2020 High School Arts Awards

Digital Painting of Art Student Receiving an Award
Founded in 1997 to honor Allied Arts Foundation founder and past president Robert J. Block (1922 -1996), these awards recognize and support excellence in the arts in Seattle high schools. Three awards are given in each of Seattle’s 16 public high schools (48 awards per year) in the genres of Visual, Theatrical, Musical, and Literary Arts.

Awards Committee

  • David Cruse Beal, Co-chair
  • Judy Cruse Beal, Co-chair
  • Kenan Block
  • Patricia Clark
  • Lara Lavi
  • Carey Page
  • George Woodall

Alan T. Sugiyama High School at South Lake

Jazzmayne Vallieu, Grade 12 — Performing Arts & Visual Arts

“Exceptional effort in visual projects for academic subjects; Expressive and willing to take risks in performing arts class.” — Eve Levasseur, Guidance Counselor

Aisah Drammeh, Grade 12 — Literary & Performing Arts

Aisah Drammeh “Nominated for her many literary works and her ability to perform in class and at school assemblies.” — Eve Levasseur, Guidance Counselor

Andy Rogers, Grade 11 — Visual Arts

“Nominated by numerous teachers for his artistic projects in academic subjects.” — Eve Levasseur, Guidance Counselor

Ballard High School

Marley Rankin, Grade 12 — Video Production

“Beyond impressing everyone, from her classmates to festival judges with the artistic excellence in her films, Marley displays initiative and leadership daily in the filmmaking program. She was the major force for putting on our Ballard film festival this year, assisting me greatly with organizing the other students, rehearsing them, and making it happen. Her films have been in local and national festivals, and won Awards from the Natl. Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (“the Emmy people”) I expect great things from Marley in the future.” — Steven Bradford, Digital Filmmaking Teacher

Olivia Balaban, Grade 12 — Performing Arts — Theatre

“Olivia has been our company stage manager for the last 2 years. She is responsible for assembling a crew of students to work all technical aspects of a stage production. She is also responsible to call the show each performance night and be my right hand!! She is amazing at what she does and I know that she will go far in her education and in anything she puts her mind to!” — Shawn Riley, Director of Theatre

Anika Thomas, Grade 12 — Music

Anika Thomas “4 years of joyous participation, fine leadership, and generous citizenship in the BHS Orchestra Program and BHS Performing Arts Program” — Elizabeth Fortune, Director of Orchestras

Chief Sealth International High School

Tierra Shaw, Grade 12 — Visual Arts

“Tierra has made tremendous gains this last year, especially evident in her pursuit of the arts and the rigors of the IB Visual Art course. Self confidence, independence and artistic goals are areas of strength she is working on. Recent experience teaching young kids in art camps has furthered her confidence as an artist and young adult. She has become more confident in her own studio practice and experimentation with media, taking risks she would not have considered in previous years. We are very proud of the hard work growth she has exhibited.” — Carolyn Autenrieth, Visual Arts Department Head

Jason Ahmed, Grade 12 — Music

Jason Ahmed “Jason has been involved in the music department for all 4 years at Sealth, actively in piano for 3 years and choir for 1 year. Jason has an extreme love and passion for music, and hopes to go to Western Washington University next year to study music with the intent of becoming a singer/songwriter. I have watched Jason throw himself into music this year in many ways, both on stage and behind the scenes. He spent the better part of this year working with Alex Wren, studying the production side of music, and he has spent countless hours studying independently with me to learn the more complex elements of music, including the major/minor scales, the circle of fifths, and the chord progressions chart. Jason will go on to do great things in the music industry and I hope this award will help provide him with resources along the way.” — Brittany Delong, Music Educator

Riley Delora, Grade 12 — Literary Arts

“Riley just writes whether he is assigned to write or not. He has written multitudes of stories, philosophical tracts, chapters for novels, etc. and is always in the process of writing independently. He loves literature and discusses it passionately, and he is an amazing reader and character actor—he can bring a character to life when we read plays in the classroom! He is someone who I hope will continue to burst with creativity and productivity for years to come.” — Amber Allison, Instructor

