The Arts Council Napa Valley Education Alliance (ACNVEA) announced the Visual and Performing Arts Student of the Month winners for April.
Seven students are being recognized for their work prior to and during distance learning--which presents a variety of challenges to arts education. The students recognized in the disciplines of music, theater, and visual & digital arts, are all striving to overcome those obstacles.
High School & College Level Winners
Visual Arts: Morgan Scher Delcamo, Justin-Siena High Senior. Delcamo expresses her love of the theatrical in her artwork. Her teacher Monica Jacobson said, “She is a risk-taker, having her own take on assignments, exploring media in her own way and teaching herself digital drawing programs to augment her natural ability for storytelling.” She participates in the International Memory Project, helping to cultivate global kindness by creating portraits of children from around the world.
Visual Arts: Stefan Shakeri, Vintage High Freshman. While Shakeri is just beginning his high school art career, he has worked with local art teacher Nick Cann for six years. Cann said he is impressed with the emotional quality of his graphite and charcoal drawings. He added, “He pours his heart into everything he does and has found a true passion for detailed sketches.”
Digital Media: Roanin Fisher, New Technology High Senior. Digital Arts Teacher Lisa Gottfried is equally impressed with Fisher’s artistic ability as his steady, calm leadership skills. He oversaw a group of peers creating the animated artwork for the city of Napa’s Lighted Art Festival. Gottfried said Fisher strives to deepen his own digital art skills and, as a result, he has mastered numerous programs.
Theater Arts: Madyson Jones, Napa High Junior. Jones has taken drama classes all three years of high school, challenging herself to take on new roles and tasks. Her teacher Patty Profit said, “She has an outstanding ability to communicate calmly and seriously in times of great stress and chaos.” Jones has performed in numerous Napa High mainstage shows as well as co-directed student-led productions. She was acting as stage manager and designing the lights for Little Women when it was abruptly suspended due to the COVID-19 school closure.
Middle & Elementary Level Winners
Visual Arts: Jack Hill, Willow Elementary, 5th Grade. Hill’s teacher Shannon Hattyar said, “In every project he approaches, Jack starts by carefully studying the techniques and processes introduces for the project.” She is most impressed by how he plans out his pieces, collaborates, and brainstorms with his teacher. Hattyar adds, “If he faces any challenging moments, Jack perseveres and problem solves to create beautiful outcomes.”
Music/World Percussion: Viktor Matthew Tapia, River Middle School, 8th Grade. Tapia is in his second year of World Percussion. He has worked to master each of the dozen different drums available within the classroom, challenging himself to learn difficult solos and complex material. His teacher John Hannaford said, “He comes to class each and every day with enthusiasm-- fully energized and puts his whole self into becoming the best percussionist that he can be.”
Music/Band & Orchestra: Martin Lepe, Napa Junction, 5th Grade. Lepe brings a wonderful “eagerness to learn attitude” to every class. His teacher Wendy Scott is very impressed with the effort he puts into learning the trumpet. Scott said he is focused, respectful, and always prepared. She added, “Since starting this Distance Learning process, Martin has continued to be diligent about being prepared and sending videos.”
ACNVEA is currently reaching out to teachers throughout the county seeking nominees for the month of May, the final month to recognize students for the 2019/2020 school year. If you know someone, a teacher, or a student who deserves recognition, please direct them to the ACNV or ACNVEA websites for full details, including the Call for Nominees document. Only teachers and educators can nominate students for recognition. Nominations for May are due June 1.
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