Student Artist of the Month: November 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.


Alexandra Schram

Atkins Academic & Technology High School

Principal: Joe Childers

Nominating Teacher: Caroline Smith

Arts Discipline: Dance

Grade: 9

What is your favorite part of the arts genre in which you were selected? I enjoy dancing because it allows me to escape from stress, anxiety, judgment, etc. and express myself by focusing all of my energy in the movements.

Where would you most like to attend college and what might be your major? I would like to attend college at either UNCSA, UNC Greensboro, or Elon University. My major might be dance, exercise science, or physical therapy.

What is your proudest artistic accomplishment? I auditioned and was accepted to attend UNC School of the Arts for a five-week summer ballet intensive. I am training to compete at Youth America Grand Prix, the largest student ballet competition.

How will the arts influence your future career? I plan to be very involved in the arts in the future, whether that’s dancing for a company, taking more dance classes, or attending shows. Dancing is my passion and I want to carry out my dreams in the field.


Anthony Cancro

Bishop McGuinness High School

Principal: Tracy Shaw

Nominating Teacher: Alan Hirsh

Arts Discipline: Music

Grade: 12

GPA/QPA: 4.31

What is your favorite part of the arts genre in which you were selected? My favorite part of the arts genre in which I was selected is playing, practicing, and performing the piano.

Where would you most like to attend college and what might be your major? I am currently deciding which college I will attend, but I know that I will major in Music Education.

What is your proudest artistic accomplishment? My proudest artistic accomplishment is a piece I performed last year at a benefit concert for the music department at my school. It was the hardest piece I had ever attempted, and I did not by any means play it perfectly, but I was very proud of myself for being able to perform it.

How will the arts influence your future career? I plan to be a music teacher, so obviously the arts will have a huge impact on my every day life in this career. I plan to spread my love for music to as many people I can, so the arts will influence this career by being a part of me that I can share with others.


Kailey House

Calvary Day School

Principal: Rick Bohner

SAM Coordinator: Vera Boston

Nominating Teacher: Stephanie Weiser

Arts Discipline: Studio Art

Grade: 12

GPA/QPA: 4.92

What is your favorite part of the arts genre in which you were selected? I enjoy getting to create all different kinds of paintings and drawings in the style I choose. Painting is my favorite, but being in Studio Art allows me do a lot of different projects in a range of media.

Where would you most like to attend college and what might be your major? My goal is to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I want to study business.

What is your proudest artistic accomplishment? My proudest artistic accomplishment would be winning a Silver Key in Regional Scholastic Art and Writing Competition.

How will the arts influence your future career? Art will influence my future career by allowing me see all different aspects of the business world. It will let me see that there are many sides and approaches to a problem or topic. Also, it will help me be able to think outside the box when looking for a solution.


Brylie Branham

East Forsyth High School

Principal: Rodney Bass

SAM Coordinator: Roman Brady

Nominating Teacher: Tiffany C. Burgess

Arts Discipline: Theatre Arts

Grade: 11

GPA/QPA: 3.9

What is your favorite part of the arts genre in which you were selected? Though backstage is so much fun, there is no better feeling than taking a bow after a wonderful show. Call me selfish but the applause that comes after a smooth show as you run out to take your bow is a feeling like no other.

Where would you most like to attend college and what might be your major? I have a couple of top schools like UVA, Tennessee, or UNC-Chapel Hill. I want to major in political science and US History then get a law degree in constitutional law.

What is your proudest artistic accomplishment? Being inducted into the International Thespian Society was by far my proudest accomplishment, not only in theater but in life. It took not only hard work but commitment to the arts and my theatre department to reach this goal that I have to set for myself.  As soon as I heard about ITS in my first drama club meeting my freshman year I knew it was something that I wanted to be a part of.

How will the arts influence your future career? Being in the Arts has brought me closer to people who will push me to success and and long inspire me but most importantly it has helped me find my voice and has encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone. As an aspiring politician, there are necessary things that I will forever thank theatre for.


Mia Connors

Glenn High School

Principal: Brad Craddock

SAM Coordinator: Jonathan Miller

Nominating Teacher: Jonathan Miller

Arts Discipline: Band

Grade: 12

GPA/QPA: 3.5

What is your favorite part of the arts genre in which you were selected? My favorite part of band is how much of a family all of us are, and how we all just know how to talk to each other and “get along”.

Where would you most like to attend college and what might be your major? I’d love to attend UNCG and get some kind of liberal arts degree.

