Teens take on the title of nationally recognized artist



April 9, 2019 - It all started with a digital camera and doodles scribbled in the margins of notebooks.


For Douglas Anderson seniors, Alyce Rogers and Joey Leppo, entry into the art world began early and simply. They are now nationally recognized artists – Rogers having won a national film award and Leppo being among 27 Duval County Public Schools students who won a Scholastic Art and Writing award this year.


Rogers won Best National Film at the 2019 CinéStudent Film Festival for her short film, Adam. The film tells the story of a struggling actor who has trouble finding age-appropriate roles because of his youthful looks. With the help of an agent, he lands a surprisingly fitting role.



Leppo was one of eight students in the country to be awarded the Scholastic Art and Writing Gold Medal award in the portfolio category. His works focus on different textures in two-dimensional art and depict various scenes of soldiers and war.


When asked how it felt to be a nationally recognized artists, Leppo’s cheeks flushed and he gave a wide smile.


“I haven’t really thought about it, but I’m proud of it,” said Leppo. “I’m happy. It’s a big thing!”


Rogers was also modest when talking about her latest honor, but expressed excitement as she reminisced about the first national award she ever won.


“I know exactly where I was,” said Rogers. “It was the summer before my junior year. I was in Orlando. We were in a hotel room, and I got an email saying that I won an award at a teen film festival, a small one, in Rochester, New York. I like screamed and just started jumping on the bed because I was so excited. I never imagined that happening!”


Congratulations to Rogers, Leppo and all of our nationally recognized artists. This includes the five Scholastic Art and Writing Gold Medal Award winners – Asia Walker, Conor Naccarato, Joey Leppo, Indie DiMartino and Lauren Caudle – who will have their work on display at the Pratt Institute and Parsons School of Design in New York during the month of June.


A full list of the winners is below.


Gold Medal Winners

Lauren Caudle

Indie DiMartino

Joseph Leppo

Conor Naccarato

Asia Walker


Silver Medal Winners

Cielo Bessa Naomi Bierowski

Alexander Blaudow

Winnie Blay

Matthew Borz

Lauren Caudle

Ashley Chatmon

Kenneth Chism

Emory Cook

Maria Cortina

Sainz Za'Nya Davis

Isaac Dunavant

Charlene Elvir

Camille Faustino

Sheenay Gay

Ava Goode

Erica Lehosky

Jersey Long

Flavia Murillo

Jazmyn Nidiffer

John Owen

Samuel Pabon

Sadie Ponicall

Hugo Rodriguez

Isabelle Safine

Emily Stiles

Sena Suganuma


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