Cleveland STEM High School

Eleanor Works, Grade 11 — Visual Arts

“Eleanor has talent, curiosity, creativity, and passion: characteristics that are core to who she is. These help define her as an artist — she does not relax in her talent and skill, but pushes herself to try new things. She explores new materials and techniques in Art , going beyond her comfort zone just as she does in other parts of her life. Eleanor produces artwork that has her unique vision and ‘signature’ — whether it is simple line drawings or more complex works. She draws from the heart — an artist.” — Claire Abe, School Counselor

Mauricio Vasquez, Grade 12 — Visual Arts: Video Production

“As the producer of Cleveland's news broadcast, ‘Vantage Point,’ Mauricio Vasquez has single- handedly revamped the entire show. His dedication to telling stories, no matter the consequence, is admirable. He has an eye for news and knows how to get just the right shot to convey the emotion needed to move the story forward. Mauricio knew very little about the editing software, but over the past two years, he has taught himself and spent countless hours after school editing the show to perfection. When I first made him the show's producer, Mauricio was unsure if he was able to do the job, but I've watched him grow and gain so much confidence in his abilities. He will be studying Video Production when he goes to college in the fall.” — Claire Abe, School Counselor

Ina Hong, Grade 12 — Music

“Ina Hong has been the rock of the music program since she joined it 4 years ago. She had never played violin before high school, but she had been playing piano for years and was able to meet high school proficiency within a matter of months. She was 2nd violin section leader her sophomore and become concert master her junior year. She has been incredibly helpful during class as well as volunteering to help others and lead sectionals outside of class time. She was the president of the Music ASB club this year and lead most of our fundraising efforts for our Disney trip. She has been the single most incredible musician I have ever had pass through my program and she will be sorely missed as she moves on to college next year.” — Claire Abe, School Counselor

Franklin High School

Julia Mundell, Grade 12 — Visual Arts

“Julia is a dedicated and thoughtful artist. Her careful observations of the natural world and her use of visual art as a form of expression convey the mind of an artist beyond her years. The work that Julia produces is intentional, creative and demonstrates the highest levels of craftsmanship.” — Stacy Schierholz, Visual Arts Instructor

Beata Landes, Grade 12 — Performing Arts

“For much of her life, and certainly through her 4 years of high school, Beata has been a consistent, dedicated, fun and reliable actress in both acting classes, play and musical productions. Beata is dedicated to her craft of acting and has improved her abilities steadily. She works well in an ensemble and is a mentor to others, while also contributing on the drama club board.” — Stacy Schierholz, Visual Arts Instructor

Thu Ta, Grade 12 — Music

“Thu is not only an excellent musician, playing at an artist level on both the piano and saxophone, but she is also an exceptional leader. As the President of the Music Club, she has been enormously helpful in organizing events and motivating her classmates.” — Stacy Schierholz, Visual Arts Instructor

Garfield High School

Vi Truong, Grade 12 — Visual Arts

“Vi pushes herself to explore new media and approaches, which bring added depth to her already excellent artwork.” — Anita West, Fine Art Instructor

Brittney Ramirez Osorio, Grade 11 — Visual Arts

“Brittney works very hard at her artwork and strives for excellence. She has a good eye.” — Anita West, Fine Art Instructor

Emma Moore, Grade 10 — Visual Arts

“Emma consistently puts care and time into her artwork, which is of the highest quality. Her drawing skills are top-notch and her compositions show a great deal of discernment.” — Anita West, Fine Art Instructor

