In addition to being considered for awards within their respective categories, two writers and two artists per grade 7–12 are chosen each year as the Best-in-Grade. Grouping students’ work by grade provides additional incentive for students to compete among their peers, and a grade-by-grade look into the varied work students produce.

Students and their educators do not apply for this Award, but rather are chosen for Best-in-Grade Awards by a special panel of national jurors.

ESTER PETUKHOVA, Aditi, Painting. Grade 11, Age 16, David Douglas High School, Portland, OR. Gold Medal, Best-in-Grade Award

Each of the 24 Best-in-Grade recipients receives a $500 prize. Congratulations to the 2018 Best-in-Grade Award recipients:

  • Grade 7: Liam Collins, Danielle Hedvig, Daniel Leon, Lauren Puryear
  • Grade 8: Adam Iglesias, Kayla Kim, Keshav Vasanth, Estelle Zhou
  • Grade 9: Allina Ai, Jae Ho Kim, Jaeah Kim, Noah Trevino
  • Grade 10: Eliseo Corona, Pamina Falk, Pranav Mishra, Isabella Vella
  • Grade 11: Daniel Blokh, Lilah Krugman, Ester Petukhova, Kendall Vorhis
  • Grade 12: Vicky Brown, MLE DeJaco, Sorieba FoFanah, Yliuz Sierra Marin

Educators of these gifted students also receive a $250 prize. Congratulations to the 2018 Best-in-Grade educators:

  • Rita Attuquayefio, Otto Middle School, Plano, TX
  • TJ Beitelman, Alabama School of Fine Arts, Birmingham, AL
  • Wook Choi, Oogie Art, New York, NY
  • Yoonhee Chung, Aineo Cultural Art Center, Duluth, GA
  • Walter Crump, Commonwealth School, Boston, MA
  • Casey Curry, Howard W. Blake High School, Tampa, FL
  • Micayla Frankian, Rancho Pico Junior High School, Valencia, CA
  • Maria Galati, David Douglas High School, Portland, OR
  • Nicholas Geary, Goose Creek High School, Goose Creek, SC
  • Brittany Hennessey, South Elgin High School, South Elgin, IL
  • Michael Jasorka, Venice Arts, Venice, CA
  • Ashley Jones, Alabama School of Fine Arts, Birmingham, AL
  • Allison Kornet, Buckingham Browne & Nichols School, Cambridge, MA
  • Kyung Ju Kwon, Hyun Art, Seoul, South Korea
  • Rinat Manhoff, Prospect Sierra Middle School, El Cerrito, CA
  • Kwoya Maples, Alabama School of Fine Arts, Birmingham, AL
  • David Oxton, The Governor’s Academy, Byfield, MA
  • Kasumi Parker, Hunter College High School, New York, NY
  • Brian Rapien, Villa Madonna High School, Villa Hills, KY
  • Alan Rossi, South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts & Humanities, Greenville, SC
  • Ellon Sears, Rancho Solano Preparatory School, Scottsdale, AZ
  • Carly Short, Venice Arts, Venice, CA
  • Christine Tieche, A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts, West Palm Beach, FL
  • Matthew Varey, Etobicoke School of the Arts, Toronto, Canada
  • Holly White, Paideia School, Atlanta, GA
  • Connie Willson, Lynbrook High School, San Jose, CA

About Bloomberg Philanthropies


Special thanks to our partners at Bloomberg Philanthropies for their sponsorship of the Best-in-Grade Awards. Their continued support provides special recognition of students and educators representing the best, most original work by today’s teens.