Sixteen MVRHS students take honors at 2015 Boston Globe Scholastic Art Awards.

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Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) art students earned an impressive list of honors in the 2015 Boston Globe Scholastic Art Awards. Four students earned a Gold Key, the highest honor. Gold Key winners Jack Yuen, Kristine Hopkins, Gordon Moore, and Sequoia Ahren will compete in the national competition in New York City later this spring.

Congratulations to the full list of MVRHS art and design students for winning:

Jack Yuen – 3 Gold Keys (painting, digital art, and drawing)
Kristine Hopkins – Gold Key (photography portfolio)
Gordon Moore – Gold Key (ceramics) 3 Honorable Mentions (drawing and painting portfolio, ceramics portfolio, ceramics)
Sequoia Ahren – Gold Key (photography)

Aaron Teves – 2 Silver Keys (architecture); Honorable Mention (painting)
Henry Danielson – Silver Key (drawing)
Kanika Datta – Silver Key (ceramics)
Astrid Tilton – Silver Key (drawing)
Donald O’Shaughnessy – Silver Key (ceramics)
Anna Hill – Silver Key (drawing)

Mia Arenberg – Honorable Mention (photography)
Andrei Bernier – Honorable Mention (drawing)
Lee Faraca – Honorable Mention (drawing)
Emily Kleinhenz – Honorable Mention (ceramics portfolio)
Courtney Howell – Honorable Mention (photography)
Michael Morris – Honorable Mention (ceramics)
Katherine Reid – Honorable Mention (painting)
Tessa Whitaker – Honorable Mention (photography)
Austin McGowan – Honorable Mention (design)
Layla Buckley – Honorable Mention (photography)
Isabella Maidoff – Honorable Mention (mixed media)

The Scholastic Art and Writing Award program began in 1923. The program, which is the largest source of scholarships in the United States for young artists and writers, is growing in popularity. Students across America submitted 255,000 original works during the 2014 program year.

Students’ submissions are blindly judged by leaders in the visual and literary arts. Among the past winners of awards are artists Andy Warhol, David Salle, and John Currin; writers, Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, Richard Avedon, Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen King, and John Updike; Actors Robert Redford and John Lithgow, and film maker Ken Burns. For additional information on the program visit

Ashleigh Plante's "Best in Show" photograph of alpacas. – Photo by Ashleigh Plante

Ashleigh Plante of West Tisbury, farm assistant at Island Alpaca, was recently recognized at the Virginia Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association (VAOBA) Expo for her photography. Ms. Plante’s photograph won the blue ribbon and the “best of show” award in the event’s photography show, beating out more than 30 submissions for the competition. Other local winners included David Hannon, who took the blue ribbon for the category “Farm Scene,” and Barbara Ronchetti, who won the blue ribbon for the category “Alpaca Interacting.” The VAOBA Alpaca Expo hosts a photography show every year that promotes the spirit of the alpaca industry among nonprofessional photographers.

Dean’s List

Gage Rancich of West Tisburyat Oklahoma City University.

Bri Buchanan of Vineyard Haven at UMass Amherst, Stockbridge.

Augusta Dillon of Vineyard Haven at Simmons College, Boston.

Liam M. Wallace of Vineyard Haven at Hamilton College, Clinton, New York.

Michael Cutrer of Vineyard Haven at Nichols College in Dudley.

John Early of West Tisbury will be this year's recipient of the 2014 Spirit of the Vineyard Award. — Photo courtesy of MVY Radio.

Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard announced on Monday that it has selected John Early of West Tisbury to receive the 2014 Spirit of the Vineyard Award at a ceremony scheduled at 2 pm, at the West Tisbury Library on Sunday, December 28.

The annual award is given to a person whose work with local nonprofit organizations “…has made a difference to individuals and the community as a whole.”

Those familiar with the many community roles Mr. Early has filled on Martha’s Vineyard would agree that he fits the description.