Ingraham High School

McKenna Ramsey, Grade 12 — Visual Arts

“McKenna is one of the most intrinsically motivated students I have had the pleasure to teach. Without prodding, she is constantly working on new ideas and methods to further her art and her art knowledge. McKenna has not only worked with classical methods, but she has gotten very proficient with digital methods as well. She asks good questions, and is receptive to feedback. McKenna is also such a great influence in the classroom. Her calm way of speaking allows her peers to approach her to ask questions or to just chat about art. She also always has a smile on her face! McKenna is planning to study art at the University of Washington next year, and I can’t wait to see what she creates there. I know she will make us all proud!!” — Angie Allemand, Counselor

Hailey Stubblefield, Grade 12 — Performing Arts

“Hailey Stubblefield has been an integral member of the theatre community at Ingraham since her freshman year. Hailey has played a variety of roles in our program from ensemble member to lead in the musical, assistant director to house manager. In every show and every job she shows a commitment to what she is doing and how her part helps to build a stronger theatre program and community. She does not shy away from any task and in doing so brings others along with her, leading by example as an artist and maker of theatre.” — Angie Allemand, Counselor

Sophie Denhard, Grade 12 — Music

“Sophie Denhard has dedicated her high school years to her musicianship and artistry in playing the bass. She has performed in many groups in and outside of school, always pushing herself to grow as a musician. Sophie has participated in Solo and Ensemble competition and gone to the state competition nearly every year. Even though she is a musician far beyond her years, she remains humble and dedicated to the school music community, playing in the Jazz band, Symphony Orchestra and Musical Theatre Pit Orchestra. Sophie is a leader that shares her love of music with those around her and participates as a positive role model and contributor to the music program at Ingraham.” — Angie Allemand, Counselor

Lincoln High School

Sylvia Zerba, Grade 10 — Music: Orchestra

“Sylvia is a committed and passionately involved musician, performing solos and in a leadership role as principal with dedication, commitment and flair. She inspires her section and other musicians in the orchestra with her playing and musicianship.” — Lisa Baker, Visual Art Instructor/CTE Department Head

Niamh Westover, Grade 10 — Visual Arts

“Niamh demonstrates artistic creativity, refined skills, and a passion for both 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional art forms. Her work shows her personal style, all while being a positive, helpful mentor to the other students in her art classes.” — Lisa Baker, Visual Art Instructor/CTE Department Head

Jay Sanderson, Grade 10 — Literary Arts — Poetry

“In our 10th grade World Literature class, Jay’s poems, inspired by the work of ancient Chinese poets, were at once thoughtful and playful. Sometimes he’d deliberate carefully over every word, and sometimes he’d lean into an audacious forced rhyme—say, ‘necromantic’ with ‘rather romantic.’ Here's someone who cares enough about poetry to know it doesn’t always have to be dreadfully serious.” — Lisa Baker, Visual Art Instructor/CTE Department Head

Nathan Hale High School

Katrina Doerflinger, Grade 12 — Music

Katrina Doerflinger “Katrina Doerflinger is hands down the hardest working student musician I’ve ever met. She takes every opportunity to go above and beyond, she uplifts others, she seeks feedback and applies it critically to her work. She’s not planning on majoring in music in college, but she told me she intends to continue singing in choirs at Western.” — Erin Shafkind, Art Dept Chair

Miguel Martinez-Aguilar, Grade 12 — Visual Arts

“Miguel Martinez-Aguilar, AKA “Angel,” is a soft-spoken young man, quiet and thoughtful, a beautiful and immensely talented visual artist (drawing). He’s possibly interested in studying tattooing art as a profession. He’s very dedicate to his practice of drawing.” — Erin Shafkind, Art Dept Chair

Wei-Wei Lee, Grade 12 — Literary Arts — Poetry

Wei-Wei Lee “Talented and dedicated writer Wei-Wei is the 2019-20 Seattle Arts and Lecture Youth Poet Laureate. She is a fantastic public speaker, advocate for LGBTQ+ perspectives, and just a fantastic all-around human being. [Here are three of her poems posted on the SAL website](https://lectures.org/2018/05/23/three-poems- by-wei-wei-lee/). — Erin Shafkind, Art Dept Chair

