Scholastic winners


Fighting with your shadow Aiden Henry (Grand prize)

Brigitte Worstell, Staff Writer

The Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School Visual Arts and English Departments are proud to announce that our students have received two gold keys, six silver keys and eight honorable mentions in the 2019 Boston Globe Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Established in 1923, the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards are the longest running program for creative teens in the United States where they can present their best work.

Gold Key award-winning work was exhibited at the Massachusetts Scholastic Art and Writing Awards regional exhibition at Breed Memorial Hall, Tufts University, from March 16 to March 25.

We would especially like to congratulate Aidan Heney for winning the Grand Prize.  His work will be displayed in Washington, D.C. and will hang in the Capitol for an entire year!

These are pieces of work that received awards in the Visual Department:



Here are the winners from the English Department:

Megan Amero won a silver key for her scientific fiction fantasy story, “Threat Analysis.” Here is a section from her story:

“That’s a neat party trick,” Stephens says.


“Thanks,” Cal says, a hint of pride creeping into her voice.


“You mind teaching me? The holidays are coming up, after all.”


“I don’t know about that.”


“Take you a while to learn?”


“A little.”

It’s a dance Stephens knows well, one that Evan has seen performed many times in the month they’ve been partners. He and Cal circle around each other in conversation so surely you’d think they’d rehearsed it; leaving Evan to watch their tango from the side of the stage. They’re figure skaters, jumping and twisting around a giant hole in the ice.

Nidhi Pillai won a Gold Key for her critical essay, “A Speech of Sorts.” She also received an honorable mention for her personal essay/memoir, “America: In All Shades.” Here are sections from her pieces:

A Speech of Sorts 

The person sitting next to you will have different experiences, different stories, and different adventures. That doesn’t make any one of us less deserving than the other. At the end of the day, our choices and our values are what make us unique.

I’ll close my speech by saying that even if you follow all of my personal lessons, you will fall, and you will stumble, just like I did. But by falling and failing, we end up learning lessons for ourselves that are far more valuable than anything anyone else can every teach us.

America: In All Shades 

After 9/11, we united once more. We came together as one group, one nation, working to rebuild our country. There were no blacks, whites, Asians, or Hispanics. There were only Americans. Robert Kennedy once said, “Ultimately, America’s answer to the intolerant man is diversity.” He was right. Our country can only rid itself of severe intolerance by embracing diversity rather than aiming to destroy it. This country fights for equality and justice. We continue fighting today. Just when things seem unbearable, we unite. Every single American is equal. Every single American is our country’s hope for the future.

Nora Sullivan-Horner won two silver keys for her poems, “Atoms to Atoms” and “Today I Heard the World is Dying.” Here are her two poems.

Today I heard the World is Dying 

today i heard the world is dying.
it only has so long to live.

it seems to me that despair blooms
where the fair faces of roses should be.
the trees sway their crowns
with fierce indignation
and admonishment of our foolish ways.

and to think.

Gaia is Cronus.
what she birthed has now turned against her,
will kill her.

does she allow this to happen because she is loving and
submissive? or passive and resigned?
aware now that her children move without her guiding hand
and outpace her methodical gait.

it saddens me to think this.

humanity is forever wedded to destruction,
we love too much his kiss.
our veil is of pale potential,
and our train is dark and leaden with suffering.

this is our legacy.
but the great tragedy is that we are killing the innocents.
the black bears and the salmon
the white swans and the silent owls
the bumblebees and the sedges
the towering oaks and the whispering mosses.

the innocents for which we are responsible,
not because of our superior position in the cosmos,
but as a consequence of the great power we have seized.
do we condemn them too?

but perhaps this is a good thing.
we should never leave our one wonderful world,
only to kill many more.

perhaps this is what is right.
we must atone for our sins.
and we do not deserve pardon.
should we even try to save ourselves?
should we get the opportunity to walk away?


Atoms to Atoms

I’m old. So very old.
Four and a half billion years and counting.
But before you knew me,
Before I was enrobed in the golden flesh you see,
Before I wielded my bright, hungry eyes,
I used to be an apple.
A crimson flash, nestled between verdant leaves,
Raised by the rain and the sun and the wind that smelled of blue.
And I was also the rain, falling from stratonimbus high in the atmosphere,
Falling on mountains and valleys,
On jungles and plains,
On cities and their inconsequential people.
And before that, I was the moribund icecaps,
The slumbering lakes and the corybantic rivers.
And before that, I ran as the blood of dinosaurs.
I was the Argentinosaurus, a God that shook the earth
I was the silently monumental ichthyostega.
And before that, I believe I was a fern or a conifer. Maybe both.
And before that, I was the soil and I went by other names.
Carbon. Nitrogen. Phosphorus.
I was the magma, and when I felt especially tempestuous, I was the lava bursting forth from my leaden bed.
And before that, well, I think I was an asteroid formed in the heart a star you won’t discover, traveling distances greater than anything you could endeavor.
I have been everything.
I was in the belly of a woman,
And then I became the belly of a baby.
I was the oxytocin which ran in her veins and the tears that ran from her eyes.
Somewhere on the opposite side of this infinitesimally small, infinitely grand world.
A speck in the cosmos containing a cosmos all its own.
I am an old, weary traveler of countless forms, slowly making my way around the world—ever awake, alive, and ready to play another part.
I was once you, I was once everyone.
We’re all made of the same blocks, cycling and recycling endlessly.
But in the end, the superficial divisions we make between “you” and “me” are trivial.
Where we came from we shall all return.
As dust to dust,
As atoms to atoms.

Congratulations to all the winners!