Winning tradition of artistry

Published 4:08 pm Friday, February 26, 2016

Danielle Sanders, Aaron Squires, Anna Smith and Brittany Reid are excited to be Pelham High School's Scholastic Art and Writing Award winners. (Contributed)

Danielle Sanders, Aaron Squires, Anna Smith and Brittany Reid are excited to be Pelham High School’s Scholastic Art and Writing Award winners. (Contributed)

By CONNIE NOLEN / Community Columnist

“Congrats! Check your email. Did you see?” I texted using Remind—a messaging app for teachers and students—that allows text messages without exchanging phone numbers.

“Oh my gosh! What do I do now?” PHS senior Anna Smith who is both an actress and a writer emailed after clicking the link I had sent her to the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.

This link revealed that she’d won regional Scholastic Art and Writing Awards including two Gold Keys and three Silver Keys for her poetry and essays.

Smith had company in this elite winners’ circle at Pelham High School. Danielle Sanders won a Silver Key for her essay, Brittany Reid won two Silver Keys for her fiction and Aaron Squires won Honorable Mention for his photography.

Previous years’ PHS students have taken numerous Gold and Silver Keys along with Honorable Mentions.

With theatre awards, High School Literary Arts Awards, Alabama Scholastic Press Association Awards and art and photography awards, PHS students continually impress.

These students have earned the Savannah College of Art and Design recruiter’s compliment that “Pelham High School has the strongest visual, theatre and writing arts” of any high school in her 17-state recruiting area.

These strong programs at PHS have earned the school a stellar reputation and school involvement has helped students build strong resumes.

As students consider dual enrollment and seniors consider opting out of their last two class periods at school, time and money come into play. The cost of most three-hour dual enrollment courses is $400-$900 before books.

In contrast, PHS has received the A+ College Ready grant, which provides students cash for passing AP tests and college credit.

The A+ grant provides free study sessions and materials—and the awards and leadership skills students can acquire in their time at PHS give them the competitive edge in scholarship competitions.

“I’m excited to list these awards on my resume,” junior Brittany Reid stated. Scholastic Regional Gold Key work is currently being judged for national ranking in New York. National Medalists will be announced on Monday, March 14.