Preparing Boys for Life.

Students earn accolades in Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards recognized 18 Haverford School students for outstanding creative work. 

Judged locally by the Philadelphia Arts in Education Partnership at The University of the Arts, seven Haverford School student artists were recognized for 13 pieces in the categories of Drawing and Painting, and Photography. They earned four Gold Keys, three Silver Keys, and six Honorable Mentions. Across the region (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties), 83 Gold Keys were awarded as part of the Scholastic Art Awards.

"The Scholastic Art Awards are a wonderful opportunity for students to have their work seen and appreciated by a larger audience,” said Zoë Blatt, Upper School visual art teacher. “Gold Key winners are eligible for scholarships for summer art programs, as well as recognition on the national level. It is not easy to submit personal artwork for judging, and I am very proud of all of our students who contributed to this year's competition."

Twelve Haverford School student writers earned two Gold Keys, four Silver Keys, and eight Honorable Mentions in the categories of Journalism, Personal Essay/Memoir, and Short Story. Located at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, the Philadelphia Writing Project judges regional Scholastic Writing Award entries, and this year awarded 89 Gold Keys.

“Recognition like this is fuel to a young writer,” said Tom Stambaugh ’90, chair of the English department. “Most boys are primarily writing for their teachers or perhaps their classmates. When outside readers, especially those from what our boys might call ‘the real world,’ appreciate a student’s work, the student writer feels validated ― others have heard his voice.”

The four Haverford School students who received Gold Keys (noted below) will move on to national judging in New York City. National Medalists will be announced on March 13, 2019.

Recognition like this is fuel to a young writer. Most boys are primarily writing for their teachers or perhaps their classmates. When outside readers, especially those from what our boys might call ‘the real world,’ appreciate a student’s work, the student writer feels validated ― others have heard his voice. Tom Stambaugh '90, English department chair

Toby Ma (Form V): Drawing and Painting
“Nighttime at the Circus”
“Escape to Reality” 
“At the Ruins”

“In my work, I enjoy interweaving different abstract and realistic elements and backgrounds to create a piece where they work together,” said Toby. “My inspiration for my paintings comes from surrealist art, especially the work of Salvador Dalí. I was interested in how surrealist art juxtaposed strange elements with more mundane ones, creating a piece that is unbelievable but that still contains many realistic aspects. I was also inspired by contemporary artists, whom I noticed when exploring art catalogs or books of their works, and tried incorporating their concepts into my paintings.”

Tyler Rippie (Form V): Drawing and Painting

“I chose to paint a photograph that was taken of me and my friends in the snow because I thought it would represent how much the people in the photo meant to me,” said Tyler. “When I began painting the faces on the canvas, I realized I might have stumbled on something bigger than me. I decided to paint the faces to the best of my ability and then proceeded to paint over them, leaving only a rough outline of the definitions. In the end, it became a faceless message representing not only how I may have felt at the time, but also about the broken and misguided injustices that have plagued our society. Even though I had no idea what the outcome would be, I believe that actions and events happen for a reason.” 

Yan Graf (Form V): Journalism
“European Migration: The View from North Africa”

“The idea of covering a facet of the world that few others have witnessed, as well as my love for traveling, inspired me to try my own hand at investigative journalism,” said Yan. “I knew, even during the planning phases of my trip to Morocco, that this was going to be a risky and time-consuming effort. Winning this award has really shown me that doing something new, no matter how hard it may be, is always worth it and that I should keep pushing my own boundaries. It will continue pursuing new stories, wherever those may be.

Nelson Liu (Form VI): Personal Essay/Memoir
“The Solitude of the Road” by Nelson Liu (Form VI)

Nelson said, “For this piece in particular, I wanted to branch out from the conventional personal narrative. Instead of writing about some profound moment that completely changed my worldview, I decided to focus in on the mundane and routine. It was a fun challenge shaping this idea of the road, of routine, into a larger narrative about my life. It feels good to be recognized for my work, but I think this also speaks to how Haverford's English curriculum really develops us as writers and encourages us to reach beyond our comfort zones.”

You can view all student work recognized by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards at: