Student Artist of the Month: December 2017


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.



Ben Armentrout

Atkins Academic & Technology High School

Principal: Joe Childers

SAM Coordinator: Janet Blakely

Nominating Teacher: Justin Sumners

Arts Discipline: Music

Grade: 10

GPA/QPA: 4.0/4.5

What is your favorite part of the arts genre in which you were selected? I love being able to jam with my fellow musicians and just make great sounds. Jazz music is definitely my favorite because it gives me more opportunity to improve and be creative.

Where would you most like to attend college and what might be your major? I would most like to attend MIT and major in a math-intensive engineering.

What is your proudest artistic accomplishment? My proudest artistic accomplishment is being selected to be the pianist for the Camel City Youth Jazz Orchestra.

How will the arts influence your future career? Although I will not pursue a career in music, I hope it will still continue to be a part of my life as I move on from high school.

Timmy Kammire

Bishop McGuinness High School

Principal: Tracy Shaw

Nominating Teacher: Martha Garrett

Arts Discipline: Pottery

Grade: 11

GPA/QPA: 4.3

What is your favorite part of the arts genre in which you were selected? In pottery, I thoroughly enjoy how each and everyday you learn something new and are constantly challenged. The atmosphere is always enthusiastic and very lively in my class, adding to the reasons why pottery is passion of mine.

Where would you most like to attend college and what might be your major? I plan to attend either Clemson University, University of Florida, or San Diego State University. I hope to major in either Business Management or Entrepreneurship.

What is your proudest artistic accomplishment? I have to say the proudest moment of mine in Pottery would be the day I was able to center the clay on the potters’ wheel, in just a few seconds. This was a goal I had hoped to achieve and was proud of accomplishing.

How will the arts influence your future career? Pottery has influenced my future career by giving me a sense of innovation, that I was not aware I had. In pottery you have to work efficiently and with creativity to excel, which motivates me in the future to not only work hard, but with delicate care.

Brandon Kearse

Carver High School

Principal: Carol Montague-Davis

SAM Coordinator: Julia Puckett

Nominating Teacher: Juan Eckard

Arts Discipline: Music

Grade: 12

GPA/QPA: 3.3

What is your favorite part of the arts genre in which you were selected? Enjoying the different sounds and how when they come together the sound is very melodic.

Where would you most like to attend college and what might be your major? Bethune-Cookman University. Music or IT.

What is your proudest artistic accomplishment? Continuing to learn to play different instruments.

How will the arts influence your future career? Music is becoming diverse so it hopefully take me all over the world should I continue to pursue it to the fullest. I would like to have an impact on other young minds by showing them the many opportunities music can provide.

Briana Tabor

East Forsyth High School

Principal: Rodney Bass

SAM Coordinator: Roman Brady

Nominating Teacher: Dawn Shopshire Swaim

Arts Discipline: Dance

Grade: 9


What is your favorite part of the arts genre in which you were selected? My favorite part of the arts is how you can express everything your feeling for your past your present and your future. And in modern dance you get to express every raw emotion with no boundaries. And I think that’s beautiful.

Where would you most like to attend college and what might be your major? I would like to attend UNC Greensboro or NYU for college. They are both very big in the arts and it is something I am planning on pursuing through my life. I would like to major in creative writing, theater, dance, or teaching. I would also love to travel and maybe look into an exchange student program.

What is your proudest artistic accomplishment? I haven’t been dancing long, but I would say my proudest artistic accomplishment is when your dancing and you can feel the music speak to you and all the sudden it’s not just movement but a language I speak. One day in dance class we were doing an identity project and everyone was practicing and I got into the movement like I never have before a couple tears were shed from me, and everyone got quiet and just watched and I expressed who I am through dance. That is my proudest artistic accomplished so far.

How will the arts influence your future career? My plan is to be as involved in dance as I can be. It’s a therapy for me. And I want people to be able to look at the world and see the beauty. And the best way I can do that is to be apart of the arts. Weather that mean I’m writing poetry and dancing for people or even acting. It’s a dream I have always felt I am obligated to portray for people.

Andrew Claybrook

Forsyth Country Day

Head of School: Gardner Barrier

SAM Coordinator: John Kildahl

Nominating Teacher: Aaron Craven

Arts Discipline: Orchestra

Grade: 12

GPA/QPA: 4.2

What is your favorite part of the arts genre in which you were selected? My favorite part is the performance – getting to share the music we’ve worked on with others.

