Tara Peterson
High School North's Tara Petersen

June 9, 2020-- The 2020 Ocean County Teen Arts Festival announced its winners for Outstanding Achievement on Friday June 5. Among them were several High School North students including junior Tara Peterson, who walked away with the big $500 prize in the Prose category for her short story, "The Ride."

Tara is a student in teacher Leslie LaRose's creative writing class, and the Ocean County Teen Arts Festival was the first writing contest she had ever entered. Her story was based on her experiences in competitive horseback riding.

During his announcement the judge, Ocean County College Prof. Richard Carr, described "The Ride" as having "maturity" and being "advanced in the way it exposed something about the human condition." He added that he "loved" Tara's story and thought it was "fantastic."

"I am so proud of Tara!" said LaRose.

And that wasn't it for High School North. In the Dance category, the HSN Dance Academy won a $250 prize for its "Toms River North Dance Academy, Brooklyn Nets" submission. In the Visual Arts category, Desiree Agragon-- a student in teacher Joyce Houlihan's class-- won the $250 prize for her work The Dragon in Her. 

The full list of Ocean County 2020 Teen Arts Award Festival winners can be viewed here.

Desiree Aragon and her winning artwork, The Dragon in Her.

Toms River North Dance Academy
High School North Dance Academy