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National PTA Honors Students for Artistic Ingenuity Through Reflections Program

Media Contact:
Heidi May Wilson
Media Relations Manager
703-518-1242
hmay@pta.org

Students to be recognized during 2015 National PTA Convention & Expo in Charlotte, N.C.

ALEXANDRIA, Va., (May 4, 2015) — National PTA® is pleased to announce the winners of the 2014-2015 Reflections® arts in education program. More than 200 students from across the country have been honored with the awards of Outstanding Interpretation, Excellence and Merit. The awards honor imagination, creativity and interpretation of the theme “The World Would Be a Better Place If…” in the areas of dance choreography, film production, literature, music composition, photography and visual arts.

The students were selected to receive the awards from nearly 300,000 entries nationwide as well as American schools overseas. Their artwork will be on display during the 2015 National PTA Convention & Expo, which will be held June 25-28 at the Convention Center in Charlotte, N.C.

“Research shows that involvement in the arts is closely associated with students’ academic achievement, social and emotional development, and civic engagement. National PTA has long supported the arts, and it is a top priority of the association to ensure that all children have access to arts programs and classes,” said Otha Thornton, president of National PTA. “We applaud all of the students who participated in the 2014-2015 Reflections program, and we are honored to recognize the award winners for their talent and creativity.”

The following students have been recognized with the Outstanding Interpretation Award and will present their works on stage during the 2015 National PTA Convention & Expo during a luncheon on Saturday, June 27:

Madison Duellman
Winona High School, Minn.
Dance Choreography: “The World Would Be a Better Place If Everyone Was True to Themselves”

Jacqueline Fashimpaur
Washington High School, Iowa
Film Production: “Masks”

Sarah Murphy
Williamsburg Middle School, Va.
Literature: “The World Would Be a Better Place…”

Fritz Hager
Robert E. Lee High School, Texas
Music Composition: “It’d Be Better”

Cesily Covey
Roosevelt Elementary School, Okla.
Photography: “Determination”

Catherine Park
Langley High School, Va.
Visual Art: “Unity”

Maria Quiles
Ovideo High School, Fla.
Music Composition: “Everything Will be Ok I’ll Just Stay”

The National PTA Reflections program encourages students of all ages and abilities to explore and be involved in the arts in an educational way. Through the program, National PTA and PTAs across the country urge students in preschool through grade 12 to create and submit original works of art in the medium of their choice — dance choreography, film production, literature, music composition, photography or visual arts — reflecting on a specific theme.

There also is a special artist division to provide all students the opportunity to participate in the program. Submissions are reviewed by experts in the visual, literary and performing arts, and students are recognized each year for their artistic ingenuity to bring the theme to life in a way that is personal and meaningful.

Notable judges for this year’s program included:

  • Cinematographer Bradford Young, known for his work on the film Selma
  • Newbery Medal-winning author Kwame Alexander
  • Award-winning arts in education advocate Malissa Shriver

Outstanding Interpretation Award recipients receive an $800 scholarship to further their artistic talents. An additional $200 is awarded to the student’s local PTA to support arts and cultural exploration. Award of Excellence recipients receive a $200 scholarship. All award recipients receive a medallion and certificate.

In addition to being recognized during the 2015 National PTA Convention & Expo, the 2014-2015 Reflections award recipients also will be honored in a ceremony on January 12, 2016 at the U.S. Department of Education’s LBJ Building in Washington, D.C. The ceremony will open an exhibit of their artwork, which will be displayed in the building through the end of February 2016.

Since 1969, the National PTA Reflections program has inspired millions of students to explore their talents and be involved in the arts by creating works for fun and recognition. For more information about the program and to view a complete list of the 2014-2015 award winners, visit PTA.org/Reflections.

About National PTA

National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of parent involvement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c) (3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health and welfare of children and youth.