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Students of the Month in Arts for May

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The Arts Council Napa Valley Education Alliance (ACNVEA) has recognized a record 21 Napa County students as Visual and Performing Arts Students of the Month for May.

The monthly awards, based on teach recommendations, culminate in a scholarship ceremony at the Napa Valley College Performing Arts Center on June 8.

Here are May’s awards:

High School winners

Band (tie): Mia Meadows, Vintage High School senior

Mia Meadows

Mia Meadows 

Teacher Brendan Galvin writes that Mia's "amazing leadership of the marching band as the drum major this year -- her vision to make the focal point of the marching band and color guard more centered on the people in our organization -- reshaped our entire world for the better.”

Band (Tie): Andre Oliveira, Vintage High School senior

teacher Brendan Galvin writes, "It would be impossible to describe the intellectual level, the strength of character, and the wonderfully unique genius Andre has achieved, all on his own,” 

Andre Oliveira

Andre Oliveira

Studio Art (tie): Jazmin Santos, Napa High School senior

Jazmin Santos

Pottery by Jazmin Santos

Teacher Kristi Crickmore writes, “Jazmin has been a dedicated artist quietly perfecting her craft over the years. She has developed a beautiful skill working with charcoal this year. She has created a series of black and white charcoal pieces on toned paper that showcase her talent and hard work.”

Studio Art (tie): Isabella Muromoto, Justin-Siena High School junior

Bella Muromoto

Bella Muromoto

Teacher Aleta Andrews writes: “Bella is extremely dedicated to her artwork, and it is something she will pursue in college. She is currently in advanced art and will be taking Advanced Placement in her senior year. I cannot say enough good things about Bella. I am really proud of Bella and her continued resilience as she continues her pursuit in the arts.“

Digital Art (tie): Pyper Hillgrove, American Canyon High School senior

Pyper Hillgrove

Pyper Hillgrove

Teacher Adam Musto writes: “Pyper is a star! She is a multi-disciplinary wonder. She is a talented potter and ceramicist, a drawing and painting whiz, and her digital art is professional grade. Additionally, she will be attending BYU Idaho to study Graphic Arts.”

Digital Art (tie): Perla Herrera, Justin-Siena High School freshman

Perla Herrera

Art work by Perla Herrera

Teacher Monica Jacobson writes, “Perla is passionate in her art pursuit. She is focused, curious and open to exploration. As a freshman, she has a maturity beyond her years. Her love of making art is obvious. She is a joy to have as a student.”

3D Art: Phoebe Smith, Napa High School senior

Phoebe Smith

Ceramics by Phoebe Smith

Teacher Melinda Miller writes, “Phoebe is an Incredible artist with endless ideas for making art that give her viewers an opportunity to develop their own thoughts about what the art is saying for them.”

Theater (tie): Cesar Ramirez, Napa High School senior

Cesar Ramirez

Cesar Ramirez in a Napa High theater production.

Teacher Patty Profitt writes, “Because of his hard work and interest, Cesar’s transformation as a student of theatre is an inspiration to other students who find themselves in a drama class.”

Theater (tie): Essence Hardiman, American Canyon High School senior

Essence Hardiman

Essence Hardiman

Teacher Summer Heartt writes, “For the past four years at ACHS, Essence has been a passionate contributor to the theatre arts program. As an actor, she is exceptionally prepared in her performance, a positive and willing collaborator, and a devoted theatre artist.”

Choir: Kester Alejandrino, American Canyon High School senior

Kester Alejandrino

Kester Alejandrino

Teacher Jamie Butler writes, “Talented, kind and joyful are the three best words to describe Kester Alejandrino. One of the most talented singers in the program…His inclusive spirit is felt all throughout the choir program as he leads by example ”

Dance (tie): Leigh Horvath, Vintage High School senior

Leigh Horvath

Leigh Horvath

Teacher Lisa Sullivan writes, “Leigh not only is a beautiful and talented dancer with amazing technical skills, she also is our Dance Club president and our production stage manager. I could not be more proud of Leigh. We are a better program because of her.”

