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WPHS’s ROAR wins First Place award from American Scholastic Press Association

By Eva Mandelbaum

From art to literature, White Plains High School’s ROAR Art and Literary Magazine is a melting pot of diverse creativity and is a true show of White Plains High School’s core values: diversity, expression, and hard work. With the effort, dedication, and creativity that White Plains High School students have put into it, the ROAR could not be more deserving of the American Scholastic Press Association First Place Award that it has received.

The prestigious award highlights the standout work done by the ROAR each year. According to Mr. Chiariello, co-advisor of the ROAR since 2014, “The American Scholastic Press Association is a prestigious annual review and contest for scholastic yearbooks, magazines and newspapers. It compares student publications to other high schools, colleges, and universities around the nation. Judges base their scores on page design, story layout, graphics, headlining, style, advertising, and photography, among other criteria.”

This is not the first year the ROAR has received first-place recognition from the American Scholastic Press Association. It has a fifteen-year streak of winning this notable award and has been receiving recognition since the 1980’s!

The ROAR has been a safe place for talented students to express themselves for over fifty years. Mr. Chiariello gushed, “I truly love being an advisor to the ROAR. I believe that the publication provides students with a voice, as well as an audience for their writing and artwork. By affording them a sense of audience, which is crucial for young writers and artists, it can foster a community of young writers/artists and give them status. I also believe that the ROAR helps to provide opportunities for all students to extend learning beyond the normal course offerings and the school campus.”

Finding out that the ROAR has once again received this notable award has been a proud moment for both Mr. Chiariello and Ms. DeMella, co-advisors of the ROAR. “It was so exciting to receive word last week that the ROAR won a First-Place award competing against high schools from all over the nation,” shared Mr. Chiariello. “It is indeed an honor and a privilege to be a co-advisor to the ROAR. I am constantly impressed by the level of dedication, determination, professionalism, drive, and commitment of each editor and group member.”

Ms. DeMella shares this enthusiasm and pride in her ROAR students. “I, too, feel honored to serve as a co-advisor to the ROAR. Like Mr. Chiariello, I feel very fortunate to work with such wonderful, hardworking, and creative students. Every time I attend a meeting I am reminded once again that I am privileged to work with these incredibly talented young people. When they discuss works of art and literature, their empathy and insight never fail to impress. When they are working on the magazine's layout or on fundraising or organizational tasks, they collaborate incredibly well. Even when times are tough - as things have often been during this past year - these kids keep me inspired and hopeful for the future!”

Despite the dark and isolating times brought on by this year’s challenging circumstances, the ROAR has kept up their amazing work, which deserves to be applauded. When speaking of the ROAR, the American Scholastic Press Association said it themselves, “Your ability to keep your publication alive and printing during a pandemic is a testament to your dedication and devotion to your publication, school, community…and to each other. Congratulations for surviving this unpredictable situation successfully!”

As Ms. DeMella shared, “Perhaps I am most proud to work with the ROAR because it provides such a beautiful platform for our students to express themselves - to share the wisdom, beauty, and insight of their diverse voices with our community. ROAR allows our students to be heard and recognized for their unique gifts. Even in isolating times, this magazine continues to connect our students with their peers through the power of their art and their poetic language. What could be more meaningful?”

***Submit your very own art or writing to the ROAR! Send it to: within the next week, along with your name, grade, and title of the piece, to have your work published and recognized in this award-winning magazine.

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