Awards and accomplishments: Students sweep in art and writing awards


Photo credit: Alina Williams

Freshman Alina Williams’ greek amphora pottery piece is placed for a submission photo. The piece won a blank award for the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. The piece was a project for her Introduction to Ceramics class that her teacher Olivia Moon urged her to submit for judging.

By Thea Leimone , Features Editor

In the final quarter of the school year, it is time for recognition of student work. First up are art and writing awards, which, according to to the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards website, are “the nation’s longest-running, most prestigious recognition program for creative teens.” This year, Archer had five recipients of awards ranging from Honorable Mentions to Silver Keys.

One of the winners was freshman Alina Williams, who was selected for the Annual Juried National K-12 Ceramics Exhibition for her ceramics piece. Her piece was a greek amphora, which is a storage jar with a pointed bottom.

“It’s insane to me [that I won] because this is my first ceramics class I have taken and I honestly didn’t really expect to go very far with ceramics,” Williams said. “I think this was like a little sign to keep going because I don’t usually participate in the arts. I do it on my own, but I never really [worked] in a class, and this year, I’ve been doing a lot more with it.”

The other four Scholastic awards were writing pieces. Junior Charlotte Greene placed the highest award of a Gold Key for her poetry titled “Mirrors and Windows.” Senior Chloe Fidler and sophomore Stephanie Harrison both won Silver Keys, while fellow senior Lily Kerner and junior Margaret Morris received Honorable Mentions. Harrison’s poetry pieces were titled “Journey and Ti’oulim” and “A Delusional and Disillusioned Woman’s Musings.” The pieces explored finding home and belonging to different places.

I’ve done a lot of writing. I wrote a lot when I was a little kid, then I got back into it once I started high school. My style of writing has never been very formal. I really like to employ metaphors, stuff like that. So poetry was a pretty natural shift for me,” Harrison said. “I would always write little things like that as kid, so [this] was just coming back into that.”

“I would always write little things like that as kid, so [this] was just coming back into that.”

— Stephanie Harrison ('24)

Kerner received an Honorable Mention for her personal memoir writing assignment she completed in her AP English Language and Composition class last year. The piece is entitled “Vanilla Ice Cream Sundaes,” and uses an ice cream bowl to describe her experience with panic attacks and anxiety.

“It was about my first panic attack. I have anxiety — just kind of how weird the feeling was, and describing all the sensations that go along with it,” Kerner said. 

Williams said that the process of creating her ceramics piece was tedious and stressful at times. In Archer’s introduction to ceramics course, she learned how to coil clay and fit pieces together. Williams said the final product of her greek amphora involved some improvisation and a trust for the artistic process.

“The project was to make a Greek amphora and usually those have two handles, but my other handle broke so there’s only one. Another prompt for the project was to have something that you care about, and I have a pet snake and I’ve always wanted to do a art piece with her so it’s so cool,” Williams said. “I did the deep red color because that represents my mom — it was for her Christmas present, and her favorite color is red.”

The judging of submitted pieces is based on originality, technical skill and emergence of a personal voice or vision. Kerner said  the recognition of her writing was a nice feeling because the judges chose to honor her work.

“It was nice that people read your writing and like thousands of others, I’m sure, amazing pieces of work and, as we saw, people rank much higher than I did, and I’m so happy for that because their writing deserves to be recognized,” Kerner said. “It’s also like, people read my work and they considered me — It’s awesome.”

Correction Statement:

(April 23, 2022, 10:11 a.m.): An additional Gold Key recipient was added to the original list of winners after a source reached out.