Winners of the 2019 archdiocesan Art and Essay Contest were honored May 17 at the New York Catholic Center in Manhattan. During the Catholic Youth Organization awards ceremony, Ellia Tupone, a seventh-grader at Sacred Heart School on Staten Island, was recognized as the first-place essay contest winner for students in grades 6 to 8.
Ellia chose to write about a teacher in her school who “develops values and strength of character in tomorrow’s leaders,” qualities stressed in the CYO mission statement.
The subject of Ellia’s essay is Francine Rizzuto, who is teaching Pre-K for All and has taught first grade and the school’s own program for ages 3 and 4; she’s taught at Sacred Heart for 30 years.
“We are very proud of her and all our Sacred Heart essay winners,” Principal Celeste Catalano told CNY. “On Staten Island, Sacred Heart won first, second and third place in the CYO essay contest.”
The overall second-place essay finisher was Amy Zocchi of St. Peter’s School in Poughkeepsie, and taking third place was Gabriella Zocchi, also of St. Peter’s School. They both chose to write about “how your faith has helped you through a challenging time in your life.” Amy and Gabriella are twin sisters in the eighth grade.
Seth Peloso, CYO director, said, “This is what the CYO is about – providing avenues for children to express their talents in all forms, whether on the basketball court, with a paint brush or pen, providing a path to develop their passions.” Peloso said about 55 parishes and schools participated this year; entries totaled 150 essays and more than 1,200 artworks. The art contest is for students in grades 1 to 12; this year’s winners are:
Small Fry (1st and 2nd grade): first place, Nathan Dorival, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Elmsford; second place: Nora Blickstein, St. Anthony School, Nanuet; third place, Erin Appel, St. Mary School, Fishkill.
Beginner (3rd and 4th grade): first place, Piya Goyal, St. Augustine School, Ossining; second place, Rehana Shahid, Sacred Heart School, Suffern; third place, Izabelle DiMenna, Our Lady of Help of Christians School, Staten Island.
Learner (5th and 6th grade): first place, Auden Kinahan, St. Columba School, Hopewell Junction; second place, Arianna Chin, St. Augustine School, Ossining; third place, Natalie Wynter, Notre Dame Elementary School, Staten Island.
Master (7th and 8th grade): first place, Nicole Lalji, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Elmsford; second place, Jeffrey Guneratne, St. Anthony School, Nanuet; third place, Rose Collaguazo, Nora Cronin Presentation Academy, Newburgh.
Expert (9th and 10th grade): first place, Bernadette Dingman, Roy C. Ketcham Senior High School, Wappingers Falls; second place, Ema Krasniqi, St. Joseph Hill Academy, Staten Island; third place, Christine Lawrence, John Coleman High School, Kingston.
Elite (11th and 12th grade): first place, Elizabeth Rauchet, Albertus Magnus High School, Blauvelt; second place, Victoria Alonso, St. Joseph Hill Academy, Staten Island; third place, Rebecca Garcia, Academy of Mount St. Ursula School, the Bronx.