2016-2017 National PTA Reflections Awards





Three Mercer Island students have received awards in the State National PTA Reflections arts program. Mercer Island High Schooler Lauren Pirak received an Award of Excellence in Dance Choreography for her original dance, Overcoming Adversity. Fellow Mercer Island High Schooler Sarah Wang also received an Award of Excellence in Music Composition for her original composition Peony. West Mercer student Sidh Shroff received an Award of Merit in Music Composition for his original composition The World Around Me.


A panel of experts selected Lauren, Sarah and Sidh’s submissions from among the thousands of entries from schools across the state. Reflections offers students the opportunity to create original works of art in six areas: visual art, photography, literature, music composition, dance/choreography, and film/video. The theme for the 2015-2016 school year was “What’s your Story?.”


The Mercer Island PTA Council previously awarded Lauren, Sarah and Sidh first place in the local competition. It is a great honor to know that 3 students from our district have been awarded prizes at the state level, and we are extremely proud to have such a talented group of students participating in the Reflections Art Competition.




Parents and students from all six Mercer island schools, as well as private schools on the Island, gathered together at the Mercer Island High School Performing Arts Center on Monday, March 6th to honor the winners of the 2016/2017 PTA Reflections Art Competition. The competition is organized and sponsored by the IMS PTSA and the Mercer Island PTA Council.


A panel of judges from 6 different genres including Visual Arts, Dance Choreography, Film Production, Literature, Photography and Music Composition judged almost 180 entries from schools across the island. Reflections offers students the opportunity the to create original works of art in the six genres. The theme for the 2016-2017 school year was “What’s Your Story?”.


Congratulations to all the students who entered, and especially to the following who won their respective divisions and whose entries were forwarded to the Reflections State competition:


High School

Katherine Gelsey Sarah Wang


Katherine Gelsey Photography The Future is Within You
Sarah Wang Visual Arts Unity
Ainsley O'Briant Literature A voice in time
Tyler Heydon Film Memories Through my Lens
Lauren Pirak Dance Choreopgraphy Climbing Through Adversity
Sarah Wang Music Composition Peony





Hunter Yetman Ronan Holloway-Lamb


Walker Guerra Film My Story
Andrew Yeh Music Composition Traveling in Tanzania
Rachel Senn Literature My story, my life
Hunter Yetman Photography Glowing Rain
Ronan Holloway-Lamb Visual Arts The First Night in Seattle



Grade 3-5 Divison

Sydney Parcel Chloe Simpson


Mari Jora Lavin Dance Choreography Story of my life
Jan Kolczyk Film My Story
Madison Sieckhaus Literature My Life
Sidh Shroff Music Composition The World Around Me
Sydney Parcel Photography Focused on Nature
Chloe Simpson Visual Arts My City



Grade k-2 Division

Karenna Stone Jane Besecker


Karenna Stone Dance Choreography Just Dancin
Karenna Stone Film Production A Greek Princess
Ewan Lill Literature The Story of Accessing my Port
Karenna Stone Photography Acorn Squirrels
Jane Besecker Visual Arts A Girl on a Rainy Day
Keith Chung Music Composition Sorry Witch Watch Out


A huge thank you to all the Reflections Chairs who did such a fantastic job collecting entries, organizing the art work, publicizing the competition and assisting with our celebratory evening: Tracey Richardson, Ginny Waller, Bao-Tran Nguyen, Rosa Teorell, Jennifer Flood, Nicole Cui, Erin Vivion, Lori Hamiwka, Danielle Orr-Bement and Joci Besecker.


Thank you also to Mr. Fred Rundle, assistant superintendent of the Mercer Island School District and Debbie Hanson, co-President of the Mercer Island PTA Council who were on hand to help hand out the awards and certificates on the evening.


The theme for next year is “Within Reach” so until then, keep drawing, writing, painting, creating, composing, photographing, filming and being creative. See you then!


Mercer Island PTAs


MI Community Scholarship Program

Our ability to honor deserving MIHS seniors depends on the generosity of our community. Learn more about the scholarship program and how your contribution can make a difference. We appreciate donations of any amount. Thank you for your support!