Six MMI students win 16 awards at Scholastic Art & Writing Awards competition


(Freeland, PA – January 27, 2017) – Six MMI Preparatory School students won a total of 16 awards in this year’s Scholastic Art & Writing Awards competition. The students were honored during a recent awards ceremony at Marywood University.

Senior Evan Spear won the American Voices Medal for writers, the highest honor presented to a writer by the Scholastic Writing Awards. Only one writer from each region is presented with this award each year. Spear also received a Gold Key Poetry award.

The American Voices nominees are “Best in Show” awards that most exemplify originality, technical skill and the emergence of a personal voice or vision. Five works of writing from each region are selected by local judges as American Voices Nominees. These nominees are celebrated in local exhibitions and ceremonies. From the pool of nominees, an esteemed panel of jurors in New York City then selects one writer from each region to receive an American Voices Medal. These Medalists are recognized at the National Ceremony and Art.Write.Now exhibition in New York City.

Other recognized MMI students were: Junior Jaclyn Braunstein and sophomore Lauren Matyas who both won a Silver Key Poetry award and Matyas was an Honorable Mention selection in the Poetry category. Senior Joshua Narrow was a Gold Key Portfolio recipient and received four Silver Keys and one Honorable Mention selection in Poetry. Senior Olivia Minzola won a Gold Key for Portfolio, Silver Key awards in Personal Essay/Memoir and Flash Fiction and an Honorable Mentions in Poetry. Junior Hunter O’Clair was an Honorable Mention selection in Dramatic Script. MMI English instructors Jennifer Novotney and Donna Titus served as advisers for MMI students in the competition.

The Scholastic Writing Awards are presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. The Alliance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to identify students with exceptional artistic and literary talent and present their remarkable work to the world through the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Through the Awards, students receive opportunities for recognition, exhibition, publication, and scholarships.

Each year, the Alliance partners with nearly 100 visual arts and literary arts organizations across the country to bring the Scholastic Awards to local communities. Teens in grades 7–12 apply in 29 categories of art and writing. Last year, students submitted nearly 320,000 works of art and writing to the Scholastic Awards. Students across America submitted nearly 320,000 original works during the 2016 program year across 29 different categories of art and writing.

Evan Spear is the son of William and Marylynne Spear, Hazleton; Jaclyn Braunstein is the daughter of Dr. Larry and Kimberly Braunstein, Mountaintop; Lauren Matyas is the daughter of Michael and Wendisue Matyas, Sugarloaf; Olivia Minzola is the daughter of Joseph and Debra Minzola, Drums; Joshua Narrow is the son of Howard and Marie Narrow, Hazleton; Hunter O’Clair is the son of Candice and Timothy O’Clair, Drums.

CAPTION: Six MMI Preparatory School students won a total of 16 awards in this year’s Scholastic Art & Writing Awards competition. Pictured are, first row: Lauren Matyas, Olivia Minzola and Jaclyn Braunstein. Second row: Donna Titus, competition adviser; Hunter O’Clair; Evan Spear; Joshua Narrow and Jennifer Novotney, competition adviser.

About MMI Preparatory School

For 137 years, MMI Preparatory School has been providing dedicated area students with a comprehensive and inspiring 6th through 12th grade college preparatory program that maximizes each individual’s academic, social and character potential in preparation for success in college and beyond. The school is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS).  MMI is a school where every student can reach their full potential: academically, ethically and socially.  For more information about MMI Preparatory School, visit or call 570-636-1108.