The criteria for selection, according to a press release, “includes selflessness, the range and depth of service performed, the length of volunteer service and the effect on the quality of life of the individuals who received help and for the Island community as a whole.”

Over the years, Mr. Early has earned a reputation for quality construction as the head of John Early Builders and an untiring devotion to community service. He has served as a selectman, Martha’s Vineyard Commission chairman, and board member on numerous Island organizations.

After graduating from Cornell University with a degree in political science, John entered the Peace Corps where he spent four years in Northern India working on irrigation projects to help farmers feed a growing nation, according to a press release. “At the end of his Peace Corps service, the lifelong summer resident returned to the Vineyard and found home.”

The Tisbury School held its Recognition Day for grades five through eight on Tuesday, June 17..  The following special awards were presented.

Jeffrey T. Goodale Memorial Award to Nathaniel Porterfield, grade 5; Dorothy Larkosh Roberts Award to Danielle Middleton, grade 6; Rose Anthony Award for Achievement in Literary Arts to Owen Porterfield, grade 7.

8th Grade Awards: Kerry Alley Humanitarian Award to Devon Teves; Eugene W. Baer Creative Arts Award to Emily Hewson; James Norton Technology Award to Curtis Fisher; Maurice Bresnahan School Service Award to Curtis Fisher; Fred Glodis Science Award to Margarett Burke; Michael Ovios Golden Hammer Award to Salyn Yancey; Principal’s Award to Elizabeth Williamson and Benjamin Tillman.

James Pringle of Vineyard Haven was appointed to another term as a Justice of the Peace for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, with a “special designation to solemnize marriages, for seven years, if said appointee shall so long behave well in said office.”

Julia MacNelly of West Tisbury has been awarded a Fulbright Fellowshipto teach English in Tryavna, in central Bulgaria. Julia is a 2014 graduate of Scripps College in Claremont, Calif.

Isabella R. Hazell-El-Deiry of Vineyard Haven has become a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. Isabella is a student at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Simi Horwitz, a seasonal resident of Vineyard Haven, has won the New York Press Club Award for Entertainment News, for a piece on the challenges faced by Jewish feminist theater artists performing in Muslim countries. The story appeared in The Jewish Daily Forward. For the same story Ms. Horwitz won the American Jewish Press Association Award for Excellence in Jewish Journalism.

Faith Smalley of Aquinnah has been awarded a Mansfield E. Pickett Scholarship by Miss Hall’s School in Pittsfield. Faith plans to attend Guilford College, in Greensboro, N.C.

Jack O’Malley of West Tisbury is the recipient of the 2014 scholarship award from the Martha’s Vineyard League of Women Voters. Jack has completed his freshman year at Grinnell College in Iowa.


Alea Braga of Vineyard Haven received a Bachelor of Arts from Eastern Connecticut State University in Willimantic, Conn.

Max Conley of West Tisbury received a Bachelor or Arts from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Olivia E Gross of West Tisbury received a Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude, from the University of Vermont in Burlington.

Nicole Shepherd of Vineyard Haven received a Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Dean’s List

Augusta Dillon of Vineyard Haven at Simmons College in Boston.

Emma K. Forbes of Oak Bluffs at the University of New Hampshire in Durham.

Charlotte L. Hall of Oak Bluffs at Wheaton College in Norton.

Genevieve St. Onge Hammond of West Tisbury at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.

Corey P. Perrotta of Vineyard Haven at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, S.C.

“Shenandoah Nights” by Lisa Belcastro of Edgartown won the Speculative Fiction Reader’s Choice Award last weekend at the New England Chapter of the Romance Writer’s of America conference in Boston. Miss Belcastro’s “Shenandoah Crossings” placed second in the NEC-RWA awards. “Shenandoah Nights” also garnered Romance Book of the Year from the CSPA in April.

The first two books in the Winds of Change trilogy were released last year. They are finalists for seven additional awards that will be announced later in the year.

Miss Belcastro’s third book, Shenandoah Dreams, will be released by OakTara Publishers on July 1.