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By Melissa Cancro, Programs Coordinator

We want to thank our “Heroes Around Us.” For NYS PTA, these heroes are the all the chairpeople who worked so hard to make this year’s Reflections program a success!

Out of 404 entries received, state judges awarded 28 Awards of Excellence and 102 Awards of Merit. The Awards of Excellence winners advanced to National PTA.

Thank you to our judges who volunteer their time and talents to the Reflections program:

Here’s a sampling of some of this year’s entries:

Autumn Avery is the High School Division Award of Excellence winner in Photography. Autumn is from Syosset High School PTSA in the Nassau Region. Her piece is called “Selfless Love.” She wrote, “When I think of Heroes, the first thing that comes to mind is my family. They made me the strong and empathetic person I am today…Their courage inspires me to put myself aside and be strong for the people around me. They are the most genuine people I know, and that makes them heroes in my book.”

Chloe Robinson is the Special Artist Award of Excellence winner in Visual Arts. Chloe is from Martha Brown PTSA in the Genesee Valley Region. She named her piece “My Heart My Mom My Hero.” “I did all words that describe my mom and put them in a heart. My mom is my hero because she helps me with life and is a good role model. I want to be just like her,” Chloe states.

Jeremy Selvarajah is the Middle School Division Award of Excellence winner in Literature. Jeremy is from Ralph Perry Junior HS PTA in the Leatherstocking Region. His piece is entitled “Everyday Hero.” Jeremy’s artist statement notes, “An everyday hero lives within us. Small deeds that you can do, can change someone else’s lives and makes you a hero. You may not know that you are changing a person’s life for the better.”

Visit the Reflections Gallery at the Summer Leadership Conference in Albany on July 27 and at the NYS PTA Convention, November 8-10 in Tarrytown.

If you didn’t get a chance to participate this year, never fear! National PTA has just announced the new theme “Look Within” for 2019-2020! Check out it on our website.

The Reflections logos, posters and the “Enroll your PTA” button are up! We will be posting the rules and guides by the end of May. For questions, please contact Alaina Rullo, the NYS PTA Arts Specialist, at