Press Release For Immediate Release DATE: May 6, 2015 CONTACT: Tamra Burr Pinellas Education Foundation 727-483-0003 [email protected]
Lisa Wolf Pinellas County Schools 727- 588-6501
STUDENTS SHINE, $60,000 IN SCHOLARSHIPS AND PRIZES GIVEN AT THE 12TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE WALKER’S RISING STARS SCHOLARSHIP COMPETITION LARGO, Fla. – After an amazing display of talent, The Pinellas Education Foundation is proud to announce the winners in The 12th Annual Walker’s Rising Stars Scholarship Competition, presented by Big3 Entertainment and sponsored by Kane’s Furniture and Crown Automotive Group. The event was attended by an estimated 800 member audience at Mahaffey Theater on Tuesday, May 5 and had approximately 10,000 virtual fans through its “Fan Favorite” online voting. Approximately $60,000 in scholarships and prizes was given. The Ryan Wells Foundation provided scholarships for the three finalists in the Culinary Arts category. Culinary Arts: 1st place and a $1,500 scholarship: Ryan Cleary, Tarpon Springs High School 2nd place and a $1,000 scholarship: Jasmyn Kiest, Northeast High School 3rd place and a $500 scholarship: Paige Smith, Dixie Hollins High School After tallying all of the online votes, Jasmyn Kiest was the Culinary Arts Fan Favorite. First place winners in the other arts categories each received a $5,000 scholarship. They were: Dance: Teagan Reed, PCCA at Gibbs High School Instrumental: Jared Duncan, Palm Harbor University High School Theater: Blake Lafita, Palm Harbor University High School Visual Art: Zoe Cappello, PCCA at Gibbs High School Vocal Music: Grayson Samuels, PCCA at Gibbs High School The other scholarships in each category are as follows: Dance: 2nd place and a $3,000 scholarship: Nina Futch, Osceola Fundamental High School 3rd place and a $2,000 scholarship: Karolyn Stine, Countryside High School 4th place and a $1,000 scholarship: Maya Silverberg, St. Pete High School The dance “Fan Favorite” was Maya Silverberg.
Instrumental: 2nd place and a $3,000 scholarship: Alyssa Nicole, St. Pete High School 3rd place and a $2,000 scholarship: Sarah Hall, Seminole High School 4th place and a $1,000 scholarship: Kira Touchton, Tarpon Springs High School The instrumental “Fan Favorite” was Kira Touchton. Theater: 2nd place and a $3,000 scholarship: Alianna Perez, PCCA at Gibbs High School 3rd place and a $2,000 scholarship: Gwendolyn Ludwig, St. Pete High School 4th place and a $1,000 scholarship: Ana Bernot-Reilly, Dunedin High School The Theater “Fan Favorite” was Ana Bernot-Reilly. Visual Art: 2nd place and a $3,000 scholarship: Kelly Dottery, East Lake High School 3rd place and a $2,000 scholarship: Krismel Ubasa, Boca Ciega High School 4th place and a $1,000 scholarship: Ayden Stoefen, Largo High School The visual art “Fan Favorite” winner was Krismel Ubasa. Vocal: 2nd place and a $3,000 scholarship: Simone Sirota-Plotnikov, Largo High School 3rd place and a $2,000 scholarship: Anissa Perona, Dunedin High School 4th place and a $1,000 scholarship: Lauren Housley, East Lake High School The vocal “Fan Favorite” was Lauren Housley. The event also featured the Tarpon Springs High Jazz Ensemble throughout the show. More than 200 juniors and seniors from Pinellas County’s Public Schools applied to compete in the sevenmonth process of auditions and adjudication. High schools held their own talent shows and sent their best performers to the semi-final auditions. From there, the finalists were chosen. Details on the Walker’s Rising Stars program including artist statements for each finalist in the competition are available at www.pinellaseducation.org. High resolution photos of each performance and general event pictures are available upon request and some can be found on our Facebook Page.
Teagan Reed takes first in the Dance Category with his performance of Pulse, music by Asaf Avidan, choreographed by Zach McNally
Grayson Samuels wins first place in the Vocal Category for his performance of Way Ahead of My Time by Peter Mills
Ryan Cleary wins the culinary category with his scallop and bacon dish
Jared Duncan performs and wins first place in the Instrumental Category with Concerto No. 1 in F Minor, Mvt. 3 by Carl Marla von Weber
Blake Lafita wins first place in the Theater Category for his monologue from Punch Drunk by Ethan Sandler
All 23 contestants pose for a group photo before their performances.
Zoe Cappello took first place in the Visual Arts Category with her painting capabilities
Fan Favorite Winners from left to right: Jasmyn Kiest, Krismel Ubasa, Lauren Housley, Kira Touchton, Ana Bernot-Reilly, Maya Silverberg
About Pinellas County Schools Pinellas County Schools is the seventh largest school district in Florida and 24th largest in the nation, serving more than 101,997 K12 students at 132 schools. With more than 17,000 employees, the school district is the largest employer in the county. The vision of Pinellas County Schools is 100% Student Success. We encourage parents, business leaders and community members to partner with us in our mission to educate and prepare each student for college, career and life.
About The Pinellas Education Foundation The Pinellas Education Foundation is an independent, non-governmental not-for-profit established in 1986. The Foundation’s mission is to enhance and improve educational opportunities in Pinellas County Schools. Well known Pinellas Education Foundation programs include: Academies of Pinellas, Enterprise Village, Finance Park, Take Stock in Children Scholarships, Youth Connect and Teacher Classroom Grants