Four Ardmore High School students will be recognized for their artistic talent and dedication next week.
Cassie Andel, Bertina Charles, Sydney Batson and Amie Perry have earned State Superintendent Awards for Arts Excellence, an award that recognizes junior and seniors for their accomplishments in specific fine arts programs. The four will be recognized publicly during a ceremony set for April 23.
Cassie Andel, a junior, won the award for vocal music. She’s a member of the Brass Ring theater group. She made the All-State choir and earned a superior rating on her state solo, both of which qualified her for the award.
“I just went for it,” Andel said. “It’s very exciting to know I was recognized for my singing on a state level.”
Bertina Charles, a junior, earned her award in vocal music.
“Originally I applied for drama, but I got it for vocal music,” Charles said. “I got second at state last year, but that’s really the only accomplishment I had for drama.”
She said she’s been studying vocal music in school since fourth grade, but she’s been studying it at church and at home since she was much younger.
“I was happy I got it for choir, because I love choir,” Charles said. “If there’s something going on outside of school, I love being around my choir people, because they’re like my choir family.”
Vocal music teacher Roxie Woods said both vocal music students are strong students as well as talented singers. She said Charles and Andel are strong competitors whether they’re working in a group or performing alone.
“When you do (all-state), you’re the only one in there with the judge and you sing by yourself,” Woods said. “They’re very capable of doing it by themselves, and they’re leaders within their sections in the choir.”
Amie Perry, a junior, earned the award for drama and theater. This year, Perry went to nationals and was named state champion for dramatic duet. She said she hopes her win will bring more attention to the speech and debate community.
“It also shows how much I’ve improved from my freshman year to my junior year,” Perry said. “My freshman year I came in late, but I was able to qualify all of my stuff to state, which was hard. Then, I felt myself getting better and better each year.”
Sydney Batson, a senior, said she didn’t know what to expect when she applied for the visual art award, but she knew she had the accolades to back it up with three awards from council-judged art shows and another from a 72-hour photography contest held by the Chickasaw Nation.
“I wasn’t sure how competitive it was, if I met their standards or exceeded them,” Batson said. “I was shocked that I was accepted and that they wanted to honor me.”
The award ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. April 23 at the Scottish Rite Temple in Guthrie.