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Three Murrah Scholars Won National Silver and Gold Keys at Scholastic Art and Writing Awards

May 5, 2022

 Karis McGowan  Dion Hines  Maya McFadden  JPS board meeting
Karis McGowan Dion Hines Maya McFadden Pleiades Sponsor Sarah Ballard, Maya McFadden, Karis McGowan, Dion Hines, Principal Alvanette Buchanan, Superintendent Greene


Three Murrah High scholars won national silver and gold keys at the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Sophomore Karis McGowan submitted her writing to Scholastic for the first time this year and was named a regional American Voices nominee, which is a “Best in Show” award, for her poem “Song of Myself.” Her poem also went on to win a national silver key. Junior Dion Hines is a Scholastic superstar, winning a total of 9 regional gold and silver keys and one national silver key for poetry. Dion is also a regional and national winner for art. Senior Maya McFadden won a National Gold Key for her senior portfolio. “This is the first time a Murrah student has won a gold key for a senior portfolio, and it is a tremendous honor,” said teacher and literary magazine sponsor Sarah Ballard. “This is only the second time we have had one in Mississippi for writing.” Maya will be recognized this summer at Carnegie Hall in New York City and is awarded $8,000 to use for school next year. 

All three scholars are on the staff of The Pleiades, Murrah’s award-winning literary magazine. The Pleiades has been named Best Literary Magazine in the state for the past two years by the Mississippi Scholastic Press Association. The National Scholastic Writing and Arts Awards is the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious recognition program for creative students. 

Murrah is very proud of its commitment to building and supporting the creative arts. According to Principal Dr. Alvanette Buchannan, “At Murrah, we are thankful that through Pleiades and Wells APAC we are able to provide a platform for student voices to be heard and understood in various artforms. We value the student voice and are excited to see our scholars being recognized for their amazing work.”