Nova High School

Vega Lund, Grade 12 — Visual Arts: Animation

“Vega has demonstrated a deep focus on motion graphic visual arts. Vega persisted though obstacles and found personal growth through the art form of cartoon animation.” — Becky Laird, Instructor

Mirabai Kukathas, Grade 12 — Music

“Mirabai is an extraordinarily talented singer, composer, and multi-instrumentalist. Mirabai makes music as an act of healing, love, creativity, and celebration of community. She's performed on multiple Seattle stages and is hard at work finalizing her first album of original music.” — Becky Laird, Instructor

Graham Crawford, Grade 12 — Literary Arts

“Graham is being nominated for the amazing work he did to take his love of flying, his interest in the military, and his research into World War Two, to make a memorable, imagery rich short story.” — Becky Laird, Instructor

Rainier Beach High School

Vickna Savann, Grade 12 — Performing Arts

“Vickna works hard in and is dedicated to the performing arts. A talented and creative student, they create dramatic scripts that break the norm and shock the audience. In addition, they direct their peers with ease. Vickna has enormous potential in life and in the Arts!” — Rachel Street, Theater Arts / Drama Instructor

Jiovanni Brooks, Grade 12 — Visual Arts: Ceramics

“Jiovanni has worked hard to overcome challenges in his life. He is a powerful ceramic artist.” — Aaron Jefferson, Ceramics Instructor

Max Maltos, Grade 11 — Visual Arts

Max Maltos “Max is an exceptional student and has shown amazing talent in the visual arts at school. He has far exceeded the high school level in his artwork. He is very diligent and shows great leadership within the classroom when it comes to his projects and assisting others with theirs. I have taught Max for now three years and each year he surprises me with great strides in his artwork. I feel that he is a wonderful representative of Rainier Beach Visual Arts.” — Angela Morelli, IB Visual Arts and Drawing and Painting I/ADV Instructor

Special Recognition: Rainier Beach High School

“Lance sings and plays guitar besides playing flute. Alec is a violin player and also sings. These 2 boys have been incredible in my program, helping me organize performances in the community, performing in solo-ensemble, working in the concessions stand to raise money and rehearsing at 8:00 AM, and an hour before school 2x a week every week until we were dismissed. They are co-presidents, and were the backbone of the program.”— Kathryn Lenoue, Music Director

Roosevelt High School

Justine Williams, Grade 12 — Performing Arts: Theatre

“Justine Williams is a stand-out technical theatre leader and Stage Manager in the Theatre Department. She goes above and beyond the expected duties of a student stage manager, and even shadows and interns with professionals working in the field. She brings her outside learning back to Roosevelt and implements new systems and procedures in our backstage program and with our student teach team. She is the Tech Liaison on our elected board of officers for our International Thespian Society Troupe and had helped bridge the divide between actors and technicians in our department.” — Carrie Richard, School Counselor and Scholarship Coordinator

Liam Reid, Grade 12 — Visual Arts

“Liam has dedicated himself to the visual arts, whether he is working hard editing projects in the Photo room, putting together interesting/informative videos, or creating a powerful body of work in the ceramics room. His photography, videos and 3D work all show a dedication to creating and inspiring others.” — Carrie Richard, School Counselor and Scholarship Coordinator

Markus Teuton, Grade 12 — Music (tie)

“Markus is an outstanding jazz vocalist and jazz guitarist, dedicated to Vocal Jazz since his 9th grade year. He remained dedicated through a change in directors; something that defined him in our eyes, as someone who truly cares about the artform, and cares about supporting his peers. He also sang with our Concert Choir and participated on guitar, with our after-school Jazz Bands. Quietly, Markus was becoming an outstanding Jazz Guitarist. In this his senior year, Markus auditioned into the Roosevelt Jazz Band. Markus represents pure passion in music making. He is an inspiration to both his peers and his teachers alike.” — Carrie Richard, School Counselor and Scholarship Coordinator

