For over seventeen years, the Charles County Arts Alliance (CCAA) has offered arts scholarships to one qualifying graduating senior from each Charles County public high school. These individual $1,000 scholarships will help students continue their visual, performing or literary arts college education. The scholarship recipients are Charles County residents and have each earned a minimum cumulative 3.0-grade point average (GPA). Each student’s application included a detailed résumé, a 500-word essay about his or her artistic and academic accomplishments and goals, letters of recommendation, and an official transcript of grades. This year students also benefited from scholarships generously funded by the PNC Foundation and the Schubert Singers.
The Charles County Arts Alliance is proud to announce the recipients for this year’s arts scholarship awards, who represent the highest level of artistic talent and academic achievement in Charles County schools. The 2017 scholarship recipients are as follows: Francesca Rothell of Henry E. Lackey High School, Benjamin Butler and Victoria Kayes of La Plata High School, Taylor Covington and Rebecca Smith of Maurice J. McDonough High School, Marissa Hapner and Michelle Young of North Point High School, and Kristen Feaster of St. Charles High School.
This year’s CCAA Scholarship recipient from Lackey High School is Francesca Rothell. Besides being ranked first in a graduating class of 231, she has academic and performing art weighted GPA of 4.58 that includes multiple Honors and rigorous Advanced Placement courses. In addition to her academic achievements, she has been active in all facets of performing arts for her entire high school career. She was a member of the National Thespian Honor Society, lead actress and choreographer in numerous musical and drama performances at Lackey, competed at the State Thespian Festival and was invited to Nationals as well as received a Best Actress Award at Lackey. As a violinist, she performed with the Lackey High School Honors Orchestra, was a member of the Lackey High School Music Honors Society, and performed in numerous all county and Tri-County Orchestras. She sang with the Lackey High School A Cappella Honors Choir and Show Choir. A competitive dancer for over 10 years with Dance Depot, she has performed a variety of dance genres and also teaches and assists with dance classes. Additionally, she earned her Varsity letter as a member of the Cross-Country Track Team. Francesca plans to major in dance at Swarthmore College and performs with dance teams and the theatre department.
Benjamin Butler of La Plata High School is receiving a CCAA Student Intern Scholarship in recognition of his volunteer commitment for CCAA in which he spent an enormous amount of time and energy this past year assisting with gallery activities and fundraising events. He has academic and fine art weighted GPA of 4.0 with multiple Honors and Advance Placement courses for which he received two Academic letters. Extracurricular activities included being President of the La Plata High School National Art Society, leader of the Mural Club, and a member of the National Art Honor Society. His other artistic achievements include placing first in painting this year in the Mattawoman Creek Art Center Seven Up High School Art Exhibit, third place in 2016, and having multiple paintings selected for exhibits locally, as well as being a two-time recipient of the Art Departmental Award. He had a strong recommendation from Eve Baker, his Studio Arts teacher who states his “…motivation and ingenuity inspires me as a teacher and as an artist.” Benjamin plans to attend Savannah College of Art and Design and major in Illustration with a minor in painting and animation. He wants to attend a college dedicated to art in order to “…be challenged and grow as an artist.”
Victoria Kayes is our next CCAA Scholarship recipient from La Plata High School. She has academic and fine art weighted GPA of 3.86 that includes multiple Honors and Advance Placement courses and was on the Honor Roll throughout her high school years. She was a member of the Art Honors Society and Historian of the Language Honors Society. In addition to her academic achievements, her artistic achievements include participation in the Mattawoman Creek Art Center Seven Up High School Art Exhibit and a strong recommendation from Josh Hettel, her Advanced Placement Studio Arts teacher. She ends her senior year with an ability to “…create comprehensive concepts in her artwork through the use of symbolism and imagery that make her work meaningful and valuable …” as expressed by her art teacher. Victoria plans to attend Towson University and major in their Graphic Design program with a minor in Spanish. She wants to express her talent in multiple forms of media while reaching a more diverse audience.
