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Arts Council Napa Valley Names Visual and Performing Arts Student of the Year for 2021/22


The Arts Council Napa Valley (ACNV)  celebrated its visual and performing arts Scholarship winners with $10,000 in scholarships through five different categories–Performing Arts Student of the Year,  Visual Arts Student of the Year, Highschool distinction (Band, Vocal, Theater, Digital, Film, Studio), Middle School Distinction (Band, Studio, Digital), and Elementary Distinction. The recipients were selected from nearly 100 Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) Student of the Month winners. The 2021/22 school year was the third year for the program, which sought nominations from art educators from all over Napa Valley and marked the first in-person award celebration. Thanks to generous donations from Festival Napa Valley, Napa Valley Community Foundation, and the Johnny Miller Champ Foundation, ACNV nearly doubled its scholarship fund in 2022. 

“In the third year of the program and after doing drive-through awards in year one and made for video awards in year two, it was unbelievably fulfilling to celebrate our talented student artists and dedicated arts teachers in person,” said Chris DeNatale, ACNV Executive Director. He added, “Seeing the talent and passion of Napa County students and educators and recognizing their work is truly what this program is all about.” 

The program will resume with the new school year, once again seeking nominations from art educators from all over the county, including public and private schools and homeschooled students.


ACNV Visual Arts Student of the Year

Cecily Greenberg, Vintage High School

Arts Council Napa Valley’s Visual Arts Student of the Year Cecily Greenberg “lives and breathes ART,”  says Crystal Clark, Vintage High School art teacher. To categorize her into “3D,” “Studio,” or anything else wouldn’t do her justice–she literally does it all. After a robust four-year span in the Arts at Vintage High School, in her last year, Greenberg was enrolled in both Digital Design and Graphics, all while focusing on her 3D AP Art portfolio, which has been submitted for review. However, her teacher is confident that she will do well. 

Greenberg is creative, inspiring to her peers, and exuberant with her passion for the arts. Greenberg held the title of Vice President of the Art Club and is a young entrepreneur. She impressively started her own business called BottleArt, which she created to help spread art throughout our larger community and give opportunities for other young artists (like herself) to share their work. 

She is constantly seeking to learn new mediums and continuing to grow as an artist and arts advocate. Greenberg inspires everyone around her with her strong work ethic, dedication, and creativity. Her many achievements include taking college-level art courses over the summer, art demos on weekends, and contributing to Our RAD Wall at Divine Paint Center. Cecily will continue her arts education at Cornish School of the Arts in Seattle starting this fall.

Festival Napa Valley and ACNV Performing Arts Student of the Year

Markus Tecson, American Canyon High School

Markus Tecson, ACNV Performing Arts Student of the Year winner, explains the importance of Art in his life: “Choir has been an escape from reality as I navigated a return to in-person school and my senior year. Aside from the countless memories during rehearsal and concert nights, I knew that whenever life got tough, I could rely on music to help lift me up.” He attributes much of his success to the Music Program Director, Jamie Butler, “who always put in 110% even when life gets tough,” but also acknowledges his Middle School Director Deborah Walden, where his “music journey began,” finishing, “Without these two inspirations, I wouldn’t have a deep connection with music. I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunities both have given me.”

Director Jamie Butler says, “From the first day until these last few days of his high school career Markus has led by example.” Butler says his peers even call him Father Markus due to his leadership capabilities and genial nature. Butler says, “his dedication to the Choir program, to his classmates, and his help to me are invaluable and will be missed more than I can possibly say. He is a young man with impeccable integrity.”

Tecson will be attending San Francisco State University in the fall, where he will major in Chemistry and a minor in Music, where he hopes to advocate for arts in our schools. Tecson finishes by thinking ACNV: “This award truly helps me and my family continue my studies. I am awe-struck.”

High School Distinction Awards

Andre Oliveira, Vintage High School Senior

Festival Napa Valley (FNV) Distinction – Band (TIE)

Teacher: Brendan Galvin

Mia Meadows, Vintage High School Senior

FNV Distinction Band (TIE)

Teacher: Brendan Galvin

Angie Driscoll, American Canyon High School Senior

FNV Distinction Vocal (TIE)

Teacher: Jamie Butler

Benjamin Stewart, Napa High School Senior

FNV Distinction Vocal (TIE)

Teacher: Duncan Cooper

Kalise Espiritu, American Canyon High School Senior

ACNV & Johnny Miller Champ Foundation (JMCF) &  Napa Valley Community Foundation (NVCF) Distinction Theater (TIE)

Teacher: Summer Heartt

Erin Fleming, Napa High School Senior

ACNV & JMCF & NVCF Distinction Theater (TIE)

Teacher: Patty Profitt

Leigh Horvath, Vintage High School Senior

ACNV & JMCF & NVCF Distinction Dance

Teacher: Lisa Sullivan

Pyper Hillgrove, American Canyon High School Senior

ACNV & JMCF & NVCF Distinction Digital

Teacher: Adam Musto

Tanner Medina, New Tech High School Senior

ACNV & JMCF & NVCF Distinction Film

Teacher: Lisa Gottfried

Arden Lloyd, Justin Siena High School Senior

ACNV & JMCF & NVCF Distinction Studio

Teacher: Monica Jacobson

Middle School Distinction Awards

Zachary Alim-Quenga, American Canyon Middle School – 8th Grade

FNV Distinction Band (TIE)

Teacher: Deborah Walden

Annabel Vivanco, Silverado Middle School – 8th Grade

FNV Distinction Band (TIE)

Teacher: Brian Beggs

Naomi Matthews, River Middle School – 8th Grade

ACNV & JMCF & NVCF Distinction Studio (TIE)

Teacher: Hollie Hardwick

Lizeth Cuevas Valle, Silverado Middle School – 8th Grade

ACNV & JMCF & NVCF Distinction Studio (TIE)

Teacher: Julia Zmed

Oliver Sto Domingo, American Canyon Middle School – 8th Grade

ACNV & JMCF & NVCF Distinction Digital

Teacher: Jenifer Leahy

Elementary Distinctions Awards

Adela Colin, Phillips Magnet School – 5th Grade

ACNV & JMCF & NVCF Distinguished Overall Elementary (TIE)

Teacher: Jennifer Veveiros

Mauricio De Haro De Reza, Bel Aire Elementary – 5th Grade

ACNV & JMCF & NVCF Distinguished Overall Elementary (TIE)

Teachers: Tere Charney & Kim Title


About Arts Council Napa Valley

​As the official local arts agency in Napa County, Arts Council Napa Valley connects, advocates, and leads the arts community countywide. Since 1981 the Arts Council has served to benefit all residents with a more sustainable, accessible, and quality local arts scene.  Since the adoption of the Napa County Cultural Plan in 2009, it has organized policy initiatives like the City of Napa Percent for Art Ordinance. The Arts Council also offers programs and support, like the Napa Valley Creative Directory, ACNV Community Fund, and VAPA Student of the Month program to empower the industry through education, information, and resources.