Long Beach High School student Morgan Harrington, who is from Oceanside, was named a national medalist in the 2014 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards competition. She attended a ceremony at Carnegie Hall on June 6 honoring all of the national medalists. First Lady Michelle Obama opened the ceremony with a videotaped message. Medalists then appeared on stage in waves to take a bow before returning to their seats to enjoy the festivities. Dick Robinson, chairman, president and CEO of Scholastic praised the students for their accomplishments. “Your family and friends are gathered here to recognize you as one of the top young writers or artists in the United States,” he said in his opening remarks.
Harrington, a sophomore, received a gold medal for her poetry collection. She created her collection in her Talented Writers class, taught by Rachell Koegel.
The Scholastic Competition is one of the oldest and most prestigious literary and arts competitions in the country. The awards started in 1923, and past winners have included Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, Richard Avedon, Robert Redford, Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen King, John Updike among others. Only the top 1 percent of the 255,000 students who enter this competition are recognized at the national level.