Fairfax public schools have gold medal writers

Congrats to nine young writers in the Fairfax County public school system. They’ve taken home gold and silver medals in a national writing competition.

The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, a 93-year old program of the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, will honor these winners at a special ceremony in New York City in June.

National Gold Medal award winners are:

  • Zara Batalvi of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST), Gold Medal and Best in Grade for personal essay-memoir, “abcd:  american-born confused desi;” three Gold Medals for poetry, “where are you from?,” “facts of my figure,” and “from my personaldictionary of made-upwords;” and Gold Medal for writing portfolio.
  • Yukta Chidanandan of TJHSST, Gold Medal for personal essay-memoir, “A Second Chance.”
  • Mina Kim of TJHSST, Gold Medal for short story, “Survival.”

National Silver Medal award winners are:

  • Tasmia Haq of Langley High School, Silver Medal with Distinction for writing portfolio.
  • Emma Choi of Marshall High School, Silver Medal for poetry, “Hey Baby.”
  • Omer Hatim of TJHSST, Silver Medal for personal essay-memoir, “A Muslim in Christendom.”
  • Gabrielle Jawer of Madison High School, Silver Medal for short story, “Listening.”
  • Neha Vutakuri of TJHSST, Silver Medal for personal essay-memoir, “The Broken Shards and the Dusty Journals.”
  • Kevin Wang of TJHSST, Silver Medal for critical essay, “The Right to Gawk.”




About the Author

Ed Tobias
Ed Tobias brings more than four decades of reporting and news management experience to his work at FairfaxNews. Tobias managed news coverage for Associated Press Radio for over twenty years.  This included coverage of the 9/11 attacks, the Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina, the death of Princess Diana, the Challenger and Columbia shuttle disasters and national election primaries, conventions and campaigns.  He was part of the team that built AP’s on-line video operation. Prior to joining AP, Tobias was News Director at all-news WTOP in Washington, D.C. He has won two Ohio State Awards for his reporting and producing and he led coverage that won an Edward R. Murrow Award.