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The Student News Site of Buckingham Browne & Nichols School

The Vanguard

The Student News Site of Buckingham Browne & Nichols School

The Vanguard

Students’ writing and art win Scholastic Awards

Profiles, stories, paintings honored
Geneva Burkitt
Geneva Burkitt ’24 stands next to her award-winning tree paintings.

Reflections on paternal relationships, sibling dynamics, the immigrant experience, and nature: The works of art submitted by the school’s students to the annual Scholastic Art and Writing Awards concerned these topics. This February, seven of the school’s students were honored by Scholastic for examples of their artistic talent.

The five winners of the Gold Key, the highest Scholastic honor at the regional level, were Daniel Kyte-Zable, Lucas Liu, Kaia Patterson, (all ’23), Geneva Burkitt ’24, and Aparajita Srivastava ’25.

The recipients of the Silver Key, the second highest award at the regional level, were Danielle Brennan, Daniel Kyte-Zable, Kaia Patterson, Lucas Liu, and Elizabeth Chin (all ’23). Geneva used a photo she took of a tree in New Hampshire as a reference for her painting “A Walk Through The Forest,” which won a Gold Key. Geneva painted the tree for her Advanced Drawing and Painting class, taught by Upper School (US) Art Teacher Marguerite White. She started in October of 2022 and worked on the project for two weeks, during which she captured the scenery around her focal point, the tree.

Geneva experimented with perspective for this piece, she said.

“I thought it was an interesting angle to look at, how the shapes of objects change from different perspectives,” Geneva said.

Her greatest challenge was forming the light coming through the trees with brush strokes and scattering the yellow in small mushrooms, she said.

“I captured the life in the image a little bit differently, which I think brings out my own artistic style,” Geneva said. “The beauty in this piece was behind the simplicity of the moment and our surroundings.”

Geneva hopes her painting will encourage others to appreciate nature, she said.

“There’s a lot of beautiful things around us that we don’t always see,” she said.

Lucas Liu ’23 received the Gold Key for his Junior Profile, which described the life of Fidencio Saavedra, the Head Chef at El Jefe’s and an immigrant from Mexico. Lucas narrated Fidencio’s life, the difficult beginnings for Fidencio, and the life that he lives today, raising a happy family. Lucas credits his success to the descriptive language he used, he said.

“I tried to give some character and shine a light on his amazing immigrant experience,” Lucas said. “Even when he was working odd jobs, he still sent money back to his family in Mexico.”

He sought to give someone from an underappreciated class his due, Lucas said.

“I wanted to convey that there are restaurant workers in our society that aren’t highlighted but have very valuable stories and work equally as hard as someone who is,” Lucas said.

Kaia Patterson ’23 received the Gold Key for her piece about her father, titled “Everywhere,” which was a personal reflection on her relationship with him. She wrote the piece, which was one of four in a collection about her father, for the True Stories and Personal Narrative class, taught by US English Teacher Allison Kornet.

“I have always loved creative writing. It has always been something that I have done on the side,” Kaia said. “But this was the first time where I was forced to reflect and write about something so personal to me.”

“Everywhere” discusses the idea of staying connected to her parents along with some of Kaia’s personal fears, she said.

After receiving the award, Kaia said she was surprised, but very pleased she could share the exciting news with her father.

Elizabeth Chin ’23 received the Silver Key for her humorous take on sibling dynamics, also written for the True Stories and Personal Essay class. Her piece “Apples and Peanut Butter” was written about her relationship with Sam, her sister. Elizabeth’s piece was inspired by an interaction she had with her sister, when they were both watching “Grey’s Anatomy” and Sam snatched some of her sister’s peanut butter and apple mix.

“It’s very authentic to the way she thinks and the way she experiences life,” Elizabeth’s classmate, Alisa Ishii ’23 said about the piece. “Honesty is something that doesn’t always come through in writing, and I think Elizabeth was able to capture the specifics.”

The piece narrates a series of “petty fights” that occurred throughout one evening, Elizabeth said.

“I think us being close is what allows us to fight and still be fine after,” she said.

The writing process for this personal narrative was focused on escalation, Elizabeth said, “the idea that something starts small and everything builds up.”

It was Ms. Kornet who recommended Elizabeth submit a series of her favorite pieces to the Scholastic Awards.

The Gold and Silver Key winners will receive their awards in a ceremony later this spring.

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About the Contributor
Olivia Richter
Olivia Richter, Assistant Photo Editor
I’m Olivia, the Assistant Photo Editor of Volume 53 of the Vanguard. Outside of the paper, I play the cello in a trio, ski, and spend time with my friends. I am also a Hufflepuff and a big Harry Potter fan!

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