Where would you most like to attend college and what might be your major? I don’t have a #1 choice, but I am interested in Appalachian State, UNC Chapel Hill, and Davidson College. At all three, I want to study some combination of political science and English.

What is your proudest artistic accomplishment? Deciding to learn double bass after playing trombone for six years. I’m proud of the relatively short time I took for me to learn to play.

How will the arts influence your future career? While I don’t plan to major in music, playing has provided a discipline, patience, and a methodical nature that will help me no matter what I pursue.

Sarah Bluff

Glenn High School

Principal: Brad Craddock

SAM Coordinator: Jonathan Miller

Nominating Teacher: Allison Dawkins

Arts Discipline: Dance, Theatre

Grade: 12

GPA/QPA: 4.0

What is your favorite part of the arts genre in which you were selected? Being able to express myself and my emotions through movement and connecting with others who enjoy doing the same.

Where would you most like to attend college and what might be your major? I would most like to attend college at Appalachian State University. I am choosing to major in either Dance studies or forensic science.

What is your proudest artistic accomplishment? Becoming Captain of the Bobcat Dance Team my senior year.

How will the arts influence your future career? If I choose to major in Dance studies, I hope that will lead me to becoming a dance teacher at a high school or a college.

Giselle Salina-Medina

Kennedy High School

Principal: Keisha Gabriel

SAM Coordinator: Kaitlin Bryant

Nominating Teacher: Kaitlyn Bryant

Arts Discipline: Visual Art

Grade: 11

GPA/QPA: 3.9

What is your favorite part of the arts genre in which you were selected? What I like most about Visual arts is the different projects we do. It’s a variety of things, and all require different techniques and different mediums.

Where would you most like to attend college and what might be your major? I don’t know where I want to go to college yet, but I have my sights set on majoring in Graphic  design.

What is your proudest artistic accomplishment? My cubism project, because I sorta just throw random colors and just did a bunch of random stuff without thinking it through, and it came out looking pretty neat.

How will the arts influence your future career? I actually want to major in the art department, it actually will be pretty important in the future.

Lauren Kochy

Mount Tabor High School

Principal: Ed Weiss

Nominating Teacher: Colin Choat

Arts Discipline: Band

Grade: 12

GPA/QPA: 3.2

What is your favorite part of the arts genre in which you were selected? My favorite part of Band is being able to create music with students who are as passionate as I am in a way that truly moves the audience.

Where would you most like to attend college and what might be your major? My first choice for school is Western Carolina University for Music Education.

What is your proudest artistic accomplishment? My proudest accomplishment is my acceptance and completion of the 2017 session of NC Governor’s School East as an instrumental Music student.

How will the arts influence your future career? My career path has been laid out as a music educator due to the positive impact of arts programs on my life. As such, the arts have everything to do with my future.

Nathan Russell

Parkland High School

Principal: Spencer Hardy

SAM Coordinator: Tara Hauser

Nominating Teacher: Tara Hauser

Arts Discipline: Theatre Arts

Grade: 11

GPA/QPA: 4.33

What is your favorite part of the arts genre in which you were selected? My favorite part about being in Theater is the improvisation that we do, because you never know what is going to happen, and you can make it very funny.

Where would you most like to attend college and what might be your major? I am still deciding on College, but I am interested in Appalachian state and Wake Forest. I would like to major in something that is art related, but I am not sure.

What is your proudest artistic accomplishment? Being in the Nutcracker for six years in a row as a party boy.

How will the arts influence your future career? The arts will influence my future career, in that it has taught me to work with other people in a creative setting and use my creative problem solving skills. I do plan on having a career in the arts, either with comedic writing or with music.


Gabriela Giulumian

Reagan High School

Principal: Brad Royal

SAM Coordinator: Jennifer Willard

Nominating Teacher: Erin Roberts

Arts Discipline: Dance

Grade: 9

What is your favorite part of the arts genre in which you were selected? My favorite part of dance is being able to share my passion and emotion with everyone watching.  I also enjoy feeling free while doing it and being on the stage making memories with my friends.

Where would you most like to attend college and what might be your major? I will most likely attend UNC Chapel Hill or Wake Forest, and I would either major in biology, psychology, or dance, and I definitely want to try to make my college’s dance team.

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