December 22 & January 23 VAPA Students of the Month

Napa Educators Recognize Arts Students for Excellence Qualifying them for ACNVEA Scholarships

The Arts Council Napa Valley Education Alliance (ACNVEA) is privileged to award the following teachers and students.  Twenty students are recognized as Visual and Performing Arts Student of the Month (SOM) winners for December and January. ACNVEA SOM annual awards initiative seeks nominees monthly, culminating in a scholarship ceremony at the end of the school year.

We are now accepting nominations for February ACNVEA SOM from College, High School, Middle School, and Elementary level from visual and performing arts teachers throughout the county. Please go to the Arts Council Napa Valley website for more information and to access the nomination form. Nominations are due by the 25th of every month.

Please visit our Facebook Page to see more images of our SOM’s work. If you’d like to support this year’s Student of the Year ceremony, please consider donating toward the event at our website: ArtsCouncilNV.Org/Donations.

Here are December and January’s winners:

High School Level Winners

VIDEO/PHOTOGRAPHY: Dylan Arie, New Tech High School Senior

Teacher Lisa Gottfried writes this about Dylan:

“Dylan shows some quiet confidence in his work. He’s got personal art projects going on that indicate that he’s been thinking through some artistic grand idea for a LONG time.  He has shown some of his characters for a cartoon he envisions and it’s got some real potential.“

DIGITAL ART: Demian Gonzalez, New Tech High School Junior

Teacher Lisa Gottfried  writes this about Demian:

“Demian is head of the film club here at New Tech and is an avid film maker.  He is certified in Adobe After Effects, Premiere Pro, Photoshop and Illustrator. He is class president of the Junior class and a caring student who not only helps others but has a strong foundation of technical skills.“

CHOIR (Dec): Kaya Querubin, American Canyon High School Senior

TeacherJamie Butler writes this about Kaya:

“Kaya is one of the most naturally gifted singers I have ever taught. She is a talented guitarist and a beloved leader in the choir program… Her high school transcript is nearly perfect, and she ranks in the top 20 in her class. I am so incredibly proud of Kaya… Whether it’s musical or not, Kaya is going to make a difference in this world!”

CHOIR (Jan): Josiah Salazar, American Canyon High School Senior

TeacherJamie Butler writes this about Josiah: 

“Josiah is the heartbeat of the ACHS Choir program. He sings in our highest-level choirs and also takes our beginning choir to help our newer singers get started. He plays percussion for every song and is the vocal percussionist for the a cappella group. He is a section leader who is beloved by his peers and never misses an opportunity to do the “little things.” He is a joy to teach and makes every room he walks into a better and kinder place!”

THEATER – ACTING (Dec TIE): Gabriel DuBois, St. Helena High School Senior

Teacher Patricia Coyle writes this about Gabriel:“Gabriel DuBois is an exemplary theater and choir student. He took on the extremely challenging role of Hercule Poirot in our fall production of Murder on the Orient Express and was also performing as Lumiere in the Napa Valley College Production of Beauty and the Beast. Last year Gabe also brought the house down as Gomez in our production of The Addam Family. Gabe has been an integral member of our Drama program all four years at SHHS”

THEATER – ACTING (Dec TIE): Micah Eisenberg, Napa High School Senior

Teacher Duncan Patrick Cooper writes this about Micah:

“Micah Eisenberg is playing one of the leads in our upcoming production of Be More Chill. Known for his powerhouse performance at the Dentist in Little Shop of Horrors last year, Micah brings an energy that is unmatched by any of his peers to the stage both in choir and theater. Additionally, Micah has chosen to pursue a degree in film making, and is one of our most thoughtful and considerate students in class discussions. He always helps our class to see the music we are performing on a much deeper and academic level.

3D ART: Keira Plotkin, Oxbow School Senior

Teacher Andrea Antonaccio Wagner writes this about Keira:

“Keira’s playful sensibility and her connection to her subject matter was highlighted in her work at Oxbow and shined in her Final Project.  Keira is very active in the exchange of dialogue, energy and creativity within our studios. Keira’s success with this artwork and many others over her time with us are stellar.”

VISUAL ART (Dec. TIE): Karley Martin, St. Helena High School Senior

Teacher Silvia Seyve writes this about Karley:

“Karley shows dedication to work outside of class as well as in class. His strong work ethic allowed her to advance in her passion to capture the figure in movement and expression.  She made a goal and applied herself.  Karley is knowledgeable in studio art becoming a mentor artist in the classroom.”

VISUAL ART (Dec. TIE): Megan McNamara, Vintage High School Sophomore

Teacher Crystal Clark writes this about:

“Megan McNamara is an incredibly talented and dedicated artist. She is willing to take risks, is very creative, and talented in every medium place before her. She is thoughtful, focused and tenacious. She is taking an extra class this year so she can continue in art and is still excelling in all she does. A team player, an excellent conversationalist and a pretty awesome human, Megan is an exemplary student in every way I can think of.”

