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Some of Milton’s best student writers and artists gathered virtually on Monday evening for the Laurence S. Persky Memorial Awards. The annual awards are given for the best work appearing in Milton Academy student publications and honor excellence in creative writing, journalism, art, photography, and production.

Guest speaker and alumna Tina Nguyen ’07 spoke to students about writing and told stories about her “weird career path.” She is a national reporter for POLITICO, covering the Make America Great Again (MAGA) movement, disinformation, and internet culture. Prior to that, she was a staff reporter for Vanity Fair Hive for more than four years, covering American politics and the rise of Donald Trump.

Nugyen said she tries to make her “writing as compelling as possible.” 

“Writing is the foundation—it’s an art but it’s also a discipline,” she said. “The goal is to make sure your audience gets what you are saying. They may not like what you have to say, but at least they understand it.”

The Persky Awards were established to honor the memory of a Milton student writer who passed away just prior to his Class I year more than 30 years ago. Head of School Todd Bland did the honor of announcing the individual awards.

Emily Franklin ’90, author of more than 20 books (including her new poetry collection, Tell Me How You Got Here) judged the creative writing in student publications this year. Emily received a Persky Award back in 1990. The creative writing honorees were:

  • Alison Cao ’22
  • Kenza Chraibi ’21
  • Eliza Dunn ’21 
  • Stephanie Fuentes ’22
  • Emily Hong ’21
  • Anne Kwok ’21
  • Eleni Mazareas ’21
  • Luke Monnich ’21

A team of current art faculty judged artwork showcased in student publications this year. In two categories, judges named Honorable Mentions, as well.

In photography, Honorable Mentions to:

  • Tori Choo ’21 for “Klein Lighthouse” 
  • Thea Chung ’21 for “Fire Escape” 

And Persky Awards to: 

  • Nettie Hitt ’21 for “Portrait of my Father”
  • Blake Ankner ’23 for “city obscura” 

In drawing and painting, Honorable Mentions to: 

  • Izzy Dupre ’21 for  “The Devil Made Me Do It” 
  • Emma Wright ’21 for “Afternoon Couch” 

And Persky Awards to: 

  • Evelyn Cao ’22 for her (Drawing/Cutout of dog and person) 
  • Eloïse Maybank ’21 for “Princess de Lambeth” 
  • Eloïse Maybank ’21 for “The Adornment” 

In other media/digital art category, Persky Awards to:

  • Lynn Yuan ’21 for  “Cozy Emptiness” 
  • Jiawei Sun ’21 “Hollow” 


A team of English, Science, and Communications faculty judged student journalism printed in publications across the campus this year. 

Best Science Article:

  • Wilder Crosier ’21, Helix, for “Why—Mathematically—You Shouldn ’t Try to Comb a Hedgehog.”

Best Editorial—a tie:

  • To the Milton Measure ’s Editorial Board for “March Sucks”
  • And to The Milton Paper ’s Editorial Board for “Let Us Leave The ACC”

Best Commentary, National Topic—a tie:

  • To Joshua Hwang ’21 and Eleni Mazareas ’21, The Milton Measure, for “Atlanta Shooting Leaves Eight Murdered and Raises Uncomfortable Questions About Anti-Asian Sentiment in America”
  • And to Shiloh Liu ’22, The Milton Paper, for “‘Isn ’t Biden a Little Stupid?’: The Role of Dementia in the 2020 Election”

Best Commentary, Milton Topic: 

  • Kayla Mathieu ’21, The Milton Paper, for “A Segregated Legacy”

Best Overall Commentary:

  • Anna Hamblet  ’22, The Milton Paper

Best Column: 

  • Nara Mohyeddin  ’21, the Milton Measure, for “Column to the Left: If I’m a Teacher Then Pay Me”

Best News Story, Milton Topic: 

  • Caroline Cannata ’22, the Milton Measure for “Milton’s Black History Month: What We Aren’t and Are Doing”

Best News Story, Outside Milton: 

  • Jacob Mulliken ’23, The Milton Paper, for “Boilers and Bylaws: How Brookline’s Climate Activists Are Shaping the Decarbonization Movement”

Best Environmental Writer:

  • Ryan Shue ’23, The Milton Paper

Best Public Service:

  • Maddie Weiler ’21 and Abby Buonato ’22, Piece of Mind, Winter 2021 Issue

Best Sports Article: 

  • Luke Monnich ’21, The Milton Paper, for “Do Politics Belong in Sports?”

Best Milton Sports Story:  

  • Abe Wyett ’22, the Milton Measure, for “To Be a College Recruit: A Challenging Pursuit”

Best Overall Sports Writing—a tie:

  • Nik Katherisan ’23, the Milton Measure
  • Ava McNeil ’22, The Milton Paper

Best Overall Arts Writing: 

  • Sam Dunn ’22, the Milton Measure

Best Film Criticism: 

  • Louis Chiasson ’23, The Milton Paper

Best Arts Feature:

  • Hannah Kotler ’22, The Milton Paper, for “The Original Live Action Mulan: the Everlasting Yu Opera”

Best Layout:   

  • Emma Tung ’22 and Maya Metri ’21, The Milton Paper