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Local Art Students in Top One Percent of Country

7:31 PM, Apr 15, 2008   |    comments
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Orangeburg (WLTX) -- Art students at Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School are no strangers to winning awards. This time, they landed in the top one percent in the country. Husband and wife Alvin and Bretta Staley work closely together in the art department at Orangeburg-Wilkinson. You can imagine that if passion were a color, it would be splashed across their art rooms. Alvin says, "These students are simply the best, this school is simply the best." Bretta and Alvin have worked together for the last 16 years. In the last 14, they've helped students win 16 National Scholastic Art Awards. That's a small slice of the big pie when it comes to the many awards they've won over the years. Alvin says, "It's important for them to compete. So they can see how well they fare up against programs across the world. We try not to limit ourselves locally, state, or even nationally. We realize that our world is changing and the students must compete in a global market, so it's important to see how they compete to other schools around the world." This year, Orangeburg-Wilkinson placed in the top one percent from over 100,000 entries this year. Three of the four winners from the state for National Scholastic Art Awards were from the school. Alvin and Bretta say that it takes dedication to do so well with competition. "Self-discipline, that's what I also teach. Being able to discipline yourself," says Bretta. Alvin says, "We worked hard to build a program in which students can grow, and reach their lifelong goals and aspirations. We feel quite blessed but I often tell our kids, you work hard, and good things come."

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