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POG Art and Writing Contest Winners 2022

Portrait of a Graduate Art and Writing Contest Winners
Posted on 08/13/2022

District’s Portrait of a Graduate Student Winners Announced

Springfield Public Schools is pleased to announce the winners of a districtwide art and writing contest launched to provide an opportunity for students to express their perception of The Portrait of a Graduate.

“I should not be surprised by the caliber of the entries that were submitted for this contest,” said Superintendent of Schools Daniel Warwick. “But as usual, when given a chance to shine, our students rose the occasion, meeting if not surpassing expectation. Their submissions were thoughtful, insightful and creative.”

Winners of the art contest include Adrianna Arce, Jacionna Bolden, Keylani Lopez, Salima Jackobo, Nalanys Martinez, Jayla Merced, Qamar Adan Mohamed, Angelo Rodriguez, Carielys Sanchez; Isabel Santiago, Xavier Villanueva, and Amouri. Winners of the written contest include Lauren Carrasquillo, Xyomara Hernandez, Zoe Holland, Samira Padilla, Julio Vargas, Dario Wilson, and Michael Wilson.

Julie Jaron, director of visual and performing arts; and Brian Dickey, director of secondary English Language Arts and Libraries, both served as judges for the contests. As the school year drew to a close last year, Jaron and Dickey personally visited the winning students in their schools to notify them of their win and hand-deliver their prize package.

“I am especially proud of our students for their efforts in producing artwork that represents the pillars in the Portrait of a Graduate,” said Jaron. The artwork highlights the persistence required to take an abstract idea, learn about, and develop that idea using the creative process, and as an outcome, lead others to recognize the value of the attribute they chose as the subject in their artwork.” 

"The Portrait Writing Contest has been a great highlight this past year. Our students created writing that was insightful, energizing, and transformative,” said Dickey. “Travelling to each school to present the awards to the awe-struck, beaming faces of the winners, was a truly joyous moment in my career."

For more than three years now, the district has partnered with the community to develop the Portrait of a Graduate, Springfield’s vision of what students need upon graduating high school to be successful in college, career, and life. More than 2,000 community members, educators and students participated in the creation of The Portrait of a Graduate. The final document, which is available on the Springfield Public Schools website, reflects their priorities for students and includes six pillars: learn, work, lead, persist, communicate, and thrive.

For the contest, students were invited to portray their artistic or written viewpoint on one of the pillars. The winning entries are available on the Springfield Public Schools website ( where the written entries can be experienced in the students’ own voices as a special “Story Corp” episode of POG the Podcast.

Additionally, the art creations have been designed into posters that will hang in every school and in local businesses and organizations.

The contest was made possible through a collaboration with the Barr Foundation and Great Schools Partnership. Prizes included gift cards, a winner’s certificate signed by Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno and Superintendent of Schools Daniel Warwick and an invitation to attend SPS Convocation 2022 as a special guest.

POG Podcast Writing Contest Winners

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