SSA Students Win Seven National Medals in 2022 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

Five Shady Side Academy students won seven national medals in the 2022 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards competition, including six gold medals and one American Visions Medal. The awards are presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. The SSA winners are:

Sophia JhoCrystal Ma
Hannah SongScholastic Art & Writing Awards gold key logo
  • Sophomore Sophia Jho – Gold Medal in Art (Drawing/Illustration) for Adrift; Gold Medal in Art (Painting) for Korean Fish Market
  • Senior Crystal Ma – Gold Medal and American Visions Medal in Art (Fashion) for Plastic Biosphere
  • Junior Maria Schwendeman – Gold Medal in Art (Painting) for Affection?
  • Junior Hannah Song – Gold Medal in Writing (Personal Essay/Memoir) for Pink Ribbons
  • Senior Anker Zhao – Gold Medal in Writing (Journalism) for National Security Versus Individual

More than 100,000 students submitted more than 260,000 works to the 2022 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, and less than 2,000 received national medals, placing them within the top 1% of all submissions.

National medal-winners were selected by some of the foremost leaders in the visual and literary arts for excellence in originality, technical skill and the emergence of a personal voice or vision. Medalists are invited to attend the national awards ceremony in New York City in June and will have their works published in an online gallery at

For Shady Side, it marks the most national medals won (7) and the most student medalists (5) in a single year in the competition. The five medalists were among 10 SSA Middle and Senior School students who won 21 Gold Keys at the regional level to advance to the national competition.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards is the nation's longest-running, most prestigious recognition program for creative teens. Teens in grades 7-12 can apply in 28 categories of art and writing, and submissions are judged regionally and nationally by panels of creative industry experts.

Congratulations to all five students on their tremendous achievement!

View the gold medal winning artwork below:

Adrift by Sophia Jho

Adrift, by Sophia Jho

Korean Fish Market, by Sophia Jho

Korean Fish Market, by Sophia Jho

Plastic Biosphere, by Crystal Ma

Plastic Biosphere, by Crystal Ma

Affection, by Maria Schwendeman

Affection? by Maria Schwendeman

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