Taylor Covington from McDonough High School is receiving a CCAA scholarship with funds generously donated by the PNC Foundation. She has academic and performing art weighted GPA of 3.77 that includes multiple Honors and rigorous Advanced Placement courses and is ranked in the top 15% of her class. Other academic achievements include Secretary of the National Honor Society, Student Government Association, President of the McDonough High School Class of 2017, Charles County Association of Student Councils High School Delegate and School Liaison to the Charles County Public Schools Superintendent Student Advisory Committee. Highly recommended by her Choral Director, Teresa Mazzeo, she has been a member of the Honors Chamber/Madrigal Choir which received superior ratings in four years of adjudications, Concert Choir, a featured soloist and lead choreographer in the Honors Show Choir Traveling Troupe, and performed with All-County, Tri-County, and Maryland All-State Choruses. She also has been cast in many lead roles with the Drama Club and has held the position of Student Director for three years, as well as being a member of the International Thespian Society. Taylor plans to attend Jacksonville University and major in music management and vocal performance because she wants “…to inspire people through music and make a living doing so.”
Rebecca Smith is our next CCAA Scholarship recipient from McDonough High School and has academic and performing art weighted GPA of 3.81 that includes multiple Honors and rigorous Advanced Placement courses. Other academic achievements include being President of the Student Government Association. Highly recommended by Caitlin Dunleavy, Director of Instrumental Music, who has witnessed this student’s work as lighting crew head for many concerts and numerous choir and drama performances and in her participation in McDonough’s Advanced Women’s Choir. She has held positions of Freshman Representative, Points Clerk, Treasurer, and President of the Drama Club. Through McDonough Theatre she has gained technical expertise in numerous productions as Lights Crew Head and Technical Director. During summers, she worked as Lights Crew Head for dance recitals and volunteered during the school year for band concerts and talent shows. She won awards for All-State and National Thespian, Outstanding Freshman and Sophomore, Most Valuable Behind the Scenes, and Best Crew Member. Rebecca plans to attend West Chester University and major in technical theatre and states, “Lighting is my passion. Some people want to see their names in lights; I want to be the one to put them there.”
Marissa Hapner from North Point High School received a CCAA scholarship with funds generously donated by the Schubert Singers which is appropriate as she sang with the Schubert Singers for four years. She has academic and performing art weighted GPA of 3.87 that includes multiple Honors and rigorous Advanced Placement courses. Other academic achievements include being on the Mock Trial Team that made it to the Circuit Championship Playoffs and membership in the National Honor Society. Highly recommended by her Choral Director, Kristin Helming, she has been a member of the North Point High School Chorus, the Eagles and Harmony Chorus, the Chamber and Concert Choruses, and performed with All-County, Tri-County, and Maryland All-State Choruses, as well as acted as the Chorus Department Student President. She performed as a member of the Thespian Troop 7040 at North Point and with Port Tobacco Players. Other achievements include winning awards for keyboard skills from the American College of Musicians and the Maryland Music Association. Marissa plans to attend Towson University and major in music education because she has “…witnessed the effect music can have on people and…wants others to experience the power of music.”
Michelle Young is the next recipient from North Point High School and she has academic and performing art weighted GPA of 4.14 and that includes multiple Honors and rigorous Advanced Placement courses. Other academic achievements include membership in the National Honor Society, the National Society of High School Scholars, and the World Language Honor Society as well as numerous extracurricular clubs. She comes highly recommended by Christopher Gilbert, her Graphic Communications Instructor, who feels she “…excels…” in using “…her creative ability to think outside the box…” and “…turns in thought-provoking, beautiful work…” within a deadline. In the 2017 SkillsUSA Southern Maryland Regional Championships in Advertising Design, she won Second Place, at the State Championships she won First Place, and at the National Championships, she won Seventh Place. Additionally, she interned with North Point High School Print Shop and she received recommendations from working with the Marketing Department at Naval Support Facility Indian Head, and as a volunteer at the Catherine Foundation, having created marketing materials for all three organizations. Michelle plans to attend University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and major in Visual Arts with a concentration in Graphic Design because of she “…loves …creating and seeing a creative solution start out as an idea, then become a reality.”
Kristen Feaster from St. Charles High School is receiving a CCAA Scholarship with funds generously donated by the Schubert Singers. She has academic and performing art weighted GPA of 3.39 that includes multiple Honors and rigorous Advanced Placement courses. Highly recommended by her Choral Director, Brian Kuhn, she has performed with the Chamber Choir, Concert Choir, Show Choir, and Spartones, an a capella group that she assisted in creating that is now a part of the curriculum. She was President and Vice President of the Chamber Choir, Vice President of the Concert Choir and of the Spartones. Her interest in education was spurred by summers spent volunteering at recreation centers as an assistant teacher. Kristen plans to attend Frostburg State University and major in music education because she has a “…desire to contribute to the growth of her country and other aspiring musicians.”
Congratulations to the Class of 2017 and best wishes as you continue to pursue your career in the Arts!