Student Artist of the Month: January 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.

Taylor Fernald

Atkins Academic & Technology High School

Principal: Joe Childers

SAM Coordinator: Janet Blakely

Nominating Teacher: Lauren Gliot

Arts Discipline: Theatre Arts

Grade: 11

GPA/QPA: 3.8

What is your favorite part of the arts genre in which you were selected? I enjoy working/performing with other students.

Where would you most like to attend college and what might be your major? I would like to attend NC State and major in Computer Programming.

What is your proudest artistic accomplishment? My Fall Showcase performance, “Robotic Love”.

How will the arts influence your future career? Performing in theater has greatly improved my communication skills.

Jefferson Bercaw

Bishop McGuinness High School

Principal: Tracy Shaw

Nominating Teacher: Alan Hirsh

Arts Discipline: Music

Grade: 12

GPA/QPA: 4.66

What is your favorite part of the arts genre in which you were selected? I enjoy the puzzle-aspect of music. Each song is a puzzle with melodies and harmonies that must accord with the selected chord progressions. I love to derive these progressions and craft melodies to fit them.

Where would you most like to attend college and what might be your major? Biomedical Engineering at Cornell University.

What is your proudest artistic accomplishment? My proudest accomplishment is the expansive list of instruments I’ve been able to learn and come to enjoy. I started with the piano in Kindergarten and continued to learn the clarinet, bass clarinet, guitar, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, and yes, even the ukulele.

How will the arts influence your future career? Music will provide a lifelong development of my creativity, which is vital for the success of an engineer. It will also provide an outlet where I can look forward to releasing stress and having a great time.

Shelby Mozingo

Calvary Day School

Principal: Rick Bohner

SAM Coordinator: Vera Boston

Nominating Teacher: Elisa Hurst

Arts Discipline: Photography

Grade: 12

GPA/QPA: 5.57

What is your favorite part of the arts genre in which you were selected? My favorite thing about photography is that it enables you to take the beauty and uniqueness of your surroundings and put them into a physical image that can be shared with others. Photography allows ordinary people to capture extraordinary things.

Where would you most like to attend college and what might be your major? I hope to attend Clemson University to study biochemistry. In the future, I plan to pursue a career in the medical field.

What is your proudest artistic accomplishment? Some of my photos were submitted to the Dixie Classic Fair in the fall. Also, I have been taking senior photos for many of my friends which has been a lot of fun and has helped me build a portfolio.

How will the arts influence your future career? I hope to keep photography as a hobby. I would like to continue to increase my knowledge and develop my personal style while in college.

Anesha Sinclair

Carver High School

Principal: Carol Montague-Davis

SAM Coordinator: Julia Puckett

Nominating Teacher: Danielle Kinne

Arts Discipline: Dance

Grade: 12

GPA/QPA: 2.9

What is your favorite part of the arts genre in which you were selected? My favorite part of dance is that it isall about being creative and that there is no limit to what can be created.

Where would you most like to attend college and what might be your major? North Carolina Central University, and I want to major in Criminal Law.

What is your proudest artistic accomplishment? My dance technique has gotten better this year and I am dancing with persicion and depth. I have a better understanding of how to perform and what it means to really express my ideas and thoughts through movement.

How will the arts influence your future career? I have learned a lot about how to collaborate, communicate and approach difficult problems with a creative mind.

Julie Marker

East Forsyth High School

Principal: Rodney Bass

SAM Coordinator: Roman Brady

Nominating Teacher: Terri Hester

Arts Discipline: Visual Arts

Grade: 12

GPA/QPA: 4.7917

What is your favorite part of the arts genre in which you were selected? I just enjoy being able to take an image from my mind and share it with others.

Where would you most like to attend college and what might be your major? UNC Wilmington, majoring in Marine Biology.

What is your proudest artistic accomplishment? The fact that I’ve been able to advance my skills this far, and hopefully they will continue to develop.

How will the arts influence your future career? They will allow me to see things from a creative standpoint, and I will be able to use my skills to further a cause related to Marine Biology.


Christopher Atala

Forsyth Country Day

Head of School: Gardner Barrier

SAM Coordinator: John Kildahl

Nominating Teacher: Terry Hicks

Arts Discipline: Choral Music

Grade: 12

GPA/QPA: 3.957

What is your favorite part of the arts genre in which you were selected? My favorite part of Choral Music or Choir is the way which multiple voices intertwine to create a harmonious expression of emotion.

Where would you most like to attend college and what might be your major? I would like to attend Wake Forest University, and Chemistry and Computer Science are both possible choices of major.

What is your proudest artistic accomplishment? Being selected for participation in the North Carolina High School Honors Chorus has been my most memorable artistic accomplishment.

How will the arts influence your future career? The arts will influence my future career by providing an environment of community through which I can relax and refocus; music fuels creativity in other areas of my life.


Sarah Buff

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.


Bianca Pender

Kennedy High School

Principal: Keisha Gabriel

SAM Coordinator: Kaitlin Bryant

Nominating Teacher: Kaitlyn Bryant

Arts Discipline: Visual Art

Grade: 11

GPA/QPA: 3.5

What is your favorite part of the arts genre in which you were selected? My favorite part of visual arts would be that it brings new ideas into focus, it embodies emotions that may or may not trigger a feeling in a person, and because art has the unique ability to transcend time.

Where would you most like to attend college and what might be your major? The Philadelphia Academy for Makeup and Special Effects. Special effects makeup.

What is your proudest artistic accomplishment? Creating art that has emotional construct that people are able to appreciate.

How will the arts influence your future career? The arts will influence my future career heavily as I am a visual artist that utilizes body art since I hope to become a professional special effects makeup artist or body painter.

Giselle Gonzalez-Garcia

Mount Tabor High School

Principal: Ed Weiss

Nominating Teacher: Alice Morley

Arts Discipline: Visual Art

Grade: 12

GPA/QPA: 3.6

What is your favorite part of the arts genre in which you were selected? I really love that there is no right or wrong when it comes to art. You can just be creative.

Where would you most like to attend college and what might be your major? I hope to attend Queens University of Charlotte to major in Graphic Design.

What is your proudest artistic accomplishment? Last year I was honored and proud to be an honorable mention in the Scholastics.

How will the arts influence your future career? I plan to have a career in graphic design, where I would use my art skills and creativity everyday.

Maria P. Granados

North Forsyth High School

Principal: Melita Wise

SAM Coordinator: Carolina Corona

Nominating Teacher: Erin Roberts

Arts Discipline: Dance

Grade: 10

GPA/QPA: 4.0

What is your favorite part of the arts genre in which you were selected? My favorite part of the dance discipline is being able to express myself through movements and show others the hard work and dedication we have to put into the dance. Also, the adrenaline feeling when I’m performing .

Where would you most like to attend college and what might be your major? I’m planning to attend either Salem College or UNCG and pursue a major in International Business.

What is your proudest artistic accomplishment? My proudest artistic accomplishment so far is being able to participate twice in the dance concert. Additionally, improving my dance techniques, flexibility, and balance .

How will the arts influence your future career? Isadora Duncan, Martha Graham, Ruth St. Denis, Josephine Baker and all these powerful women totally inspire me. The fact they were able to leave their print in the world even in a time where women were discriminated makes me believe everything is possible if you make an effort. They set an example for all young ladies and women in the world, including me. I want to be different and reach my goals. Sometimes you need to stand out of the pile, make some changes, work hard for what you want and I think that’s definitely something that will influence my future career .