West Hartford Public Schools Students Recognized at CAS Elementary Celebration of the Arts

West Hartford Public Schools honorees at the 25th Annual CAS Elementary Arts Celebration were (from left): Sora Sharkey, Bugbee grade 5; Emma Borer, Bugbee grade 5; Emilia Fradianni, Morley grade 4; and Joriel Miranda Emanuelli, Morley grade 5. Courtesy photo

Students from two West Hartford elementary schools were honored at the CAS 25th Annual Elementary Celebration of the Arts.

By Ronni Newton

Bugbee Principal Kelly Brouse and Morley Principal Ryan Cleary, as well as Bugbee art teacher Liz Bianco, accompanied several of their students and their families to the CAS Elementary Celebration of the Arts, held Tuesday, Feb. 6 at the Aquaturf in Plantsville, where the students were honored for their achievements.

Morley Principal Ryan Cleary with Joriel Miranda Emanuelli (left) and Emilia Fradianni. Courtesy photo

Morley fifth-grader Joriel Miranda Emanuelli and Morley fourth-grader Emilia Fradianni, as well as Bugbee fifth-graders Emma Borer and Sora Starkey, were among the 153 elementary age students from throughout Connecticut recognized and honored for their achievements in visual and performing arts at the annual event.

“The impact the arts have on our students as learners and people is immeasurable,” said Brouse. “It fosters connection, builds self-esteem, and provides an outlet for our children to truly express themselves. Our students’ academic success is due in great part to the commitment we make as a district to fostering all aspects of our scholars.”

Sora, who has designed his own fashion line, even wore a shirt he designed himself “in true artist form,” Brouse said.

From left: Bugbee Principal Kelly Brouse, Sora Sharkey, Emma Borer, and art teacher Liz Bianco. Courtesy photo

The event included a buffet dinner, but was more than just an awards ceremony, and included fun activities such as face painting and caricature drawings by Southington High School students. There was also a magician, as well entertainment by Flock Theatre teaching about various forms of puppetry.

Cristiano Almeida, the 2024 Kid Governor addressed the award recipients and encouraged them to “give 100%” to their passion for art.

The theme of the event was “fearless” – and recognizing the courage that it takes to share personal feelings through art, that message was shared by speakers and was also the topic of conversation during dinner.

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