Two from HHS Honored as L.I. Scholar-Artists

Two from HHS Honored as L.I. Scholar-Artists
Posted on 10/10/2018

Congratulations to students Katherine Jergensen and Ariel Yeh of Hicksville High School for being chosen as Long Island Scholar-Artist winners for the 2018-19 school year. They are two of only 20 recipients of the award this year, and Hicksville High School is the only school on Long Island to boast two Scholar-Artist winners this year.

Each year the Long Island Scholar-Artist program honors exceptionally accomplished high school seniors in the areas of dance, media arts, music, theater or visual arts. The Long Island Arts Alliance sponsors the program in conjunction with the Arts Reach Fund, New York Community Bank and Newsday.

Ariel, Katherine and the 18 other scholar-artist winners will be honored at the Scholar-Artist Gala at the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts in spring 2019. Applicants must submit a portfolio that demonstrates the highest level of artistic excellence in their specific area of interest, as well as an essay that describes their involvement in the arts and how it has enriched their lives. Each applicant must also demonstrate superior academic achievement, with an unweighted grade point average of 90 or above.

Katherine is being honored in the theater category. She is a member of the International Thespian Honor Society, National Honor Society and Tri-M Honor Society, among other academic honor societies and student clubs. Her artistic work within the community includes singing the national anthem at Town of Oyster Bay events as well as a special performance with Billy Joel at graduation with the Hicksville High School chamber choir. Katherine also a received second-place award for a monologue from “The Miracle Worker” at the Nassau Community College Honors Program theater competition. She plans to enter college as a B.F.A. Musical Theater major and has plans of working as a stage actor on Broadway.

“When I’m acting, my whole world is transformed,” Katherine said. “I jump into the body and mind of the character I am playing, do my best to live truthfully under imaginary circumstances and do the playwright justice.”

Ariel is being honored in the visual arts category. She is a member of the National Art and Mandarin honor societies and has received awards in the Art in Heart and Congressional Art exhibitions, the New York State Art Teachers Association Olympics of the Visual Arts and the Long Island Coalition Against Bullying. She also advanced to the state level of the PTA Reflections contest, has created artwork that has been prominently displayed throughout the community, designed empty bowls which raised money for local food pantries and served as a face painting artist at community fundraisers. Ariel plans to pursue a postsecondary education as either an art teacher or a children’s book author and illustrator.

“My art is my vision, my way of communication and my expression,” Ariel said. “It is a friend I lean on. When I’m confident in my art, I am confident in myself.  My art is something I rely on when I need to explain or express myself.”

One Long Island Scholar-Artist from Nassau and Suffolk will be featured every month in Newsday and on the Newsday website at During the Tilles Center Gala, each will receive a $250 honorarium and a framed copy of the profile that will be featured in Newsday.