KATY - Katy schools tend to be known for sports, but that overshadows some of the other successes at the school district. For example, there's award winning art. District wide, Katy ISD is celebrating 48 winners in Scholastic's annual art contest.
"I mostly draw portraits," says Akhil Thadani, one of the 11th grade winners at Seven Lakes High School. "I love depicting emotion with dry mediums."
Stephanie Zhou actually won with her very first oil painting.
"I did an oil painting of blueberries for Scholastic," Zhou said. "I took the picture when I went blueberry picking in the summer with my mom."
Fernada Lira did an emotional charcoal drawing of her grandmother.
"It speaks about feminism," Lira says. "It speaks about having your own voice as a person."
Whether with pencil, paint, or charcoal, what these artists touched turned to gold, making them winners of Scholastic's Gold Key Award.
Kim Glasgow is an Advance Placement art teacher at Seven Lakes High School. Many of these talented students are hers.
"We work collectively, together, to help each other, to critique each other," Glasgow says. "We kind of work as a family, and I think that's what produces such high quality work."
Of course, winning an award is a great motivational boost.
"We always try to focus, that it's not the most important thing, but it's such a nice honor," Glasgow says. "It just feels good to win an award."
"It kind of gives you a sense of inspiration as an artist," Fernanda says. "You want to keep going, and realizing you're being recognized for your hard work, really just makes you want to keep doing it. I want to see how far I can go."
Fernanda is a Seven Lakes senior who's headed to The University of Texas at San Antonio to major in art. Stephanie hasn't decided what college she's going to next year, but she knows she's going to pursue a career in fashion design. And for now, Akhil is happily working on his craft.
"It's really fun to see how much you get better after every piece that you do," Akhil says.
With the support of the school and the school district, these students graduate with more than just a transcript. They have a portfolio they can be proud of.