When we are given the opportunity to express ourselves through words, pictures, music, dance or any other form of artistic expression, we don't just grow artistically and intellectually, we also learn to analyze our thoughts, feelings and ideas. We gain a better understanding of the world. It gives us the chance to experience life in a fresh and more exciting way while becoming more interested in the ideas and works of others.
That opportunity, given by the PTA Reflections Program, saw five Burbank students and 76 area students honored for their artistic expression at the First District PTA Reflections reception and awards ceremony held last week on the campus of Woodbury University.
Every year, the PTA Reflections Program challenges students from kindergarten through 12th grade to create art inspired by a specific theme. This year, working under the theme "Together We Can," students in four grade divisions—primary, intermediate, middle/junior and senior—submitted entries in six categories—dance choreography, film production, literature, musical composition, photography and visual arts.
"The PTA Reflections Program is designed to enhance a quality arts education by providing an opportunity for students to explore their artistic talents and receive positive recognition for their efforts," said First District PTA President Christy Brown as she welcomed the honorees and their family and friends to the ceremony.
Burbank students, who were honored for their work in five of the six categories, included Madeline Weerts from Jordan Middle School for her dance choreography, Duncan Sparks of Luther Burbank Middle School and Ariana Kertz of McKinley Elementary for film, Emily Virtue of Roosevelt Elementary for literature, and Karol Atienza of Bret Harte Elementary, who took awards for both music and photography.
Others who enjoyed the day that included a presentation of all the winner's work and tours of the Woodbury campus included Glendale students Anahit Hairapetyan, Roxanne Igoe and Daniel Kim, who took honors for dance choreography; Miranda "Mira" Delfino, Austin Borusiewicz and Richard Santasiero, who were honored for their short films; Trishley Nubla, who received kudos for literature; Noah Sonderling, Emily Hayhurst and Faith Nicoll, who received laurels for music; Kyra Freemon and Marie Hayrapetyan for photography; and Alim Kim for outstanding work in the visual arts.
Dignitaries in attendance for the event were Assemblyman Mike Gatto, Mayor Anja Reinke, Vice Mayor Jess Talamantes, School Board members Ted Bunch, Dave Kemp, Debbie Kukta and Roberta Reynolds, who served as the event's chairwoman. Also on hand were Burbank School Superintendent Stan Carrizosa, Burbank PTA Council President Michelle Hurst and the event's co-chair woman Peggy Flynn.
Among those who worked to make this year's ceremony a success included Suzanne Weerts, Kelly Dodge, Lynn Miyamoto, Kathy Jackson, Frank Norgauer, Stephanie Reynolds, David Shannon, Michael Buelbanko, Jeanne Hoel, Jim and Maria Kerrigan, John Gong, Melinda Williams, Peggy Burt, Susan Cambigue Tracey, Beth Sussman, Jennifer Meglemre, William Loya and Leslie Johnson.