VISUAL ART (Jan): Sawyer Spann, Oxbow School Senior

Teacher Andrea Antonaccio Wagner writes this about Sawyer :

“Sawyer is a dedicated artist who spent both their summer at Oxbow and the fall semester with us. Sawyer has crafted their skill and shown both dedication and determination in the studios. For their final project at Oxbow they created a suite of 5 well realized and highly realistic oil paintings in a week’s time. Sawyer reflects, ‘I was in the studios 24/7, trying to finish in time. In the end, I am proud of the result and I can’t wait to further explore these topics in my art.’”

THEATER – DIRECTING: April Shaw, St. Helena High School Senior

Teacher Patricia Coyle writes this about April:“April has been a member of the drama family at SHHS since her Freshman year. She has completed the CTE Drama pathway twice and is my Teaching Assistant for Drama 1 this year. This year, she co-directed our Fall Play, Murder on the Orient Express. At the same time, April played Belle in the Napa Valley College production of Beauty and the Beast. Finally, for her last show at SHHS, April has been cast as Laurey in Oklahoma!

Middle & Elementary Level Winners

VISUAL ART (Dec): Vinx Vianey Martinez-Diaz, American Canyon Middle School 8th Grade

Teacher writes this about:

“Vinx is always enthusiastic about each art project in my Fine Art class. They possess a strong artistic curiosity, a great work ethic, and last but certainly not least, an immense amount of talent. Vinx can render exquisitely, has a great eye for color, and can synthesize principals of design effortlessly. Vinx is also very humble about their artistic facilities.“ Vinx encourages the artistic abilities of their peers.“

VISUAL ART (Jan): Nathan Carandang, Silverado Middle School  8th Grade

Teacher Julia Zmed writes this about Nathan:

“Nathan came in day one 100% himself. There is no false pretense, he is just focused, driven, and beyond creative.  All that linked with some truly blossoming giftedness makes for the best kind of student.  I am so glad he transferred to SMS and I get a chance to get to know him, watch his creative process, and watch his skills grow well beyond what I expected.”

THEATER – ACTING: Anna Tompkins, Silverado Middle School 

Teacher Brian Beggs writes this about Anna“Anna has had a starring role in the last three SMS productions including this year’s  part of ‘Annie’ in Annie.  Additionally,  Anna is a strong singer and was selected to be a member of the CMEA Bay Section Middle School Honor Choir this year.  Anna has also choreographed dances for our performances at SMS and is the President of the SMS Performing Arts ASB group.  Anna is a great leader, has a positive attitude, and is always willing to help others.”

BAND (Dec): Jose Crespo, Redwood Middle School 

Teacher Kortney Ray writes this about Jose:

“Jose Crespo is an aspiring Cellist with many great talents. While preparing his own solo repertoire, he takes time to memorize all of our pieces that we perform in class so he can focus on the musicality or details of the music… He is humble and tends to everyone’s needs when asked… How many middle school students can you think of that can play Bach’s Cello Suite No.1 in G Major, Prélude beautifully and completely memorized?“

BAND (Jan): Skylar Waite, Silverado Middle School Year

Teacher Brian Beggs writes this about Skylar:

“Skylar has been a student in the SMS Band program for 3 years. Skylar always eagerly accepts challenges and has made great progress. Skylar represented SMS and NVUSD as part of the CMEA Bay Section Middle School Honor Band this January where she performed with the top middle school musicians in the Bay Area.  In addition to being a great musician, Skylar also is very kind and has a positive attitude.“

VISUAL ART (TIE Dec): Flavio Luis Silvestre Valentin, Philips Magnet 4th Grade

Teacher Shauna Kadel writes this about Flavio:

“Flavio studied various pieces of Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings and then created this “Starry Night” inspired artwork of his own using pastels, I love the colors he picked and his brilliant sky!

VISUAL ART (TIE Dec): Juliana Parker Marquez, Philips Magnet 4th Grade

Teacher Mercedes Monaco-Hutchens writes this about Juliana:

“Our class recently created a Starry Night inspired by Vincent Van Gogh. Juliana took her time to create a beautiful version with oil pastels on black construction paper. Her attention to detail showed a great example of her continued use of the patience tool. She is constantly impressing me with her artwork this year.”

VISUAL ART (TIE Jan): Cynthia Zaragoza, Philips School 5th Grade

Teacher Lisa Fry writes this about Cynthia:

“Cynthia used a nice combination of watercolor for her paper. We were studying the art of Yayoikusama and her Polka Dot Pumpkins.  Cynthia created a very unique design with her polka dots and added some background images to create her fall art piece.”

VISUAL ART (TIE Jan): Junior Salvador Hansen-Rodriguez, Alta Heights Magnet School 4th Grade

Teacher Leslie Gracia writes this about Junior:

“Junior is passionate about art.   He is constantly drawing and improving his skills.  Junior takes pride in his artistic abilities, and shares his drawings with many of his peers and staff at Alta Heights.  In addition to sketching in his free time, Junior ensures all assignments showcase his artistic flair, making them a joy to grade and be displayed in the classroom.”