The student news site of Mill Valley High School

Mill Valley News

The student news site of Mill Valley High School

Mill Valley News

The student news site of Mill Valley High School

Mill Valley News

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Five seniors named finalists for Johnson County Arts Council’s Shooting Stars award program

The finalists were recognized at a gala at Johnson County Community College and the Nerman Art Museum Sunday, April 7
Graphics+by+Emma+Clement
By Eva Hernandez
Graphics by Emma Clement

Five seniors with a specialty in the arts were chosen by visual, performing and literary art teachers to apply for a scholarship funded by the Shooting Stars Program. Through this competition, the seniors were given the opportunity to showcase their talents in hope of winning college funding. The Gala to recognize all 99 finalists took place Sunday, April 7 at Johnson County Community College and the Nerman Art Museum.

To enter the competition, seniors Caroline Alley, Nathan Anderson, Emma Clement, McKinley Graves and Kate Marten were each nominated by a teacher and completed auditions or submitted portfolios demonstrating their ability, depending on the category. According to Alley, there were additional requirements as well.

“When Copeland first asked me, I was shocked that he chose me,” Alley said. “I was very happy but at first I felt a little overwhelmed because I needed to make sure I had all of the requirements like the essay, the headshots and the resume.”

When Copeland first asked me, I was shocked that he chose me. I was very happy but at first I felt a little overwhelmed because I needed to make sure I had all of the requirements like the essay, the headshots and the resume.

— Senior Caroline Alley

Though Alley was surprised at the nomination, her sponsor, drama teacher Jon Copeland, found her to be the best candidate.

“We look at the full four year career of the person,” Copeland said. “[Alley] has done so many shows, and obviously does great onstage. She’s just done a lot over the years and that helped her emerge as the person that I thought would be good for this nomination.”

An advisor’s recognition of ability is the first step towards becoming a candidate for the scholarship, according to Marten.

“It honestly just takes recognition from your artistic director or the person in charge of what you’re pursuing,” Marten said. “Steiner chose me because she knew I was going to continue a career in music in college and she thought that I represented Mill Valley well.”

Outside of the nomination by their teacher, the process for becoming a Shooting Stars finalist is mostly student driven according to art teacher Erika Matyak.

“If [students] want me to help them decide which pieces to put in their portfolio, I will help them with that,” Matyak said. “Otherwise, it’s very student driven. I just remind them of deadlines and then share any information I receive about the contest with them.”

If [students] want me to help them decide which pieces to put in their portfolio, I will help them with that. Otherwise, it’s very student driven.

— Art teacher Erica Matyak

Alley not only filled out applications, but also performed live.

“The auditions are very different for any of the categories,” Alley said. “I decided to do a song from the Music Man, one of my very first shows here, which is very dear to me.”

Graves, who was nominated by choir director Jessie Reimer for classic vocal performance, selected two songs to submit to Shooting Stars. Graves sang an upbeat song and a slower, harder vocal range piece.

“One of my songs was an upbeat foreign language song,” Graves said. “It’s always recommended for any performance that you do want one foreign language; it just shows your skill set better.”

While Alley and Graves have been working on their craft for years, Anderson’s literary nomination resulted from a newfound passion, ignited from Mrs. Huang, who sponsored him.

“I actually didn’t really know that I was interested in writing until this year when I took Creative Writing,” Anderson said. “I just enjoyed writing my own stories rather than writing essays, then Huang encouraged me and nominated me for the scholarship.”

While none of the school’s nominees won a scholarship award, being finalists brought them closer together, according to Alley.

“Everybody was very supportive of each other and we even worked on our resumes together,” Alley said. “I am very glad and honored to be the nominee for the performing arts this year.”

THE FINALISTS
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About the Contributors
Anna Zwahlen
Anna Zwahlen, JagWire editor-in-chief, Mill Valley News editor-in-chief
This is senior Anna Zwahlen’s second year on the JagWire newspaper staff. She is thrilled to be one of the new Editors In Chief of the JagWire and Mill Valley News. Anna is also involved in the National Honor Society, National English Honor Society, Scholars Bowl, GSA and is co-president for Youth for Refugees. Outside of school, Anna loves to read and spend time with her friends, as well as listen to new music and watch her favorite TV shows and movies between her work as a barista.
Madelyn Mulryan
Madelyn Mulryan, JagWire reporter/photographer
This is sophomore Madelyn Mulryan’s first year on the JagWire staff. She is exploring all roles for newspaper but especially writing. She enjoys reading, listening to music, spending quality time with friends and binge-watching shows. Maddie is involved in Youth for Refugees, Women’s Empowerment, Model UN and Debate. She is excited to make this year of newspaper great!
Eva Hernandez
Eva Hernandez, JagWire reporter/photographer
This is sophomore Eva Hernandez’s first year on the JagWire staff. This year she will be learning the roles of a writer and photographer. Eva enjoys longboarding around her neighborhood and likes to play sports like flag football, soccer and basketball and she loves to bake for her friends. Eva also enjoys watching scary movies and shopping for shoes. Eva is involved in Relay for Life and would like to join more things as the school year goes on.

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