Student Features

Student’s artwork advances to national competition

Feb 22, 2016

Works of art by a student who enrolled in PA Cyber Charter School because she “just didn’t fit in” at her local school have won honors for her in the northeastern Pennsylvania regional show of the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards program.

Eighth grader Morgana Costanzo won a Gold Key Award in the drawing division for a self-portrait in pencil. In March that picture moves on to national competition in New York City.

Morgana’s mother Sarah reported she also won a Silver Key Award in the jewelry division for a frog pendant made from clay and a stone. Both the self-portrait and the frog pendant were among Scholastic Art Awards winners exhibited in the gallery at Marywood University in Scranton, Pa., during February.

Entering also in sculpture and fashion divisions, Morgana earned three honorable mentions in addition to the Gold Key and Silver Key awards. Hers were among more than 900 works of art entered in this regional competition. She received her awards in a ceremony at Marywood University on Jan. 30.

“This is her first year in PA Cyber. We should have done it sooner,” her mother said. “We had moved out of the city, which had a lot of urban problems, and into a small town, where there are a lot of cliques. For five years in school my kids were never included in anything, and they weren’t getting what they needed. Morgana was bullied, even by teachers. She just didn’t fit in.”

The family resides in Preston Park, Pa.

Parents Sarah and Chris Costanzo also enrolled two younger children, Rhiannon and Paden, in PA Cyber. All three are thriving in cyber school, Sarah said.

Morgana is taking two courses above her grade level and getting all A’s, her mom said. “I knew she was smart but didn’t know how smart.”

Rhiannon and Paden, she said, are doing well academically while “catching up to some of the things they should have learned.”

This was the second year for Morgana to enter the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards competition. (She won a Gold Key last year for a mermaid sculpture.) The awards organization has been “providing opportunities for creative teens to be celebrated” since 1923. Such celebrated creative artists as Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, Ken Burns, and Robert Redford are alumni of the competition.

“It's for seventh through 12th grades. It's a prestigious art competition, and very exciting,” Sarah said. “Each region in PA is represented, and has its own show every year. It's a great way for kids like mine to go meet other artistic students in their region and see all types of different work. So many different types of work are chosen, and the judges change year to year.”

Sarah, an artist herself, said she won a Scholastic Art Award as a teenager, “but only once and with one piece of art.”

 Asked if Morgana plans a career in art, her mother said, “She is a gifted artist but her heart is in paleontology. Science is her thing. We’ll just give it time and see.”

Media Contact

Casie Colalella / casie.colalella@pacyber.org

About PA Cyber

Serving students in kindergarten through 12th grade, the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School (PA Cyber) is one of the largest, most experienced, and most successful online public schools in the nation. PA Cyber's online learning environments, personalized instructional methods, and choices of curricula connect Pennsylvania students and their families with state-certified and highly-qualified teachers, and rich academic content that is aligned to state standards. Founded in 2000, PA Cyber is headquartered in Midland (Beaver County) and maintains a network of support offices throughout the state. As a public school, PA Cyber is open for enrollment by any school-age child residing in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and does not charge tuition to students or families.