What is your proudest artistic accomplishment? One time I wrote a paper that the teacher liked so much I got a 125% on it. And I’ve been first chair clarinet since middle school.

How will the arts influence your future career? I’m going to continue to learn different instruments and probably write a super great novel at some point.


Bella Strause

Kennedy High School

Principal: Keisha Gabriel

SAM Coordinator: Kaitlin Bryant

Nominating Teacher: Kaitlyn Bryant

Arts Discipline: Visual Arts

Grade: 11

GPA/QPA: 3.875


What is your favorite part of the arts genre in which you were selected? I enjoy how I’m able to create. It doesn’t matter if it’s a drawing, painting, or 3D mediums, so long as I can attempt to take what I see in my head and make it real.

Where would you most like to attend college and what might be your major? My top college choice is UNC Asheville with a major in math.

What is your proudest artistic accomplishment? In visual arts my proudest work would be a notecard drawing I made with markers. I can’t really describe it.

How will the arts influence your future career? he arts will help me see the world a little differently, I may plan to be a doctor but I want to live in a small town with a lot of local businesses and shops you can’t find in a big city. I want to live somewhere unique and I want it to have artists, I love art that’s free and wild.


Amie Villalobos

North Forsyth High School

Principal: Melita Wise

SAM Coordinator: Carolina Corona

Nominating Teacher: Christina Parrish

Arts Discipline: Visual Arts

Grade: 9

What is your favorite part of the arts genre in which you were selected? My favorite part of this genre is being able to express my creativity in a fun and calming way.

Where would you most like to attend college and what might be your major? I would like to attend UNCG and major in Interior Design.

What is your proudest artistic accomplishment? My proudest artistic accomplishment is winning first place at the Dixie Classic Fair exhibition.

How will the arts influence your future career? The arts will heavily influence my future career. Interior Design follows most, or all of the principles in Visual Arts.


Hassan Niang

Parkland High School

Principal: Spencer Hardy

SAM Coordinator: Tara Hauser

Nominating Teacher: Stacey Pelsinger

Arts Discipline: Theatre

Grade: 12

GPA/QPA: 3.62

What is your favorite part of the arts genre in which you were selected? I love to act and become different people on stage. I also love the creative freedom that we have in expressing different ideas to the audience. Tech theatre.

Where would you most like to attend college and what might be your major? I would really like to attend Morehouse College in Atlanta. I would like to study biology and also major in theatre if my schedule and workload allows it. If not I would minor in theatre.

What is your proudest artistic accomplishment? My proudest artistic accomplishment was getting awards at the end of the year (2016-2017) for my work that I had shown throughout that year.

How will the arts influence your future career? With me wanting to study biology and theatre I would like to find ways to improve your performance. On Broadway you have 7 or 8 shows a week so finding a way to keep your stamina up to the fullest.


Matthew Mottesheard

Reagan High School

Principal: Brad Royal

SAM Coordinator: Jennifer Willard

Nominating Teacher: Kenny Tysor

Arts Discipline: Music

Grade: 12

GPA/QPA: 4.882

What is your favorite part of the arts genre in which you were selected? My favorite part of playing the trombone is performing with a multitude of musical groups. I have performed with many school, community, county, district, region, state, and national marching bands, wind ensembles, jazz ensembles, and orchestras throughout my years in middle and high school.

Where would you most like to attend college and what might be your major? I would like to attend NC State University and pursue a degree in engineering. I look forward to exploring the various types of engineering.

What is your proudest artistic accomplishment? Being selected as 1 of 200 students for the Bands of America National Honors Marching Band is my proudest musical accomplishment. With this honor, I marched with students from across the nation in the 2017 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California.

How will the arts influence your future career? Although I do not plan to major or minor in music, it will always play an important role in my life. I will continue to seek opportunities to express my creativity through music.


Laia Tran

Reynolds High School

Principal: Leslie Alexander

SAM Coordinator: Karen Morris

Nominating Teacher: Ashley Hurst

Arts Discipline: Visual Arts

Grade: 12

GPA/QPA: 3.56/4.04

What is your favorite part of the arts genre in which you were selected? My favorite part of Visual Arts is being hands on with my work. It allows me to have a fell for the right materials.

Where would you most like to attend college and what might be your major? I would most like to attend Salem College and my majors would’ve in fine arts and in business/entrepreneurship.

What is your proudest artistic accomplishment?