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Long Island High School for the Arts students named Scholar Artists

Three talented teens attending LIHSA are being recognized by the LIAA for their exceptional abilities

Four talented teens attending Nassau BOCES Long Island High School for the Arts (LIHSA) are being recognized by the Long Island Arts Alliance (LIAA) for their exceptional abilities. These gifted young artists are being honored with prestigious awards in the 2020-2021 Scholar-Artist competition and profiled in Newsday.


Dance student Isabella Craven of the Half Hollow Hills CSD, Olivia Freiberger of Harborfields CSD, and Theatre student Shaakirah Nazim-Harris of the Amityville UFSD have both been named Scholar-Artists. Visual Arts student Emma Fletcher of the Jericho UFSD earned an Award of Merit. They are all recognized by the LIAA as “the best of the best” on Long Island, artistically and academically.

“We are extremely proud of these students and their impressive achievements,” said LIHSA Principal Dr. Chris Rogutsky Bleecker. “Arts are essential to education. As Long Island’s only public 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 in their chosen disciplines, whether in the classroom. 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 outstanding 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.