WO students receive awards in Arts in Education competition

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Photos Courtesy of Cynthia Cumming
From left are Superintendent Jeff Rutzky, Aira Dolfo, Kerby Alphonse, Olivianne Iriarte and West Orange High School Principal Hayden Moore.

WEST ORANGE, NJ — Seven students in West Orange have received awards from the New Jersey Parent Teacher Association 2016 National PTA Reflections Arts in Education Program. The theme of this year’s competition was “Let Your Imagination Fly.”

In December 2015 the NJPTA held the Reflections Art Show at West Orange High School, displaying the submissions from students across the school district. Students were awarded prizes in various categories and top works moved on to the state level.

The West Orange winners will present their work during the NJPTA Reflections awards ceremony April 16 in Princeton.

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Aira Dolfo’s work ‘Share a Coke in the Sky’ has moved on to national competition.

West Orange High School student Aria Dolfo received an Award of Excellence for her piece “Share a Coke in the Sky.” As an excellence winner, Dolfo’s piece will join visual arts pieces from around the country to compete for the top spot. On this level students can win scholarships, travel to National PTA convention and have their work displayed at the Department of Education in Washington, D.C.

Other winners include:

  • Literature: Jeremy Cerruto, Mount Pleasant Elementary School, Award of Merit for his piece “Castle Life,” in the Primary Division. Addison Berzolla, Edison Middle School, honorable mention for her piece “Unfinished Business,” in the Middle School Division.
  • Photography: West Orange High school student Olivianne Iriarte’s photograph, “Beyond Picasso,” received an Award of Merit. Kerby Alphonse, also from WOHS, received an honorable mention for her piece “Ready for Take Off.”
  • Dance choreography: Reagan Edwards, Pleasantdale Elementary School, Award of Merit for her original piece “Amazing ABC’s,” in the Primary Division.
  • Visual Arts Category: Ruth Donagher from Roosevelt Middle School, Award of Merit for her piece, “Fantasy Inspired,” in the Middle School Division. Kayleigh Jennifer Hulings, Redwood Elementary School, honorable mention for her piece “Making Rainbows out of Rain Drops,” in the Intermediate Division.

“This year we had exceptional submissions from all of the categories and divisions,” New Jersey Reflections Chairperson Lee Sutton of West Orange said in a release. “West Orange did extremely well this year. I look forward to next year and hope that we will include music composition and film to our submissions. If last year’s West Orange Reflections show at the high school is any indication, I expect this program to grow and more of our student artists to be recognized and celebrated.”