Nine Fine Arts Students Recognized by Kiwanis Club


Clare Ravizza, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Recently nine NDA students were recognized at the 37th Annual George Kress Youth Awards Banquet. The event, held at the Riverside Ballroom, was sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Green Bay.

The awards recognize high school students who have displayed excellence in art, drama, forensics, music, and journalism.

Students had been selected by Mrs. Huntley, Mr. Hill, Mrs. Salerno, Mrs. Brandtner and Mrs. Brown for their accomplishments during the school year.

This year, Rachel Stover and Elise Witmer were recognized for their achievements in art. Seniors Danielle Matuszak and Marie Patz were awarded in drama. Ashley Tuszka, who recently competed in the statewide Optimist Club oratorical contest and won a $2,500 scholarship, was awarded the forensics award, along with fellow freshman Audrey Sladek. Faith Hicks and Even Haas were recognized for their musical talents, and sophomore Hannah Dercks – the videographer for the NDA Tritonian – earned the journalism award.

Dr. Ravizza, who attended the ceremony, recognized the importance of the Kress Awards.

“These are the only awards that truly celebrate the arts,” said Ravizza. “There’s a lot of recognition for athletics and academics, and this provides a rare opportunity for those who excel in the arts to really be recognized.”

Mrs. Brown also noted the importance of the awards, saying, “Those students involved in the fine arts have never received as much recognition [as athletes.] I salute the Kiwanis Club for doing so and especially appreciate their including journalism as one of the ‘arts.’”

Each year, a featured presenter gives a speech to the group. These presenters can vary from musicians and artists to historians or journalists.

The speakers this year were Wyatt and Carolyn Kuether from The Production Farm, Inc. The couple, according to Brown, did an, “interesting back-and-forth talk about their love of the arts and how it led to their film work in NY City and their return to the Green Bay area to set up a film company.”

Following the presentation and a dinner, the principal or representative from each school presented the awards to the recipients.

Brown noted that it is a special experience, specifically for parents – the “happiest people there” – to see their children be recognized.

“Each year, the Kiwanis award ceremony is a nice way for parents and faculty to come together to celebrate the accomplishments of NDA students,” said Ravizza.