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Long Island High School for the Arts students named Scholar Artists

 LIHSA Scholar Artists Four exceptionally talented teens attending Nassau BOCES Long Island High School for the Arts (LIHSA) have been selected by the Long Island Arts Alliance (LIAA) for prestigious awards in the 2018-2019 Scholar-Artist competition. These gifted young artists will be profiled in Newsday and were honored at the LIAA’s annual gala.

 Dance student Faith Centa (Massapequa UFSD) and Theater student Katherine Jergensen (Hicksville UFSD) were both named Scholar-Artists, while Theatre students Jordan Coene (Levittown UFSD) and John DiGiorgio (Half Hollow Hills CSD) earned Awards of Merit. They are all recognized by the LIAA as “the best of the best” on Long Island, both artistically and academically.

 “We are all extremely proud of these students and their impressive achievements,” said Dr. Chris Rogutsky Bleecker, Principal of LIHSA. “Arts are essential to education. As Long Island’s top arts school, it is our mission to provide a nurturing environment that exposes students to experiences and opportunities they would not have anywhere else. We empower young artists to achieve their full potential, both in the classroom and in their chosen disciplines. Awards like this demonstrate how LIHSA helps students to unlock their gifts and successfully realize their talents.”

 To earn an award in the Scholar-Artists program, students must demonstrate the highest level of artistic excellence, as well as superior academic achievement (a grade point average of 90 or above). Candidates are evaluated based on performances, a portfolio of their work and a written essay about how the arts have enriched their lives. Winners are chosen by a committee of arts educators and other professionals, with the final selection being made by a separate steering committee.

 “My experience at LIHSA has been nothing short of amazing,” Faith Centa said. “My time here has influenced me as both a student and a dancer. I feel that I’ve learned so much in such a short time. I love every second of performing on the stage and that’s a feeling I’ll never forget.”

 “LIHSA has allowed me to express myself artistically like never before,” Katherine Jergensen said. “It is so important to be surrounded by like-minded individuals who share a common goal and appreciation of theater. Our shared passion has created an artistic bond that can never be broken.”

 “At LIHSA, I am fortunate to be able to work every day with kind, supportive, extremely talented teachers,” Jordan Coene said. “They are constantly pushing me to strive to do my best and they help me to understand the truth of my work; that the process is what counts in the end.”

 “I’m so impressed with the faculty here,” John DiGiorgio said. “They inspire me with their optimism and their passion for the arts, which is so evident in their teaching. It has been an amazing experience to be doing what I love while learning so much.”