The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards are far from new. In fact Scholastic has been promoting high school writers and artists since 1923, and their competition was largely responsible for shining an early spotlight on dozens who went on to become household names. Truman Capote, Andy Warhol, Robert Redford, Alan Arkin and John Lithgow all share a common thread…as high school students, they participated in the event sponsored by Scholastic.
On February 8 at the Grand Wayne Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Dustin Teschke of Stryker High School, the son of Bob and Dian Teschke, was called to the stage to receive the Silver Key Award for his efforts in the 2014 Regional Scholastic Art and Writing competition. Out of 1,697 participants in the region, only 100 were selected to receive the Silver Key Award. Even fewer received the Gold Key Award. They also advanced to the national level of the competition.
His English teacher, Ms. Tiffany Korzan, gave Dustin the heads up on the contest back in December. Describing his work, he said, “I spent about a month writing my story. It was a short story called, ‘Pink Dress’. It’s about an African-American girl going to prom. She’s there, and she has a good time, but then a girl at school who is racist, comes up to her and pours a punch bowl on her, ruins her expensive dress, and insults her with cruel, racial comments. After getting advice from a respected adult, she figures out that spending time with her friends is more important than being there.”
Although the Silver Key is a prestigious recognition, Dustin hinted that he is not about to rest upon his laurels. He indicated that he is planning on going for the gold in the future, and for good reason. “I don’t see a future in writing stories for the contest,” he said, “…but I do see a future because of the contest. If you get a Gold Key and go to the Nationals, it would look pretty good on a résumé.”
Timothy Kays can be reached at