School Board Appreciation Month

Roma High Student Melissa Garcia Wins Congressional Institute Art Competition

Melissa Garcia, a Roma High School sophomore, is certainly making her presence known in the art world at a young age. She was recently selected as a winner in the Congressional Institute Art Competition for Texas’ 28th District through the Office of Congressman Henry Cuellar. Her piece, “Acceptance Within”, a color pencil drawing, was reviewed by a panel of district artists and selected as a winning entry out of 58 art pieces that were submitted from across the 28th District of Texas.

“The drawing represents acceptance within oneself,” explained Garcia. “Since I’m Mexican-American, I chose to incorporate elements of the United States and Mexico to represent that I accept who I am. Since I’m Mexican-American, I chose to incorporate elements of the United States and Mexico to represent that I accept who I am.” Garcia added that the piece displays a handshake from two people of different races, with both the Mexican and American flags representing the fabric of who they are.

As the winner of the competition, Garcia is invited to fly to Washington, D.C. next month, courtesy of Southwest Airlines, where she will attend a reception and ceremony with her family and Congressman Cuellar on Thursday, June 29, 2017, where her artwork will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol. She will also have the opportunity to meet students from other parts of the country, and spend time with Congressman Cuellar and tour the nation’s capital.

“I congratulate Melissa on her colorful and elaborate artwork,” said Congressman Cuellar. “The American spirit resonates through her interpretation of the unity and friendship between our two countries. This year we had many great entries and hers stood out the most. Again, I congratulate Melissa on her talented piece, as well as her parents and educators and Roma High School.”

Each spring, the Congressional Institute sponsors a nationwide high school visual art competition to recognize and encourage artistic talent in the nation and in each congressional district. Since the Artistic Discovery Competition began in 1982, more than 650,000 high school students have participated.

“I’m so proud of Melissa and pleased that her talent is being recognized at this level because she has such passion and dedication to her craft,” expressed Roma High School Art Teacher Gabriela Gonzalez. “She has invested 100 percent of herself in her work. Her perseverance through struggle, her meticulous detail and creative composition – it all comes through very clearly. And now in her young career, she is considered to be a national artist, opening in the U.S. Capitol in June! I could not be prouder of Melissa and I hope that she serves as a role model for others that anything is possible if you work hard developing your skills. She deserves this.”

In addition to this accolade, Garcia also competed in the 2017 VASE (Visual Art Scholastic Event) State Competition, earning a coveted Gold Seal Medallion. Her work is part of a traveling exhibition that will be shown at Glassell Junior School in Houston from May through August, the Texas Education Agency in Austin from September to October, and the Texas Art Education Association Conference in November.

This year more than 32,000 entries were submitted to the VASE competition, which is run by the Texas Art Education Association, and out of that only 1,600 works advanced to the state event. Out of the state winners, only 150 earned the Gold Seal Medallion, which is the highest ranking award that can be earned in state-level competition. This year Roma High advanced to state with 14 works of art, and Garcia actually had two pieces selected for state competition, which is extremely rare.

For more information about the Congressional Institute Art Competition visit http://www.house.gov/ content/educate/art_ competition/.

Four Roma High Students Earn State-Wide Honors in VASE Art Competition

Four Roma High Students Earn State-Wide Honors in VASE Art Competition

Roma High School is proud to announce that four Roma High School Art Program students have shown the state the high-level of talent for our area. Out of the 13 qualifying Roma students selected to participate in the VASE (Visual Art Scholastic Event) State Competition, four earned a Gold Seal Medallion in this year’s competition. The students are Ana Mariela Perez, Eric Garza, Dalia Martinez and Melissa Garcia. Now the work of all four students will be part of a traveling exhibition that will be shown at Glassell Junior School in Houston from May through August, the Texas Education Agency in Austin from September to October and the Texas Art Education Association Conference in November.

This year more than 32,000 entries were submitted to the VASE competition, which is run by the Texas Art Education Association, and out of that only 1,600 works advanced to the state event. Out of the state winners, only 150 receive the gold seal medallion, which is the highest ranking award that can be earned in state-level competition. This year Roma High advanced to state with 13 students and 14 works of art, resulting in the four Gold Seal Medallions. Additionally, Roma High Senior Ana Mariela Perez earned a scholarship of $500 and one student, Melissa Garcia, actually had two pieces selected for state competition!

“I am so very proud of our exceptional Roma High School Art Program, which continues to shine above and beyond every high school in the Rio Grande Valley,” said Marissa Belmontes, Roma High School Principal. “We have, without a doubt, some of the finest faculty anywhere with a great leader in Gabriela Gonzalez, who continues to push the program and her students to explore new ground and to try to reach their personal best. She cares deeply for the students and they in turn are always working hard to develop and hone their skills. The whole staff at Roma High and the district administration congratulates these students and the faculty for their hard work! We are so proud to say ‘we knew them when’ and have no doubt that they will go far with these tremendous skills!”