WARREN, NJ –  Four Watchung Hills Regional High School (WHRHS) students have been awarded medals recognizing achievement in fiction and poetry writing as well as photography and filmmaking at the 2017 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

Another four students have received recognition in an Italian Poetry competition at New York University (NYU), sponsored by the Association of Italian Teachers of New York.

The WHRHS annual Senior Awards Assemblies will be held at 9 a.m. and at 7 p.m., Wednesday, June 14, at the high school.

Sign Up for E-News

The four who won medals in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are: Senior Raymond Tang, who won a Gold Medal, called the New York Life Award, in Film and Animation for a reflection piece titled, “Just Another File;” Freshman Vivian Zhang, who won a Gold Medal in Flash Fiction, for a Less Than 500 Word Short Story titled, “A Taste of Heaven;” Junior Edward Cai, who won a Silver Award in Photography for a photo titled, “Solitary Joy;” and Junior Linda Ye, who won a Silver Award in Poetry for a poem titled, “Unsung Apology.”

As many as 340,000 students across the country submitted works of poetry, fiction writing, photography, filmmaking and other arts media, according to WHRHS Arts Supervisor Dan Bertelli and English Supervisor James Aquavia. Of that number, only the top 1 percent were selected for awards.

The four students who won medals in the NYU Poetry Competition are: Annabel Kopell, 1st place prize; Emilie Ricciardi and Carrie Zhang, tied 2nd place prize; and Juliet Keselman, 3rd place prize.

“I am excited to report that four of our students participated in the Italian poetry competition at NYU on Saturday, May 20,” said WHRHS Italian Teacher Patti Grunther. “They all received prizes in the non-native speakers 4th year category and I am exceedingly proud of them.”

Their selection of poems ranged from Dante Alighieri to Petrarch to more contemporary Italian poets, Grunther said.

“The student’s dedication, diligence and artistic interpretation and creativity all played important roles in this wonderful project,” Grunther said. “Their willingness to participate on a Saturday is appreciated, and the organizers paid lavish compliments to Watchung Hills for fielding students for the 2nd year in a row and for the quality of the performances which swept the top prizes once again.”

WHRHS CAPTIONS Scholastic Awards and Italian Poetry Awards


WHRHS PHOTOS Solitary Joy by Edward Cai

This photograph, titled “Solitary Joy,” by WHRHS Junior Edward Cai earned a Silver Medal in Photography at the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Four Watchung Hills Regional High School (WHRHS) students have been awarded medals recognizing achievement in fiction and poetry writing as well as photography and filmmaking through the 2017 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards competition.


WHRHS PHOTOS NYU Italian Poetry Awards

Four WHRHS students have received recognition at the Italian Poetry competition, Saturday, May 20, at New York University (NYU). They are, from left: Junior Carrie Zhang, and Seniors Emilie Ricciardi, Juliet Keselman and Annabel Kopell. The competition is sponsored by the Association of Italian Teachers of New York.


WHRHS PHOTOS Scholastic Art and Poetry Award

Watchung Hills Regional High School (WHRHS) English Department Supervisor James Aquiva, left, and Arts Department Supervisor Dan Bertelli, right, congratulate the four WHRHS students who earned medals recognizing achievement in fiction and poetry writing as well as photography and filmmaking through the 2017 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards competition, from second left, Junior Edward Cai, Freshman Vivian Zhang, Junior Linda Ye and Senior Raymond Tang.