Reflections Contest

Look Within to find what inspires you!

The 2019-2020 theme Look Within will help students to look within themselves to determine what drives them, inspires them, and what they are most passionate about. Students can look within their communities to find the good, the bad, and what needs to be done to help their communities thrive.

Questions? Contact Elaine Gallagher ( if you have any questions about this year’s program.


National Results

Congratulations to Theo Whiteman for receiving the Award of Merit in Film Production at the National PTA level!  See a list of all winners here.

District Results

Congratulations to the McKinley students who participated in the Northern Virginia District Reflections Competition! Theo Whiteman (Primary) earned first place in film production and is moving on to the state level of competition. Marcelo Garcia-Rivera placed second in his division. Congratulations to you both!

County Level Results

Congratulations to the McKinley Reflections winners for doing so well at the Arlington County Reflections Contest! A special congratulations goes out to Theo Whiteman and Marcelo Garcia-Rivera who are advancing to the Northern Virginia District Level Competition for their films. There are three award levels at the county level: Outstanding Interpretation of Theme, Award of Excellence and Award of Merit.

Lila Shukla Gorcys (Primary) – Award of Merit
Lillian Brunk (Intermediate) – Award of Merit

Dance Choreography
Charlie Whiteman (Intermediate) – Award of Excellence

Abigail Paige (Primary) – Award of Merit
Joseph Boller (Intermediate) – Award of Merit

Music Composition
Leah Dober (Intermediate) – Award of Excellence

Visual Arts
Charlotte Allen (Primary) – Award of Merit
Sabrina Matus (Intermediate) – Award of Merit

Film Production
Theo Whiteman (Primary) – Outstanding Interpretation of Theme
Marcelo Garcia-Rivera – Outstanding Interpretation of Theme

McKinley School Level Results

McKinley School Level: 2019/20 honorees (First-place winners advanced to the Arlington County level of competition)

Contest Details

This National Arts contest invites you to show your love for the arts in the categories of dance choreography, music composition, photography, visual arts, literature and filmmaking. Winners will be selected in each arts category in 3 divisions, if applicable: Pre-K-2, 3-5, and special artist.

Students will be celebrated at a school-wide assembly, and first place winners will move on to county and possibly state or national levels.

Important Dates

  • Wednesday, October 30: Reflections Submissions Due in Library
  • Thursday, January 16: McKinley Reflections Assembly
  • Tuesday, January 21, 6:30-8:30 p.m.: Arlington County Reflections Awards Assembly, Washington-Liberty High School


Student Entry Form (English)

Student Entry Form (Spanish)

Print an entry form or pick up a form from the PTA board in the hallway. Please leave the PTA portion at the top blank. It will be filled out by the Reflections Chair for first place winners before they are passed onto the county level.


For detailed instructions on each category, please visit the following links (downloadable pdf documents):


Take special care with your entry form. Your work, title and artist statement should all closely relate to the theme, Look Within. Entries will be judged based on the work and the artist statement in three categories: Interpretation of Theme  (20 points), Creativity (10 points) and Technique (10 points). Your artist statement and title are crucial to your Interpretation of Theme score.

You may enter as many categories as you like and you may enter the same category more than once.  A separate form must be filled out for each entry.

Please turn in your entries to the Reflections box in the library.

See the Virginia District PTA website for additional details.

How You Can Help

Help promote contest participation, collect student entries, facilitate judging, and organize the school awards ceremony.

Contact the program chair(s) if you wish to help.

2019/20 Program Chair(s)

Elaine Gallagher (

Previous Years Winners and Honorees

2018 Reflections Contest: “HEROES AROUND ME”


Congratulations to the APS Reflections State-Level Winner Charlie Whiteman, who received the Award of Excellence in Dance Choreography.


Congratulations to the McKinley students who participated in the District Reflections competition! Charlie Whiteman (Primary) and Molly Bakos (Intermediate) earned first place in dance choreography and are moving on to the state level of competition. Lillian Brunk received the Director’s Award for Photography.

See the full list of 2018 honorees.


2017 Winners and Participants
See the list of 2017 award winners and honorees.

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Clip to Win!

Submit your Box Tops to support the McKinley PTA!

The classroom with the most Box Tops will be rewarded with a special activity!

Join the competition!

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