Aidan Shapero, Grade 12 — Music (tie)

“Aiden is an outstanding drummer and percussionist who has been highly involved as a participant in our performing ensembles for his four years of high school. Aidan has been dedicated to the Roosevelt Drum Line and has been a real leader in that student-led ensemble. Aidan has performed with Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band 2, and most- recently has become the drummer for the Roosevelt Jazz Band. Aidan helped the group qualify for the prestigious Essentially Ellington Festival and Competition, which was to be held in New York, until the cancellation due to Covid-19. Aidan stands out not only for his excellence as a musician, but also his personal qualities of leadership, positivity and engagement with his peers.” — Carrie Richard, School Counselor and Scholarship Coordinator

Seattle World School

Edwin Alexander Ajanel, Grade 9 — Visual Arts

“Edwin drew the design for the 2020 Seattle World School T-shirt design. His design shows a wolf howling at the moon.” — Lori Leberer, Art Instructor

Haben Berhe, Grade 9 — Literary Arts

“Haben is using his time in social isolation to explore writing. He is writing in his new language, English” — Greg Starr, Instructor

Victor Juarez Lopez, Grade 9 — Literary Arts

“Victor is an aspiring author who has recently completed his first chapter which philosophizes about modern life.” — Bill Butler, Instructor

The Center School

Eleanor John, Grade 12 — Visual Arts

“Eleanor is an incredible artist who dedicates herself to her craft. Her clarity of creative vision, discipline, openness to feedback, and desire to learn and grow make her an art teacher’s dream. She brings an intelligence and humanity to her art that is humbling to behold.” — Karen Brookman, Head Counselor

Oliver Anderson-Sanford, Grade 12 — Performing Art: Management

“Oliver is a self-taught stage manager, who worked independently researching the skills necessary to be one, saw the need, and filled it completely. He is organized, confident, assertive, adaptive, observant, and his peers respect and look up to his leadership. Visiting professional artists are amazed at his stage management skills, and hope he continues in the field after graduation!” — Karen Brookman, Head Counselor

Zivia Rich, Grade 12 — Performing Arts

Zivia Rich “Zivia is an outstanding costume designer and actor. She is hard-working, organized, has an eye for detail, and the ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines on a budget. Her leadership in running a costume crew is flawless, but also a very talented actor who always comes to rehearsal completely prepared.” — Karen Brookman, Head Counselor

West Seattle High School

Caitlin Ward, Grade 12 — Music

“Caitlin Ward is a strong member of the music program at West Seattle High School. She is in Symphonic Band and Jazz Ensemble and is a section leader in both those groups, leading her peers in small group rehearsals. Caitlin has been a strong advocate and a key reason for the growth and success of our music program.” — Colette Swenson, Head Counselor

Thea Pulido, Grade 12 — Visual Arts

“For high quality work and a willingness to challenge herself. She trusts the process even while doubting herself and creates quality and meaningful work.” — Colette Swenson, Head Counselor

Ashly Brown, Grade 12 — Visual Arts

Ashly Brown “Ashly Brown is an incredible artist that is dedicated to her work. She is inspiring and will be a very successful artist.” — Colette Swenson, Head Counselor

The Alice Rooney Award

Founded in 2019, our Alice Rooney Award for Excellence in the Art annually honors one outstanding artist from Ballard High School. This award celebrates the life of Alice Rooney (1926-2019), a longtime leader at Allied Arts Foundation, as well as a prominent arts activist, art school administrator, architectural preservationist, and philanthropic advisor. Her tenacious advocacy for the arts and her good humor are dearly missed in the arts community.

Morgen Matthea White, Grade 12 — Visual Arts

“She has been part of the arts for the last three years and has turned into an incredible artist. She excels in drawing and photography.” — Gina O’Neill, Department Head, Fine Arts, Ballard High School