Virginia State Results Are In!

Heroes All Around Me (Photo-PRI)

“Heroes All Around Me,”  by Riley Zwiselsberger, 1st grade, Charles Barrett (Primary Photography). 1st Place Virginia State Winner for 2018-19!

Five Alexandria students have won awards in the Virginia state Reflections contest, with two of them advancing to the national level of competition!

Photography and Visual Arts’ winners entries are reproduced here. To see and hear the winning entries for Music Composition and Film Production, click on the link after each student’s name.

National results will be announced in a May 1 PTA Live broadcast via the National PTA Facebook page, with national awards being presented in June at the National PTA Convention & Expo in Columbus Ohio.


Alexandria’s Virginia State Award Winners

1st-Place State Winners

At the state and national level, 1st Place recognition is called the Award for Outstanding Interpretation of Theme. These students have earned top honors in the Virginia competition and are now competing in the National Reflections contest:


Jonathan Morgan Petrini, 11th grade, T.C. Williams, “Kaleidoscope” (Music Composition, High School) – click here to listen to the entry.

Riley Zwiselsberger, 1st grade, Charles Barrett, “Heroes All Around Me” (Photography, Primary)


Third-Place State Winners (Awards of Merit):

Unconditional Love (Photo-HS)

“Unconditional Love,” by Claudia Pareja, 12th grade, TC Williams (High School Photography) 3rd Place Virginia State Winner for 2018-19!

Eliza Gwin, 7th grade, George Washington, “We Are Heroes” (Film Production, Middle School) Click here to view the entry.


Claudia Pareja, 12th grade, T.C. Williams, “Unconditional Love” (Photography, High School)



State Honorable Mention:

Nathalie Garza, 2nd grade, James Polk, “My Parents Are My Heroes” (Visual Arts, Special Artist)

Congratulations to all of our state winners, and best of luck to Jonathan and Riley in the national level of competition!


1st Place Nathalie Garza, James Polk, My Parents Are My Heroes

“My Parents Are Heroes,” by Nathalie Garza, 2nd grade, James Polk (Visual Arts, Special Artists). Virginia State Honorable Mention for 2018-19!




Alexandria Students are NoVa Reflections Heroes!

Alex Winners Competing in Va Contest 2018-19The judges have finished evaluating the entries, and the Northern Virginia District Reflections results are out.

Alexandria students have made a heroic showing, with 21 Alexandria entries earning awards at the NoVa District level, and 6 students advancing to the state contest!

More Reflections Facts:

  • Out of 13 ACPS schools that took part in Alexandria Reflections, 9 have NoVa winners!
  • The Alexandria schools with the most NoVa winners are Jefferson-Houston and T.C. Williams. Both have 4 NoVa winners. And TCW is the only ACPS school with 2 students competing in the Virginia state contest.
  • Alexandria’s youngest NoVa winner is Charlotte Dines (Dance), a kindergartner at MacArthur. The oldest is Claudia Pareja (Photography), a senior at TC Williams.
  • Saha Irwin of Jefferson-Houston has won District awards in TWO categories, Dance and Visual Arts; her Visual Arts entry has been advanced to the state!
  • For the first time ever, Alexandria has a student competing at the state level in the Special Artists division. Nathalie Garza, a 1st grader at Polk, entered in the Visual Arts category.
  • Judges at the City and the District level included, among others, a retired high school band director, the head of a college music department, a former Warner Brothers movie studio executive, the leader of a dance program, and several published authors.
  • The Alexandria Reflections Awards Program & Art Show Opening is Friday, March 22, at the Durant Arts Center. The reception begins at 6:30; the program begins at 7:00. All students who competed at the city level will be honored, not just those who won awards. It’s free and open to the public. Stay tuned for details!





What Do You Stand For? PTA Student Essay Deadline Nears

by Claudia Martino, TC Williams (VisArts-HS)

By Claudia Martino, 9th grade, TC Williams

The Virginia PTA is committed to promoting a sense of citizenship and responsibility in our future leaders. To that end, Virginia K-12 students at schools with PTAs are eligible to enter the Citizenship Essay Contest. The deadline is quickly approaching: entries are due February 1.

