Congratulations to all our talented Vista Verde artists who participated in our annual PTA Reflections Art Program.  Students will be able to view all submissions next month in the Media Center/Library! Dance submissions are viewable in the online Reflections 2021 Google Photo Album.

The National PTA has a long-standing commitment to arts education. The Reflections program provides opportunities for recognition and access to the arts which boost student confidence and success in the arts and in life. Each year, over 300,000 students in Pre-K through Grade 12 create original works of art in response to a student-selected theme. This 50+ year-old program helps them explore their own thoughts, feelings and ideas, develop artistic literacy, increase confidence and find a love for learning that will help them become more successful in school and in life.

Awards are known as follows: (AE) – Award of Excellence (AM) – Award of Merit (HM) – Honorable Mention, (P)-Participant

Those awarded the Award of Excellence (highlighted in blue) have been submitted to the next round of judging at the Irvine Council level and we wish them good luck!



Primary (Pre-K – Grade 2)

AE: Mila Sadri, Age 7, 1st Grade, Almond

AM: Hannah Yang, Age 5, Kindergarten, Farquhar

HM: Maya Carle-Valenzuela, Age 5, Kindergarten, Anderson


AE-Bella Liu, Age 9, 4th Grade, Connolly

AM: Kara Law, Age 8, 3rd Grade, Williams

AE: Noah Lee, Age 14, 8th Grade, Martin

AM: It’s a tie between Eliza Nelson, Age 11 6th Grade, Weirweter & Sarina Marzbani, Age 12, 7th Grade, Mark

HM: Ryan Lee, 8th Grade, Stoldt


AE: Intermediate: Micah Goodman, Age 9, 4th Grade, Connolly, GLOBAL WARMING

AE: Middle School: Marc Gillis, Age 12, 7th Grade, Classroom 19, CHANGE MAKES A BIG DIFFERENCE


Intermediate (Grades 3-5)

Award of Excellence: Kian Agha, Age 8, 3rd Grade, Widen

Award of Merit: Kevin Xu, Age 10, 5th Grade, Room 19

Middle School (Grades 6-8): Award of Excellence: Aanya Pillai, Age 12 7th Grade, Tiedt


Primary (Pre-K – Grade 2)

Award of Excellence: Aayva Warrier, Age 6, 1st Grade, Taherian

Award of Merit: Hannah Yang, Age 5, Kindergarten, Farquhar

Honorable Mention: Kiyomi LeQuang, Age 7, 2nd Grade, Caswell

Intermediate (Grades 3-5)

Award of Excellence: Alexandra Dreger, Age 9, 4th Grade, Tuttle

Award of Merit: Darryl Yang, Age 9, 4th Grade, Room 14

Honorable Mention: Grace Yoo, Age 9, 4th Grade, Connolly

Middle School (Grades 6-8): Award of Excellence: Paige Choi, Age 11, 6th Grade Weireter

We’d like to acknowledge the following students who submitted inspiring artwork (all received a Participant ribbon):

Alexander Zea-Glenn, Alicia Wu, Alyssa Parsi, Amaya Sagara, Ayden Wu, Benedikt Kunrath, Bradley Harsadi, Casey Fan, Derin Varnali, Drae Joa, Dylan Desai, Ella Sadri, Eshana Warrier, Jay Liu, Jordan Craver, Kana LeQuang, Kaylee Dykes, Kevin Xu, Melinda Chia, Nathan Brandes, Olivia Wang, Roen Choi, Rosa Carle-Valenzuela, Ryan Lee, Sahej Ahluwahlia, Silvia Goodman, Wilder Lillehoff

View all submissions for Dance, Visual Arts, Photography, as well as photos from our Drive-Through Awards pickup.

On November 12, 2021, the Reflections Team organized a drive through awards ceremony where students got to pick up their ribbons and a special token of appreciation: a double outline marker! The team also held a special prize drawing. Names of all participants were thrown into a bowl and a name was drawn by Ms. Hagen. The lucky winner was Bella L., who was awarded a paintable canvas bag filled with art supplies from Michaels!

