State Stories


St. Rita’s Ethan Gray Named National Winner of NFHS Heart of the Arts Award

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St. Rita of Cascia High School senior Ethan Gray has been selected as the 2015 national recipient of the “National High School Heart of the Arts Award” by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).

The National High School Heart of the Arts Award was created by the NFHS to recognize those individuals who exemplify the ideals of the positive heart of the arts that represent the core mission of education-based activities. This is the second year that the National High School Heart of the Arts Award has been offered.

"This award means a lot to me," said Ethan. "When I found out that I won I was shocked, and still am. I'm really happy that I got the chance to go to st. Rita because without all of the things I've done there, I wouldn't be the person I am today."

A talented musician, thespian and artist, Ethan was home-schooled through eighth grade to aid his immune system in living with Sickle Cell Thalassemia, a genetically inherited disease that contributed to Ethan suffering a stroke during his junior year. Despite the adversity, he continues to thrive in his high school arts programs. Ethan will be recognized at the 2015 NFHS Summer Conference, which will be held in New Orleans in early July.

Click here to read more on Ethan’s story

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