This year’s theme: “What Do I Stand For?”

Winners will receive cash prizes and will be featured in PTA publications. Download the application packet below, and read the rules and submission instructions carefully. Best of luck to our Northern Virginia students!


2019 Citizenship Essay Application

Hammond Reflections Entrant Wins City’s Parks & Rec Photo Contest

Molly at Chinquapin Garden

“Molly at Chinquapin Garden,” by Daniel Dawit, Hammond MS, was honored by the Alexandria Department of Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Activities

City Reflections entries are still being judged, but a 6th-grade Reflections entrant has just been announced as the winner of a different competition, a photography contest run by Alexandria’s Parks and Recreation Department.

Daniel Dawit, a student at Francis Hammond Middle School, took top honors in the Recreation, Parks, and Cultural Activities photography contest, being named Best Overall Winner as well as winning the Recreation category of the contest. His photograph, “Molly at Chinquapin Garden,” was not one of his entries in the city’s Reflections contest.

He wins $250 in gift certificates from Alexandria RPCA.

Congratulations to Daniel! And good luck to him and all of our entrants in the city Reflections contest!


Junior Reporter Contest

Do you have a son or daughter — or a talented Reflections entrant — who’d love to try writing and reporting the news? WTOP radio is holding a Junior Reporter Contest, with cash prizes for three winning students and their schools, as well as a chance to be featured on the air! The deadline is October 14, so check it out today! See details here.

WTOP Junior Reporter Contest Banner

Confused? We Can Help!

Sep. 29 PTA Training Includes Two Sessions

on Running a Reflections Program

The NoVa PTA District Fall Training Conference is Saturday, Sep. 29, and it will include two sessions on Reflections! The idea is to have a 101 overview, aimed especially at new chairs, and then a 102 class that goes into more detail for all school Reflections chairs.

The Early Registration Discount has been extended to 5 pm on Friday, Sep. 28, and gets you preregistered for only $15, which includes lunch. If you register at the door, the price will be higher. The training flyer is below. To register, click on the link, then click on “Register Early Online” near the bottom of the page, and follow instructions.

Click here for “clickable” flyer for the 2018 NOVA PTA Training Conference.

2018NOVADistrictPTATraining_WorkshopsSeptember29 jpg_Page_1

National PTA: Your Chance To Reflect on Reflections

Reflections is 50 years old!

In honor of the contest’s 50th year, the National PTA has put out a questionnaire for parents, students, teachers, and Reflections volunteers, asking for your thoughts about the contest and its branding. What do you love about Reflections? What would you like to see changed? The survey will take only a few minutes, and will provide the National PTA with important feedback for improving the program for the next 50 years.

Click here to fill out the survey!

50th Anniv Reflections logo - horizontal

Middle-School Students: Win $100 for a Poem or Essay!

VisA-INT-2nd Place, Alex 2017-18

Harmony, by Josephine B., MacArthur ES

The Alexandria Public Library system is offering a $100 prize to the winner of an essay and poetry contest for Alexandria middle-school students.

Rising 7th-, 8th-, and 9th-graders are invited to write a poem or essay that answers the question: “You’re Eighteen, And Your Friends Say They Don’t Want To Vote. What Do You Say?”

Entries in the For Love of Country writing contest are due September 8, 2018.

Click here for details, and write on!


And click here for information on more non-Reflections student contests in the arts!


Addy’s Magic Mirror

VociesExpress4 - May 21 2018 - Addy Flint feature in VoicesACPS featured Reflections photography winner Adelaide Flint in its “Voices” feature for May 21, 2018.

The link in the ACPS Express reads as follows:

Addy’s Magic Mirror

While undergoing treatment for recurrent cancer, fourth-grade student Adelaide Flint entered her moving self-portrait “Stronger” into the PTA Reflections contest. Her mom, Stacey Flint, says Addy has taken a challenging situation and made something awesome.

Here’s a link to the interview, conducted by Addy’s mom, and available here as a video and in transcript form.