"Stop the presses!"

This year’s National winners of the Scholastics Art and Writing Competition were announced on March 14th in New York City. Sydney Rastrullo, a Sandburg Senior Art Student, won a National Gold Medal in the 2017 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards for her Black &White Photograph, “Coney Island”.

Students from Sandburg competed this past January at the Regional level at the Downers Grove North High School. Two Regional Gold Keys were awarded to our students: one to Sophia Lopez and one to Sydney Rastrullo. Their pieces traveled next to New York City to further compete nationally against all other National Gold Medal winners from throughout the United States.

Sydney has been invited by Scholastics to appear this June at the National Ceremony held at Carnegie Hall in New York City where she will be presented with her medal. In addition, her photograph will become part of a national traveling exhibition of all National Gold Key winners from the United States.

Please help us all celebrate this amazing achievement.

Congratulations Sydney!

Official Letter:

William Engelhard

Carl Sandburg High School


Orland Park, IL 60462

Dear William


One or more of your students have earned national recognition in the 2017 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. With your mentorship, your student(s) have demonstrated that they are among the most talented young artists and writers in the nation.

Student Name Work Title Awards Category

Rastrullo, Sydney Coney Island Gold Medal Photography

Since 1923, the Awards have recognized creative teenagers from across the country. By receiving a Scholastic Art & Writing Awards National Medal, your student(s) join a legacy of celebrated authors and artists including Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, Richard Avedon, Robert Redford, Lena Dunham, and the renowned artist who will receive our Alumni Achievement Award this year, Paul Chan. More than 330,000 works of art and writing were submitted by students in grades 7–12 this year. Receiving a National Medal places your student(s) within the top 1% of all submissions!

What’s Next?

Students receiving Gold Medals, American Visions and Voices Medals, Silver Medals with Distinction, or Sponsored Awards (New York Life Award, The Herblock Award for Editorial Cartoon, The RBC “Flaunt It” Award, Gedenk Award for Tolerance, Neiman Marcus Award for Fashion, Neiman Marcus Award for Jewelry, and Best-in-Grade Award) and their educators are invited to National Events in New York City on June 7–June 9! The National Ceremony at Carnegie Hall will be held on Thursday, June 8. More information about National Events and the National Ceremony is available online at

Silver Medalists will receive their medals and certificates in the mail.

It’s very important that you review all information thoroughly with your student(s). You and your student(s) can view any required forms and find more information by logging into the account used to register for the Scholastic Awards.

Access your account at

Announce the Award(s) at Your School!

Let your school know about your National Medalist(s)! Below is a script you can use in your school’s announcements, website, and newsletters. We will also send a letter and a certificate to your principal in the coming weeks.

We are pleased to announce that the following students have earned national recognition in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards of 2017. [Announce Student Names] These students have been identified by panels of creative professionals as the most talented young artists and writers in the nation. This year, more than 330,000 works of art and writing were submitted. Less than 1% were recognized at the national level. These students have been invited to attend a ceremony at the world-famous Carnegie Hall on Thursday, June 8

If you have any questions, please contact us at

Congratulations once again on your school’s success in the 2017 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards!


Virginia McEnerney Executive Director,

Alliance for Young Artists & Writers