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Mequon students headed to Carnegie Hall

Sophie Ng received a silver medal in the National Scholastic Art and Writing Competition for this jewelry piece she created.

Sophie Ng received a silver medal in the National Scholastic Art and Writing Competition for this jewelry piece she created.

May 28, 2014

Mequon — Two Mequon-Thiensville students will head to Carnegie Hall next week to receive silver medals in the National Scholastic Art and Writing Competition.

Dara Schuman, a junior at Homestead High School, will receive an award for ceramics. Sophie Ng, an eighth grade student at Steffen Middle School will receive an award for a piece of jewelry.

The fact that a middle school student won an award in a competition open to high school students is quite rare. In fact, Ng is the only middle school student in the state of Wisconsin to win a national medal.

Ng's journey to the national competition started when she won two gold key awards — one in jewelry and one in printmaking — at the Wisconsin Scholastic Art Competition. There were only seven other middle schools in the state who won awards in the state level competition.

All of the students who won gold keys at the state level advance to the national competition. There were 255,000 state level gold key winners this year, but only one percent of those entries win at the national level.

Ng was in that one percent.

"It is rare for a high school student to receive a National Scholastic Art Award, it is even more rare for a middle school student to receive this honor," said Ng's art teacher Diane Berndt. "This is an incredible honor for both students, both art programs, and for the Mequon-Thiensville School District."

Schuman and Ng will receive their awards on June 6. While in New York, the students will also have the opportunity to attend workshops and tour Parsons The New School of Design.

"This is a wonderful honor for Ms. Ng and Ms. Schuman, an honor that should be shared by her parents and teachers as a source of pride for the entire Mequon-Thiensville School District community," said Mequon-Thiensville Superintendent Demond Means. "These students' awards are yet another example of the great things taking place in our schools."

Dating back to 1923, the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards have grown to become the longest-running and most prestigious recognition program for creative teens in the U.S., and the nation's largest source of scholarships for creative young artists and writers. Past winners include Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, Richard Avedon, Robert Redford, Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen King and John Updike.

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