Student Artist of the Month: February 2018


In partnership with Forsyth County high schools and Windsor Jewelers, The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County is proud to present the Student Artist of the Month.

All Forsyth County high schools (private, public, and charter) that have arts programming were invited to participate in the Student Artist of the Month program. Arts educators and administrators from each school will select one student each month for recognition based on academic rigor and artistic merit.  A variety of arts disciplines will be recognized over the course of the school year.

Sommer Stephens

Atkins Academic & Technology High School

Principal: Joe Childers

SAM Coordinator: Janet Blakely

Nominating Teacher: Janet Blakely

Arts Discipline: Visual Arts

Grade: 11

GPA/QPA: 4.3

What is your favorite part of the arts genre in which you were selected? I like being able to use different things you normally wouldn’t find in an art piece and have all the parts come together in the finished piece.

Where would you most like to attend college and what might be your major? I want to go to Cornell University, hopefully major in Zoology, and minor in Art or Music.

What is your proudest artistic accomplishment? Probably this year, having my art go to the Art Showcase state finals. Also winning a reflections art competition a few years ago.

How will the arts influence your future career? It helps me to capture a new perspective on life. I’m able to use my creativity in projects. Especially going into Zoology, it would help me to draw sketches of the animals I study.

Hayley Gladstone

Calvary Day School

Principal: Rick Bohner

SAM Coordinator: Vera Boston

Nominating Teacher: Vera Boston

Arts Discipline: Theatre

Grade: 12

GPA/QPA: 3.84

What is your favorite part of the arts genre in which you were selected? My favorite part about theatre is the way a show, with all its separate components, can come together and tell a wonderful story.

Where would you most like to attend college and what might be your major? I plan to attend ASU and major in Theatre and Dance Performance.

What is your proudest artistic accomplishment? My proudest artistic accomplishment is the amount of hard work I put into every performance. I feel that I have given my absolute best and have pushed myself to become a better actress.

How will the arts influence your future career? I plan to make theatre my career. Also, theatre has given me beneficial life skills, such as teamwork and better communication.

oshua Gakeri

Carver High School

Principal: Carol Montague-Davis

SAM Coordinator: Julia Puckett

Nominating Teacher: Juan Eckard

Arts Discipline: Music

Grade: 11

GPA/QPA: 3.0

What is your favorite part of the arts genre in which you were selected? My favorite part is coming in and play music to the best of my ability.

Where would you most like to attend college and what might be your major? North Carolina A&T University.

What is your proudest artistic accomplishment? Learning how to play the trumpet fluently in 3 months after playing other instruments.

How will the arts influence your future career? It will help me get a well paid job and my music talents will help me get in to the college that I want to attend

Caylen Gee

East Forsyth High School

Principal: Rodney Bass

SAM Coordinator: Roman Brady

Nominating Teacher: Greg Murphy

Arts Discipline: Band

Grade: 12

GPA/QPA: 3.5

What is your favorite part of the arts genre in which you were selected? I find it interesting and fun to approach new band material, as well as refining that which we have already learned.

Where would you most like to attend college and what might be your major? Not sure/undecided. However I would like to keep some form of band or music in my schedule regardless of where I attend.

What is your proudest artistic accomplishment? Staying with the program for the seven years that I have (and hopefully many more), and exploring different types of playing, such as Jazz and Marching Band.

How will the arts influence your future career? No matter what I end up doing for a livng, I’ll always have something that I can do, even if just a hobby, that I enjoy. Playing music, listening to music, et cetera have always been a favorite part of my day.

Sam Daugherty

Forsyth Country Day

Head of School: Gardner Barrier

SAM Coordinator: John Kildahl

Nominating Teacher: Aaron Craven

Arts Discipline: Orchestra

Grade: 12

GPA/QPA: 3.9

What is your favorite part of the arts genre in which you were selected? I love the feeling of reward after putting together a really tough concert. The moments in which every musician locks together make the months of practice worth it.

Where would you most like to attend college and what might be your major? I am attending Appalachian State University and plan on majoring in Electronic Media.

What is your proudest artistic accomplishment? I am most proud of my work with my band, in which I taught myself how to use recording software. We spent a year working on an album of original songs, which took a lot of love to complete. I love applying what I have learned from my favorite artists and utilizing the skills to my own art.

How will the arts influence your future career? I have a deep love for the arts, especially music. I would like to have a career with music in some form. Regardless of my career path, music has taught me how passion and dedication can make the largest difference in every aspect of life.


Stephanie Shields

Glenn High School

Principal: Brad Craddock

SAM Coordinator: Jonathan Miller

Nominating Teacher: Carol Earnhardt

Arts Discipline: Chorus

Grade: 12

GPA/QPA: 3.808

What is your favorite part of the arts genre in which you were selected? In Choir each piece of music has a story and when you are singing the music you become a part of the story, you feel the pain and you feel the happiness.  You practice and learn the music over a period of weeks and within that time the music becomes