ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) – Two Roanoke County students earned national honors in the Scholastic Art Competition.

Mary Wissinger, an eighth-grade student at Cave Spring Middle School, and Emalyn Sylvester-Johnson, 12th-grade student at Cave Spring High School and the Burton Center for Arts & Technology took home gold medals for their work. Wissinger and Sylvester-Johnson have been invited to attend a national ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York later this year to honor their wins.

“To receive a gold medal at the national level is an amazing achievement and acknowledges a student’s originality, technical skill, or personal vision,” said Sara Cubberley, Roanoke County Public Schools supervisor of art. 

Sylvester-Johnson has earned an American Visions Medal for her painting titled “Beach Trip from a Distance.” The American Visions Medal is the highest honor for a high school student in the competition.

“To earn an American Visions Medal is especially exceptional — of the hundreds of thousands of entries judged in New York City, only 89 students in the United States received this honor in 2022 — and only four in the state of Virginia,” said Cubberley

The competition was fierce as students claimed awards in the Southwest Virginia Regional Scholastic Competition earlier this year. They took home three American Visions nominees, 11 Gold Keys, 20 Silver Keys, and 29 Honorable Mentions.

“I’m amazed each year at the incredible artistic talent our students display,” said Dr. Ken Nicely, superintendent of Roanoke County Public Schools.