By Cheryl Cedar Face
MHA TIMES REPORTER
Alex Avila, sophomore at Mandaree High School, recently won a silver key at the North Dakota Art and Writing Awards on Feb. 18th. The Scholastic Art & Writing program is a nationwide competition meant to recognize talented creative writing students from middle school to high school.
Avila is a sophomore at Mandaree High School. His language arts teacher, Zach Fishel, first mentioned the competition to Avila. As a result, Avila submitted two pieces. One received the Silver Key award, while the other received an honorable mention.
The pieces Avila submitted were influenced by things he sees in everyday life. Avila moved often while growing up and has a different perspective on relationships and poverty as a result.
“Alex has a knack for language and a knack for writing,” said Fishel. “He’s got a lot of different experiences and that’s helped him to see things a little differently. I think he’s got great potential to go on and do things.”
While Avila isn’t sure what he would like to study in college, he is certain that it will involve writing. “English is my best subject,” he said.
“The Scholastic awards have a rich heritage of talented young students submitting their work,” said Fishel.
The awards ceremony took place at the Plains Art Museum in Fargo. While the ceremony only lasted a little over an hour, the event had a positive impact on Avila.
“The awards ceremony was cool,” said Avila. “It was great to be rewarded for something I did.”
According to Fishel, very few, if any, students from Mandaree have submitted their work to the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. He also said that to his knowledge, no other student has won an award there.
Lavina Miller, another student of Fishel’s, said that before this year, she had never considered submitting her work to national competitions such as the Scholastic Awards. “We were never given the opportunity before,” she said.
Teachers who attended the awards ceremony were also honored.