In November, seniors Nick Brandis and Kiara Ortiz and junior Jane Phillips won in the 2019-2020 annual Parent Teacher Association, or PTA, Reflections contest. The contest is open to students from elementary school to high school, and each division is judged individually. The available categories are dance choreography, film production, literature, music composition, photography, and visual arts. This school year, the theme was “Look Within”.
Brandis entered a jazz song he had composed over the summer, for the music composition category. He said that he saw the contest as an opportunity to “share [his song] with the community”.
Ortiz entered a carved painting in the visual arts category. In her painting, she featured “a girl sitting alone with her thoughts”, and upon creating it, she realized that it reflected her interpretation of the theme, thus prompting her to enter it into the contest.
Phillips had seen the contest as an opportunity to begin publicly sharing her writing, as she chose to enter a poem under the literature division. She had also hoped that she would be able to convey what she has learned through her personal life experiences with a larger audience.
“I hope whoever reads it takes away that one message they revive to show them that no matter the amount of failures or mistakes you make you’ll always find the right road for you to travel,” Phillips said. “Sometimes that means we have to climb obstacles to get to the places we want to go.”
Ortiz and Phillips both saw the contest as a chance to discover new opportunities as well, such as being able to include it on a resume or find possible scholarships.