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FMSA Student Selected as National Finalist | Arts & Culture

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FMSA Student Selected as National Finalist
FMSA Student Selected as National Finalist

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. -- Marissa Stacholy, an eighth-grade student at First Montessori School of Atlanta and the daughter of Lisa and Jan Stacholy of Dunwoody, has been chosen as a national finalist in the River of Words Poetry & Art Contest. Sponsored by the Center for Environmental Literacy at Saint Mary's College of California, the contest is the largest international youth poetry and art competition in the world.

The judging panel, which included former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Hass, selected less than 100 poems and pieces of art from tens of thousands of entries.

Marissa will receive a medal, and her poetry will be included in the ROW's anthology. A copy of the book will be donated in her name to First Montessori School of Atlanta and her public library branch.

Marissa was also selected as a state art winner in the Georgia River of Words Environmental Poetry and Art Project. Marissa's art, along with that of other winners, will travel to schools, libraries, nature centers, parks and government buildings for one year as part of the Georgia River of Words Exhibition. This is the second time Marissa has been a state winner.

"It takes many voices and talents to keep our watershed healthy," said Linda MacGregor, chief of the Georgia Department of Natural Resource's Watershed Protection Branch. "We work hard to keep our waters clean and safe, but we can't do it alone."

"The First Montessori community is very happy for Marissa and her accomplishment," said FMSA Head of School Jerri King. "She is a classic example of our engaged students - learning indoors and out, connected to their passions and expressing themselves creatively at every turn. There is much more to come from Marissa!"

Marissa has attended First Montessori School of Atlanta for 11 years. She says her favorite FMSA core value is creativity because her whole life is creative.

Marissa wants to be an actress, an author, a vet, a movie maker or a genetic counselor when she grows up.

When she's not in school, she writes stories, plays with her animals, reads books, practices karate and plays with video games.

Located at 5750 Long Island Drive, First Montessori School of Atlanta serves the needs of students 18 months through 14 years of age.