We’d like to send out a very special thanks to the Reflections Team for making it happen: Anny Choe, Aubrey Sagalovich, Cami Patel, Cynthia Zhang, Lilli LaBuen Gillen, Rekha Dhanraj, Roxanne Carter.  Thank you Valerie Jean Wong, VP of Programs, Aubrey Sagalovich, PTA Board Historian, and Renin Varnali, VP of Communications for supporting our efforts!

In an effort to make improvements, we’d like to get your feedback! Please complete our post-Reflections program survey by December 20th. 

If you are a parent/guardian of a Reflections participant and need to pick up their ribbon, please contact Reflections Chair, Lilli LaBuen Gillen at reflections@vistaverdepta.org.

Thank you to everyone who participated – we are proud of all the hard work you put into your art! There’s a lot of opportunity to continue to enjoy and create art. Check out the 2021 Imagination Celebration, created in partnership with the CA Department of Education. We hope you can join Reflections next year!

The Vista Verde PTA Reflections Team

The 2021–2022 Reflections theme is I Will Change the World By…

Explore the Arts and Express Yourself

Your membership in PTA provides the opportunity for students to particpate in the National PTA Reflections art program. Each year, over 300,000 students in Pre-K through Grade 12 create original works of art in response to a student-selected theme. This 50+ year-old program helps them explore their own thoughts, feelings and ideas, develop artistic literacy, increase confidence and find a love for learning that will help them become more successful in school and in life.

The National PTA Reflections program was created in 1969 and more than 10 million students have participated. PTA Reflections is a nationally acclaimed student recognition program to encourage artistic creativity in the classroom and at home. It welcomes all grades and abilities to explore and be involved in the arts.


To help all students explore their own thoughts, feelings and ideas, develop artistic literacy, increase confidence and find a love for learning that will help them become more successful in school and in life.


Students may choose one or all of the available arts categories (1 entry in any or all of the listed categories). Please click on each icon for submission guidelines.

General Rules

  • All entries submitted must be original works and must relate to the annual Reflections Program theme.
  • Each entry must be the work of only one student. Assistance from teachers, parents, or friends is not permitted except in special cases (such as those with visual or physical disabilities)
  • All entries must include a title and an artist statement. Any entries submitted without either will be rejected.
  • Participation encourages creativity and exploration. Students should do their best, but crooked lines, incorrect musical notes, or misspelled words do not disqualify anyone.

Submission Rules

All submissions will be 100% virtual.  Click on any of the categories listed above for rules on how to submit art work. To enter a submission, click here.

Judging Criteria

Judges are anonymous and consists of professionals in their respective category. They are not parents of participating students. Judges strongly consider the interpretation of the Reflections theme during the evaluation process. It is suggested that students give their submissions a title that stands out and describes how the piece relates to the student’s personal interpretation of the theme. The following guiding questions can be useful when developing a title and artist statement:


  • Interpretation:  How closely the piece relates to the theme, based on the artwork itself and the artist statement.
  • Creativity: How creative and original the piece is in its conception of the theme and its presentation.
  • Technique: The level of skill demonstrated in the basic principles/techniques of the arts area.


Award of Excellence

Merit Award

Honorable Mention



All students awarded with the Award of Excellence will move on from school to Irvine Unified Council PTA, where they will compete with other local schools. If they place with the Award of Excellence, they move up from council to state level, then on to National PTA where they will have the chance to be honored with the Outstanding Interpretation winners. Visit last year’s National Outstanding Interpretation Awards here.

Celebration and Special Prizes: TBA

For questions, please contact the Reflections team at reflections@vistaverdepta.org.

Reflections Team
Lilli LaBuen Gillen, Anny Choe, Aubrey Sagalovich, Cami Simmons-Patel, Cynthia Zhang, Roxi Carter

Students’ Reflections Theme Search

The Reflections Program annual theme search offers another great way for students to get involved in the Reflections Program. Encourage your student to brainstorm and imagine a theme that will appeal to others in preschool through grade 12. For submitting the award-winning theme, the student receives $100 and recognition at the National PTA convention in June. To submit a student’s suggestions for a Reflections Program theme, complete the entry form and send it to California State PTA by November 1.  For the Student Theme Search Entry Form and to learn more, click here.  If you have further questions, contact us at Reflections@vistaverdepta.org.