Another year, another record for NDP artists

Record-setting art from Notre Dame's upper division in Scholastic art competition includes another "best of show."

(Updated July 1, 2018)

Student-artists from Notre Dame earned 50 awards in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards competition for the Southeastern Michigan region, beating last year's 45 awards, which was a huge increase from the 2016 school record of 27 awards.

According to Sandy LewAllen, Notre Dame’s art chair, earning 50 awards tops the number of awards ever won at Notre Dame Prep and is one of the largest groups from any school in the region, including very large public schools such as Stoney Creek and Novi. “I couldn't be any more proud of all of our art students and their efforts,” she said.

The awards include 20 Gold Keys, 14 Silver Keys, 16 Honorable Mentions and one Gold Key Portfolio.

LewAllen also noted that one of the award winners, senior Thomas Fazio, earned the competition’s American Vision Award, which means his art was chosen as the “Best of Show” from all of the artwork entered in this year’s Southeastern Michigan regional competition. 

"Each regional program across the country selects the five most outstanding works of art from their Gold Key recipients," said LewAllen, who also was tabbed to receive Scholastic's regional Inspiring High School Teacher Award. "Thomas will be among the five young artists to represent the region on the national level as American Vision nominees. A national panel will then select one of the nominated works from each region as the American Vision Award Recipient for 2018."

Notre Dame senior Destiney Sandle received a special "Scholastic Gold Key Portfolio" award in the region.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have an impressive legacy dating back to 1923. Over the years, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have grown to become the longest-running, most prestigious program for creative teens in the U.S., and the nation’s largest source of scholarships for creative young artists and writers. A noteworthy roster of past winners includes Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, Richard Avedon, Robert Redford, Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen King and John Updike.

An awards ceremony honoring the Detroit-area Scholastic winners was held Feb. 6 at the Detroit Film Theatre at the Detroit Institute of Arts. An exhibit of all winning student artwork sponsored by Detroit’s prestigious College for Creative Studies also was mounted and available at the time of the event.

The process for the art competition begins across the country as young artists and writers in grades 7-12 submit work in 28 categories of art and writing to a network of regional affiliates who present award ceremonies and exhibits for selected works on a local level. Gold Keys, the highest awards, are then submitted from each region for national adjudication by luminaries in the visual and literary arts, some of whom are past award recipients. National Gold and Silver Medal winning students and their teachers receive national recognition, and are invited to attend the exhibit in New York and award ceremony at Carnegie Hall.

In the last five years alone, students submitted nearly 900,000 original works of art and writing. During that period, more than 60 top art institutes and colleges have partnered with the Awards to make $40 million in scholarships and financial aid available to regional and national Scholastic Award winners. Nearly 6000 individual entries for middle and high school and more than 300 senior portfolios were entered in 15 categories this year. Many excellent works were submitted, and 1093 individual category works and 90 Portfolios were selected to receive American Vision, Gold Key, Silver Key and Honorable Mention Awards. All Gold Key work is judged at the national level in March. 

The 2018 Scholastic Art Award winners from Notre Dame Prep are listed below. 


Thomas Fazio: “La Rivelazione di Nonno,” Drawing and Illustration, Notre Dame Preparatory School, Teacher: Sandra LewAllen


Destiney Sandle: “Everything in Me,” Notre Dame Preparatory School, Teacher: Sandra LewAllen 

2018 REGIONAL AWARDS – Individual Categories, Notre Dame Preparatory School, Teacher: Sandra LewAllen 

Kyle Conroy, Gold Key, Printmaking 
Riley Cooper, Honorable Mention, Photography 
Riley Cooper, Honorable Mention, Drawing 
Kevin Cragg, Gold Key, Drawing 
Kevin Cragg, Honorable, Mention Drawing 
Amelia Cumming, Gold Key, Drawing 
Amelia Cumming, Gold Key, Drawing 
Maddie Detty, Silver Key, Drawing 
Thomas Fazio, Gold Key, Printmaking 
Thomas Fazio, Gold Key, Drawing 
Thomas Fazio, Silver Key, Printmaking 
Thomas Fazio, Silver Key, Ceramics & Glass 
Thomas Fazio, Honorable Mention, Painting 
Isabella Ignagni, Gold Key, Printmaking 
Isabella Ignagni, Gold Key, Painting 
Isabella Ignagni, Silver Key, Sculpture 
Isabella Ignagni, Honorable Mention, Printmaking 
Juliet Jacoby, Silver Key, Drawing 
Juliet Jacoby, Honorable Mention, Photography 
Gretel Keller, Silver Key, Painting 
Gretel Keller, Silver Key, Mixed Media 
Matthew LaMothe, Gold Key, Drawing 
Matthew LaMothe, Gold Key, Drawing 
Matthew LaMothe, Honorable Mention, Ceramics & Glass 
Matthew LaMothe, Honorable Mention, Photography 
Deven Lawry, Honorable Mention, Painting 
Kathryn Lee, Gold Key, Drawing 
Kathryn Lee, Gold Key, Drawing 
Natalie Lyijynen, Gold Key, Photography 
Natalie Lyijynen, Gold Key, Drawing 
Natalie Lyijynen, Silver Key, Drawing 
Brianna Manzor, Gold Key, Photography 
Brianna Manzor, Silver Key, Drawing 
Brianna Manzor, Honorable Mention, Painting 
Brianna Manzor, Honorable Mention, Painting 
Madelyn McCullen, Silver Key, Printmaking 
Madelyn McCullen, Silver Key, Printmaking 
Maria Mora, Gold Key, Photography 
Mariana Ortiz Luna, Gold Key, Drawing 
Mariana Ortiz Luna, Silver Key, Drawing 
Abigail Rankin, Silver Key, Printmaking 
Abigail Rankin, Honorable Mention, Painting 
Destiney Sandle, Gold Key, Mixed Media 
Destiney Sandle, Gold Key, Mixed Media 
Destiney Sandle, Silver Key, Sculpture 
Sophia Shick, Honorable Mention, Printmaking 
Sophia Shick, Honorable Mention, Painting 
Megan Sollmer, Honorable Mention, Drawing 
Cydney Ukwuoma, Silver Key, Printmaking 
Shannon Wood, Gold Key, Printmaking 

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About Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy
Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy is a private, Catholic, independent, coeducational day school located in Oakland County. The school's upper division enrolls students in grades nine through twelve and has been named one of the nation's best 50 Catholic high schools (Acton Institute) four times since 2005. Notre Dame's middle and lower divisions enroll students in jr. kindergarten through grade eight. All three divisions are International Baccalaureate "World Schools." NDPMA is conducted by the Marist Fathers and Brothers and is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States and the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement. For more on Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy, visit the school's home page at