Mustangs News · Monticello’s Kayla Scott receives NFHS Heart of the Arts Sectional Award

Monticello High School student actress/playwright Kayla Scott has been selected as the 2019 Section 2 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 sixth year that the National High School Heart of the Arts Award has been offered.

In stark contrast to her diminutive 4-feet-11 stature, Scott makes a huge impression on every activity she undertakes.

Among those activities, she is an honors scholar in the school’s Health and Medical Sciences Academy; shadows a cardiovascular surgeon as part of her internship program; is an honor roll student with a 4.3 grade-point average; is a peer tutor; and has been manager of the girls basketball team for several years.

On the performing arts side, she is lead choreographer of the school musicals and has been in the Virginia High School League (VHSL) Theatre Program since ninth grade. Last year, she won acting honors for her role in the 2017 VHSL entry “A King’s Story,” and this year, she wrote, directed and starred in the “#WhileBlack” entry for the 2018 VHSL theatre competition. The play won third place at regionals and first place out of 60 plays in the Virginia Theatre Association Conference in Norfolk. She also won awards for best director, best original script and best actor. Scott spent all summer working on this very nuanced play about gentrification and racial profiling. In that effort, she managed to show many points of view and to use comedy to provoke thought.

Scott is the second Monticello student in as many years to earn NFHS Section 2 Heart of the Arts Award honors.  Josh St. Hill, student director of the aforementioned “A King’s Story,” was the 2018 winner.

About the Award

The NFHS divides the nation into eight geographical sections. The states in Section 2 are Virginia, Delaware, District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Nominations for this award were generated through NFHS member state associations and reviewed by the NFHS Heart of the Arts Award Selection Committee composed of state association staff members.

While the national winner will be recognized June 29 at the NFHS Summer Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, the section winners will be recognized within their respective states and will receive awards before the end of the current school year.

About the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS)

The NFHS, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is the national leadership organization for high school sports and fine arts activities. Since 1920, the NFHS has led the development of education-based interscholastic sports and fine arts activities that help students succeed in their lives. The NFHS sets direction for the future by building awareness and support, improving the participation experience, establishing consistent standards and rules for competition, and helping those who oversee high school sports and activities. The NFHS writes playing rules for 17 sports for boys and girls at the high school level. Through its 50 member state associations and the District of Columbia, the NFHS reaches more than 19,000 high schools and 11 million participants in high school activity programs, including more than 7.9 million in high school sports. As the recognized national authority on interscholastic activity programs, the NFHS conducts national meetings; sanctions interstate events; produces publications for high school coaches, officials and athletic directors; sponsors professional organizations for high school coaches, officials, spirit coaches, speech and debate coaches and music adjudicators; serves as the national source for interscholastic coach training; and serves as a national information resource of interscholastic athletics and activities. For more information, visit the NFHS website at

John Gillis, 317-972-6900
National Federation of State High School Associations
PO Box 690, Indianapolis, Indiana 46206