A ‘Reflection’ of talents

Published 10:12 pm Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Northern Shores Elementary School students Isabella Tucker, Canyon Goetsch and Nathaniel Holloman were among a number of students from the city’s public schools to progress to the state level of the Southeastern District PTA Reflections contest.

Northern Shores Elementary School students Isabella Tucker, Canyon Goetsch and Nathaniel Holloman were among a number of students from the city’s public schools to progress to the state level of the Southeastern District PTA Reflections contest.

Eight students from Suffolk’s public schools have been rewarded for their creative talents after progressing to the state level of the Southeastern District PTA Reflections contest.

The annual contest recognizes the creativity of students in five categories: photography, dance, film, music and literature.

After schools judged their own winners at the contest’s initial level, Willie Woodson, a former president of Oakland Elementary School’s parent-teacher association and district secretary, said he selected the district winners that are progressing to state.

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Isabella Tucker, a Northern Shores Elementary School second-grader, had two entries progress. “One, I wrote a book, and the other one was a film,” she said.

What was the book about? “If I were an animal, what would I do,” Isabella explained.

“I really like animals. I got a hamster for my birthday, I got two hermit crabs, and I used to have a cat.”

The film, she said, was about her sister’s ambition to be a pilot when she grows up. “She likes to build airplanes with toys,” Isabella said.

Also from Northern Shores, fourth-grader Nathaniel Holloman’s photography entry will vie for supremacy at state, as will kindergartener Canyon Goetsch with her dance entry, spanning, she said, tap, jazz and ballet.

“I love it,” Canyon — whose mother teaches dance — said of her success.

Nathaniel said his winning entry was a photograph of his little brother holding hands with a friend.

“I’ve always believed that my brother would have a friend like that, and I always dreamed that he would do something like that, and it inspires me that he made a friend like that,” Nathaniel said.

Isabella said she was excited by her success — as was her sister featured in the film. “(She) gave me a happy leg cling,” Isabella said. “She always clings on my leg when she’s happy.”

Other Suffolk students to have made state are Reese Wilkinson, Forest Glen Middle School (photography); Caitlin Lawson, King’s Fork High School (dance); Rachel Yang, John Yeates Middle School (music); Zoire Brundidge, Elephant’s Fork Elementary School (literature); and Raekwon Williams, Forest Glen Middle School (literature).

Tara Moore, principal at Northern Shores Elementary, remarked that the competition recognizes students’ talents that otherwise might go unacknowledged in the school setting.

“Sometimes we don’t always see all the talents,” Moore said. “Our PTA works very hard to promote the Reflections contest, and I think that excites the students and gets them interested in competing.”

Suffolk has several students make it to the state level every year, Woodson said. “Especially in the elementary grades, they have been represented extremely well,” he said.

“We would like to see more participation in high school students, but once they get up there, I don’t know if their schedule is too full.”

Entries are judged on artistic merit as well as how well they interpret the theme, he added.