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MSSD Students Honored for Contributions to the Arts

Image: Ernest “Chad” Willman (far right) poses with the Award for Excellence in the Arts that he received at the Kennedy Center on May 15. Pictured with Willman are MSSD Certificate of Merit winners Brennan Terhune-Cotter (left) and Kaori Vazquez.  (MSSD Certificate of Merit winner Chelsea Korn not pictured)

Ernest “Chad” Willman (far right) poses with the Award for Excellence in the Arts that he received at the Kennedy Center on May 15. Pictured with Willman are MSSD Certificate of Merit winners Brennan Terhune-Cotter (left) and Kaori Vazquez. (MSSD Certificate of Merit winner Chelsea Korn not pictured)

The National Society of Arts and Letters Washington, D.C., Chapter presented its Eighth Annual Awards for Excellence in the Arts to recognize high school juniors in the Washington metropolitan area who demonstrate outstanding achievement in the areas of art, dance, music, and creative writing.

At a ceremony held at the Kennedy Center on May 15, four MSSD juniors were recognized for excellence in the arts. Ernest "Chad" Willman received an Award for Excellence in the Arts for drama.

The award bio cited some of Willman's accomplishments, including a performance in You're a Good Man Charlie Brown and receiving the All Around Award for most dedicated performer and the 2010 Dance Concert Award for Best Stage Crew. Willman has served as the president of the Student Body Government, and he currently serves as a peer advisor and a manager for MSSD volleyball team. He has also won the Excellence in American Sign Language Award.

"The ceremony at the Kennedy Center was great. In the beginning, everyone receiving the Award for Excellence stood on the elegant black stage while a speaker explained the importance of our individual achievements," said Willman. "I am proud of myself that I had an opportunity to direct the spring play, Grease, and received several awards from the MSSD Performing Arts Program. Participating in the Performing Arts Program has developed my confidence, acting and memorization skills, and ability to translate English text to American Sign Language. It has made a really positive difference in my high school life."

Also recognized were MSSD students Chelsea Korn, Brennan Terhune-Cotter, Kaori Vazquez who received Certificates of Merit for art, literature, and dance, respectively.