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February 02, 2022

AHA Students Earn Regional Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

Nineteen students from the Academy of the Holy Angels received recognition in the regional leg of the 2022 Scholastic Art & Writing Competition. Together, AHA’s artists and writers earned nine Gold Keys, 10 Silver Keys, and 30 Honorable Mentions. The five students who won Gold Keys will now continue to the national competition.


Gian Lee, a senior from Englewood Cliffs, won four Gold Keys, four Silver Keys, and four Honorable Mentions for her art. She also earned an Honorable Mention for her personal essay/memoir that was inspired by her award-winning painting “Left Behind.”


Lee’s Gold Key-winning paintings are entitled “Forbidden Still Life,” “Photosynthesis,” “Slice of Life,” and “The Better Place.” She received Silver Keys for her work “Out of My Mind,” and for her photographs, “Destination,” “Dusk,” and “Hallucination.”


Her portfolio, “Hidden in Plain Sight,” and her pieces “Eyes of the Beholder,” “Korean Wonderland,” and “Lazy Optimism” drew Honorable Mentions.
AHA’s Gold Key winners also include Jacqueline LaMastra of Tenafly, who was honored for her untitled photograph; Emma Yale of Westwood, who won for “Birthday Tea,” a painting; and Faith Youn of Closter, who was recognized for “Closeted,” a drawing/illustration. Youn also brought home two Honorable Mentions in drawing and illustration. Yale received three Honorable Mentions, including two for painting and one for drawing and illustration.


Two Gold Keys went to writer Elise Tao of Upper Saddle River. She received top honors in the poetry and journalism categories for her entries, “Terhune Visiting Hours” and “Artist’s Perspective: Broadway Continues its Revered Course of Live Theater out from Public Health Crisis and the Digitalization of Show Business.” Tao also garnered an Honorable Mention in poetry and another for her critical essay.



Silver Key winners include Olivia Presser of Demarest, poetry; Ava Goyal of Montclair, drawing and illustration; Grace Sawyer of Weehawken, photography; and Rachelle Wu of Demarest, painting. Goyal and Sawyer also earned Honorable Mentions for drawing/illustration and photography, respectively. 


Jiayi “Stella” Ouyang of Nanuet, New York, a 2021 national Gold Medal winner in film and animation, earned two 2022 Silver Keys, including one in painting and one in mixed media, and Honorable Mentions for film/animation and drawing/illustration. 


AHA students who received Honorable Mentions include Mariah Anderson of Teaneck, drawing and illustration; Lizelle Bacolod of Fort Lee, who earned two in painting; Julianna Dail of Saddle River, who earned two in photography; Joung Youn “Amy” Kim of Cresskill, painting; Reese Orlofsky of Hoboken, photography; Esther Kim, who earned two in drawing/illustration; Chae Hyun Lee of Oradell, critical essay; and Yeon “Elizabeth” Choe, writing. Shivani Sahu of Paramus received a total of four Honorable Mentions, including one each in photography, drawing/illustration, humor writing, and critical essay.


The Scholastic Art & Writing Competition is the country’s oldest and most prestigious competition for teens. Publisher Maurice R. Robinson established the event in 1923 to encourage young people’s expression and independent thought. Notable honorees from prior years include Andy Warhol, Kay WalkingStick, Zac Posen, and Ezra Jack Keats.


Founded by the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1879, the Academy of the Holy Angels is the oldest private girls’ school in Bergen County. While AHA is steeped in Catholic tradition, this prestigious school serves young women from a broad spectrum of cultural and religious backgrounds. AHA’s current leaders continue to further the SSND mission to provide each student with the tools she needs to reach the fullness of her potential—spiritually, intellectually, socially, and physically, by offering a first-rate education in a nurturing environment where equal importance is placed on academic excellence, character development, moral integrity, and service to others.