Mira Awards Honor Creative High School Students

May 29, 2022

Escambia County Public Schools Foundation recently recognized local high school seniors for their creative and artistic talents through the annual Mira Awards.

Mira, meaning “brightest star,” was conceived by a group of teachers at Tate High School in 1987.  Since then, the Mira Awards have been expanded to all Escambia County high schools.  Students receive a custom medallion to wear with their cap and gown at graduation.

Beth Partington, who has chaired the Mira Awards ceremony for the past eight years, believes, “It is so important to honor students who excel in the arts.  Their creativity, dedication, and talents are often overlooked, yet their contributions add a great deal to everyone’s lives and the high school experience.  The Foundation enjoys celebrating these exceptional high school seniors each year.”

This year, the following 74 local high school seniors received Mira Awards:

Escambia High School

Jasmine Collings, Kadence Vanlandingham (Band), Ty Jones (Chorus), Sara Jones (Drama), Charlotte Paolini (Orchestra), Selma Millan (Visual Arts)

Northview High

Adrianne Shanks (Band), Addison White (Creative Writing), Kinzey Powell (Culinary Arts), Hunter Borelli (Graphic Arts), Dallon Rackard (Graphic Design), Jesse Hughes (Journalism), Mia Starns (Photography), Benjamin Rowinsky (Video Design), Madison Watson (Visual Arts), Paige Ross (Visual Design), Anna Adams, Shelby Cotita (Yearbook)

Pensacola High School

Christian McClung (Chorus), Miyauna Copeland (Culinary Arts), Scott Grove, Vitus Larrieu, Steven Rhodes (Drama), Aniya Knight (Graphic Arts), Ezra Baker, Gracie Collins, Abigail Prettyman (Instrumental Music), Isabel Green (Orchestra), Wren Harwell (Photography), Colin Gold (Yearbook)

Pine Forest High School

Kiaeante Hill (Band), Emmie Sasser (Chorus), Thomas Welch (Culinary Arts), Karriema Jones (Design Services Academy), Daniel Jennings (Digital Media), Hailee Hatcher (Photography), Nina Burt (Visual Arts), Dontreal Hines (Yearbook)

Tate High School

Holly Phillips, Carter Pitts, Melissa Schauer (Band), Rose Geinert, Emily Payne (Chorus), Hunter Brumfield, Elias Ray (Drama), Gabrielle Gryskiewicz, Jordan Rinker (Orchestra), Vanessa Lopez, Megan Morris (Visual Arts), Dylainie Charlery (Yearbook)

Washington High School

Kaleb Aymond, Adrianna Blackmon, Michaela Hartley (Band), Alexia Ben, Minh Nguyen, Caitlin Sanderson (Chorus), Samuel Brown, Jovaney Sutherland (Orchestra), Kaitlyn Roe (Theatre), Michaela Luescher (Theatre and Visual Arts), Cassady Hawkins, Yu’miya Walker (Visual Arts)

West Florida High School

Kyla Barrett, Grace Coleman (Band), Arjerne Arrington (Drama-Performance Excellence), William Rabon, Mia Zareck (Multimedia-Graphic Design), Chloe Rabin (Orchestra-Exceptional Leadership), Thien-Loc Uc (Orchestra-Performance Leadership), Mason Mott (Photographic Journalism), Teana Henderson (Theatre-Exceptional Leadership), Fariha Fairooz, Braxton Wickersham (Visual Arts), Micayla Jesse (Yearbook-Graphic Design)


One Response to “Mira Awards Honor Creative High School Students”

  1. SRR on May 29th, 2022 3:04 am

    I was awarded this back in 1991, and I’m still involved in art, currently a graphic and advertising designer for a company and freelance on the side.

    Receiving this award was a big honor for me back then. I think of it sometimes after all these years.

    My advice to those who received this honor, go to college for art. I did not and it took me years and years grinding and doing freelance work barely getting by. The term starving artist is not an old saying for nothing. The only thing that kept pushing me forward was passion. No art jobs are going to fall in your lap, you must hound companies and really network as a freelancer to start landing those jobs. The art world it really is not about how good you are, sincerely, it is all about who you know. Art galleries downtown won’t give your stuff a second look unless you are a paying member and volunteering to work at the gallery. Trust me I tried, it is all politics, not the art. So I never got involved with other artists or the local art scene. The one and only art show I happened to get my work in had photographers for art magazines there from as far as New York swarming around my exhibit… so that was enough for me to prove the local “fine art scene” is a sham. I have also had my work on outsider artist magazine covers. If you aren’t trained in college you are an “outsider artist” the term alone tells you how the fine art world treats you.

    Congratulations to the winners, I hope you all become a success in the arts. Just work hard, go get formally trained, don’t get discouraged and no matter what anyone tells you don’t stop.

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