The National Rising Star Award is presented annually to one student in the entire country from the National Art Education Association (NAEA). Past winners have gone on to receive the most prestigious art scholarships in the nation. Kaitlyn Holtzclaw is Kathleen Petka’s first winner from Walton High School. The National Art Honor Society recognizes creative leaders and magnifies the innovation, skills, and scholarship that art programs bring to schools and communities. National Art Honor Society students who are in their junior or senior years and who are interested in becoming art educators are eligible for the Rising Stars Secondary Recognition Program. The award will be presented to Kaitlyn at the Secondary Awards Ceremony at the NAEA National Convention in March.
“There is no greater testament of exemplary contributions to the field of visual arts education than being chosen for this prestigious honor. Your colleagues throughout the United States and abroad join the NAEA Board of Directors in applauding your leadership, commitment, and service to the profession.” – Deborah B. Reeve, Ed.D., Executive Director, National Art Education Association
Kaitlyn currently serves as Mrs. Petka’s National Art Honor Society co-president at Walton High School and has been taught by Petka since the 10th grade. As a senior, Kaitlyn is working on two AP Studio Art Portfolios and received a perfect score of a “5” on her AP Studio Art 2D Design Portfolio last year.
“Ms. Holtzclaw is one of the most talented students I have encountered in my career as an educator. She is extremely passionate about the arts and loves to learn, even using her summers to take courses. Last year, I nominated her for the Governor’s Honors Program (GHP) where she was selected and participated as a Visual Arts major with a World Language minor. During her 2014 summer, she participated in MICA’s precollege program as an oil painting major and had an illustration minor and also participated in SCAD’s Summer Seminar. While she was at SCAD, she was an Animation major and a Graphic Design minor. The Silver Level Scholarship was awarded to her based on her portfolio. Kaitlyn is an excellent leader and an exceptional artist. She has collected many community service hours by painting at the Foundation for Hospital Art, face painting at festivals and football games, and assisting elementary art teachers. She is phenomenal!”-Kathleen Petka, Ed.S., Visual Art Teacher
This is not Kaitlyn’s first taste of stardom.
Kaitlyn has had her work displayed in competitions throughout the state of Georgia. Her work has been on display at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta for the Metro Atlanta High School Exhibit. Kaitlyn’s work is currently in the Capitol Art Exhibit, which is co-sponsored by the Georgia Art Education Association and the Office of the Secretary of State. It is the premier event of Youth Art Month and the largest student exhibition in the state. The purpose of the exhibition is to share with our legislators and the public the exceptional creative ability of Georgia’s students. Kaitlyn’s art has placed in the East Cobb County Reflections Contest and is currently being judged at the state level.
“Kaitlyn is a viola player and student officer in our orchestra program. Kaitlyn has an honest and kind personality with a true heart of gold. She constantly is volunteering to help with tasks, and she is admired by many of our younger students. Artistically, she has volunteered to design our orchestra programs to bridge her love of art with love of music. Kaitlyn is organized, dependable, and creative. It is rare to share a student between the orchestra and art department, but Kaitlyn has true artistic talent on both fronts.”– Sara Grimes, Assistant Orchestra Director, Walton High
“Kaitlyn is gifted in music as well as Visual Art. She is one of the most talented artists to have come through Walton, and I am amazed by her work.” –Judy McNeill, Principal, Walton High