Old Westbury, NY
  • Robert Urban, Paul M. Dorman High School, Roebuck, SC
  • Brianna DeLuca, Cranston High School West, Cranston, RI
  • Jason Bulluck, School Without Walls High School, Washington, D.C.
  • Elena Murphy, Dominion High School, Sterling, VA
  • Maure Irwin-Furmanek, North High School, State College, PA

Region-at-Large West

  • Junkyu Lee, J Art Academy, Lynnwood, WA
  • Hannon Jim, McKinleyville High School, McKinleyville, CA
  • Tiffany Davis, Meridian High School, Meridian, ID
  • Debora Moore, Guam High School, Hagatna, GU
  • Karen Briggs, Colstrip High School, Colstrip, MT
  • Tera Hunter, Highland High School, Salt Lake City, UT

Region-at-Large South

  • Chintia Kirana, Booker T. Washington Magnet High School, Montgomery, AL
  • Heather Blackmon-Gordon, Fort Pierce Central High School, Fort Pierce, FL
  • Shand Stamper, McCracken County High School, Paducah, KY
  • Mandi Holderieath, D’arbonne Woods Charter School, Farmerville, LA
  • Nicole Brisco, Pleasant Grove High School, Texarkana, TX
  • Reagan Wentzel, North Little Rock High School-West, North Little Rock, AR

Canada Art Region

  • Jun Park, Earl Haig Secondary School, Toronto, ON
  • Brian O’Connor, St. George’s School, Vancouver, BC
  • Nick Boschman, Edmonton Christian West School, Edmonton, AB
  • Johanna West, Whitefield Christian Schools, Scarborough, ON
  • Bonnie Fordyce, Moscrop Secondary School, Burnaby, BC
  • Stéphanie Laporte, Jean-Eudes College, Montreal, QC

Here’s what some of our educators had to say:

Chintia Kirana, MFA

Young artists are filled with curiosity and fearlessness; I love this about them. Pursuing art full-time will be exhilarating and fulfilling. However, it does not come without challenges and perhaps sacrifices. My advice to young artists would be to follow your heart and stay true to your art, and everything else will come after.

A fun fact about me is that I am a practicing artist and have exhibited my works in museums across the U.S. and abroad. Also, I love to sing in my studio when working on art.

Artwork by Annie Xia. Image provided by Chintia Kirana, MFA

Heather Blackmon-Gordon, M.A.Ed.

My favorite part about working with young artists is the way they see and experience their surroundings. They have fresh ideas and their inexperience in mediums is actually an asset! I love to see them experiment, reflect, and execute a new medium into their work.

The advice that I give to students pursuing art full time is art is everywhere! From traditional fine art to digital art, with social media and the ability to get your artwork out there, anything is possible, so if you love it, pursue it.

The image above is one of my favorites from this year. It is by a senior named Williams Diejuste and is titled Blooming. I love his mark-making. The linework is so fragile by itself but so strong in its entirety.

As for myself, I am a painter first, and a photographer second.  I love the school where I teach, Fort Pierce Central High School, and I am so proud of the students here.

Blooming by Williams Diejuste. Image provided by Heather Blackmon-Gordon, M.A.Ed

Debora Moore

I teach high school art at Guam High School on the beautiful island of Guam. I love working with young artists and their creativity and enthusiasm are contagious! I also like sharing how wonderful art is with students who haven’t experimented much with art but must take one credit to graduate. By organizing learning opportunities that give them a chance to experiment with different materials and media, I can always find something that they enjoy doing. Art gives high school students a perfect way to express themselves as individuals and find ways to unwind while creating.

I am sharing this work by my senior, Kai Chaco.  Kai will be majoring in science and minoring in art here at the University of Guam. I have this work hanging up at my desk.

One fun fact about me is that I love the ocean and boating.  Most of my personal artworks reflect a life lived by the sea.

Artwork by Kai Chaco. Image provided by Debora Moore

Shand Stamper

Young artists are so fun because when I get it right and guide them in the way they need it, I can see their confidence and skill grow before my eyes. It’s like seeing a flower unfurl. 

Make a lot of art. Commit to a space in your home, room, or even just a sketchbook. Commit a time: 10 minutes a day if that’s all you have. Just like an athlete trains, you have to commit to your art form and make a lot of art so that your good ideas get better! 

A fun fact about me is that my husband is also an art teacher. We teach across the hall from each other.

Balance through Remembrance by Hannah Bryan. Image provided by Shand Stamper

Junkyu Lee

Young artists are like unfinished jewels. While they are in the process of drawing or learning, achieving their own individual goals will help in creating their own artistic identity.

I want to ask young artists to spend time perfecting basic art skills so that they can do whatever they set their minds to confidently.

I just finished my second personal art show. The responses I have been receiving have been positive, which I am extremely happy about. I have grown more confident after seeing people resonate with the meaning and purpose of my pieces.

Artwork by Charlotte Park. Image provided by Junkyu Lee

Thank you again! 

Thank you to BLICK Art Materials for supporting our educators. And thank you to all of the educators who continuously invest in developing the voice and skill of our young artists—we couldn’t do this important work without you!

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are open for entries annually from September through December. See upcoming important dates to learn more about what’s next for the Awards.

One response to “Thank you to all of our educators!”

  1. dana caputo Avatar
    dana caputo

    Great work by students and teachers! I especially love William Deiujuste’s work from Fort Pierce Central High.


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