Dance (tie): Maddy Raymond, Vintage High School senior

Maddy Raymond

Maddy Raymond 

Teacher Lisa Sullivan writes, “Maddy is a phenomenal and elegant dancer who continues to grow every day. She has persevered through two recent knee surgeries, and still, she dances. She is an inspiration to her peers.”

Middle and Elementary winners

Band (tie): Lucero Bravo, Camille Creek Community School eighth grade

Lucero Bravo

Lucero Bravo

Teacher John Hannaford writes, “In a class populated with students that have faced and have worked through challenges, Lucero has been a leader each and every day, modeling the best of academic work effort, cooperative behavior, on-task work ethic, and connection with the joy of music creation.”

Band (tie): Yesenia Rubio Gonzalez, American Canyon Middle School eighth grade

Yesenia Rubio Gonzalez

Yesenia Rubio Gonzalez 

Teacher Deborah Walden writes, “Yesenia’s dedication to her art is inspiring. This year Yesenia has tutored our beginning flute players with patience and expertise, and they have responded with amazing progress. In a surprising addition, Yesenia borrowed a school tuba and is now teaching herself to play the tuba. Yesenia is a gifted musician and is a great example to our middle school musicians.”

Digital Arts: Adrienne Govan-Smith, River Middle School, eighth grade 

Adrienne Govan-Smith

Art work by Adrienne Govan-Smith

Teacher Hollie Hardwick writes, “Adrienne Govan Smith is not only a serious artist in the making, she is a model student, courteous, kind, and respectful. Most importantly, she understands re-takes, re-dos and accepts the help and suggestions.”

Studio Art (tie): Adel Kabangu, American Canyon Middle School, seventh grade

Adelb Kabangu

Art work by Adel Kabangu.

Teacher Jenifer Leahy writes, “Adel is not afraid to express her feelings on paper about current events and emotions that are tied to them that others might be feeling also.”

Studio Art (tie): Naomi Trujillo Jasso, Silverado Middle School, eighth grade 

Naomi Trujillo Jasso

Art work by Naomi Trujillo Jasso

Teacher Julia Zmed writes, "Naomi is an all-around brilliant student who happens to be gifted artistically, all with a beautiful soul. Naomi presents calm confidence and handles challenges with grace, both knowing when to ask for help and when to trust her own instincts.”

Studio Art (tie): Jayden Gonzalez and Anthony Villa Ochoa, Phillips Magnet Elementary School fourth grade 

Jayden Gonzalez, left, and Anthony Villa Ochoa,

Art works by Jayden Gonzalez, left, and Anthony Villa Ochoa, students at Phillips Magnet Elementary School.

Teacher Paula Sotiras writes: “These fourth grade students studied the Mexican painter, Frida Kahlo, an artist that was devoted to her heritage and filled her paintings with colorful animals, plants, and fruit. The art activity emphasis was to create a still life with line and color, using oil pastels and paper.”

Digital Art (tie): Angie Cortes Verduzco and Pablo Gutierrez Guzman, Phillips Magnet Elementary School fifth grade


Art works by Angie Cortes Verduzco, left, and Pablo Gutierrez Guzman, fifth- graders at Phillips Magnet Elementary School.

Teacher Jennifer Veveiros writes, May is Asian-American and Pacific Islander month, and our class studied the artist Yayoi Kusama. Angie looked at Kusama's artwork and designed her own beautifully organic masterpiece. She chose bold colors that contrast each other and look like an ocean of organelles.”

"Pablo looked at Kusama's artwork...chose dark colors that contrast each other and look like an ocean of organelles. Pablo's keen eye for color and his unique shapes look as if they will swim right off the page!”

Visit the Arts Council Napa Valley website for more information on the Student of the Month program and to see images of students and their works. To make a donation to support the program, visit  donating ArtsCouncilNV.Org/Donations.


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