Tenafly Students Earn Keys in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards


Seren Park, Staff Writer

On Friday, February 1st, 2019, regional awards recipients of the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious recognition program for students in grades 7-12, were announced. Seven students from the high school and three from the middle school were recognized for their work in the New Jersey Writing Region. Those from the high school were Adi Gal (’19), Ashley Hyun (’20), Laura Lee (’20), Michelle Lee (’21), Seryung Park (’21), Jonathan Tenenbaum (’21), and Kathryn Zheng (’20), while those from the middle school include Jacqueline Kim (’23), Subin Pyo (’24), and Gia Shin (’23). Three students from the high school and one from the middle school received Gold Keys in the Northern New Jersey Art Region, including Min Jeong Cho (’18), Yunjin Lee (’18), Junhyeok Park (’23), and Daniel Um (’18).

Works submitted to the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards are reviewed by jurors across the country for originality, technical skill, and the emergence of a personal voice or vision. There were 17 art categories and 11 writing categories, and the additional “Future New” category that is not constrained to the current categories of the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.

There are three types of regional awards: the Gold Key, Silver Key, and Honorable Mention. The Gold Key is awarded to the best works submitted to local programs, the Silver Key is given to stand-out works that display exceptional ability, and the Honorable Mention is given to accomplished works with great skill and potential.

Adi Gal

Honorable Mention: Poetry – “Beethoven was Dead”

Gold Key: Poetry – “After the Train, Burning Bridges, to My Hero, Descendants of God”

Ashley Hyun

Gold Key: Poetry – “Hyun”

Jacqueline Kim

Honorable Mention: Short Story – “Number of Days”

Laura Lee

Honorable Mention: Poetry – “Polar”

Michelle Lee

Gold Key: Personal Essay/Memoir – “Lies in Blue”

Seryung Park

Silver Key: Critical Essay – “We Are Running Out of Time”

Gold Key: Personal Essay/Memoir – “Flowers”

Subin Pyo

Honorable Mention: Personal Essay/Memoir – “Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way”

Gia Shin

Gold Key: Critical Essay – “Seeking Solitude”

Jonathan Tenenbaum

Silver Key: Silver Key – “Parisian Knife Fight”

Kathryn Zheng

Honorable Mention: Poetry – “redolent”

Honorable Mention: Poetry – “1986 (rorschach as yuppie)”

Honorable Mention: Poetry – “san francisco is cold in the summertime”

Silver Key: Humor – “SparkNotes LENSES: Reading Classical Literature Through the Lens of Marxism”

Silver Key: Critical Essay – “The Bad Deal of Donald Trump”

Silver Key: Critical Essay – “Why Kavanaugh Must Not Be Confirmed”

Gold Key: Humor – “You Can Write the Next Great American Novel™”

Gold Key: Poetry – “two memories of china: my uncle who lives in tianjin tells me and summer palace in july”

Gold Key: Short Story – “At Dusk, the Icebergs Are Invisible”

Gold Key: Poetry – “i did not go to his funeral”

Gold Key, American Voices Nominee: Poetry – “helen speaks up in this one, but”

Min Jeong Cho

Gold Key: Drawing & Illustration – “Line of Discord”

Gold Key: Painting – “S/N”

Yunjin Lee

Gold Key: Painting – “Extraordinarily Circular Brunch”

Junhyeok Park

Gold Key: Drawing & Illustration – “Diffusion of Ideas”

Daniel Um

Gold Key: Painting – “Seasonal Mediocre”

Gold Key: Art Portfolio – “Uninvited Emotions”

Gold Key: Mixed Media – “The Untold Truth”

Gold Key: Painting – “All I Know”

Kathryn Zheng (’21) won several awards in the Poetry, Humor, Short Story, and Critical Essay categories for her writing, and said, “I have been submitting my works to the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards since seventh grade and I was happy when I saw the results.” Her poem “helen speaks up in this one, but,” a modern reimagining of Helen of Troy about sexual assault that she wrote after the Kavanaugh scandal, earned special recognition as an American Visions and Voices Nominee. The American Visions and Voices Nominee is an award given to five works from across all categories and grades that are selected from those earning Gold Keys that are eligible for the American Visions and Voices Medals.

Michelle Lee (’21) said of her personal essay, “‘Lies in Blue’ intertwines the two definitions of the word blue, the color and the feeling, with lies I’ve encountered in different points of my life. I’m ecstatic and honored that Scholastic recognized a piece that means a lot to me.”

Junhyeok Park (’23), who won a Gold Key in the Drawing & Illustration category in art for his work “Diffusion of Ideas,” said, “It’s an honor that I’m able to win such a big award and it’s an accomplishment that I couldn’t imagine achieving.”

The award ceremony and reception for Gold Key, Silver Key, and Honorable Mention winners and their teachers of the Northern New Jersey Art Region will be held on February 28, 2019, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. The awards ceremony for regional awards recipients of the New Jersey Writing Region is yet to be announced. Works that have received Gold Keys will advance to national judging in New York City to be considered for Gold Medals or Silver Medals and Special Achievement Awards. Congratulations to all, and good luck to those advancing to the national round!