NEW ORLEANS — Student artists of New Orleans Center for Creative Arts will be honored and recognized as examples of achievement, exceptional artistic growth, perseverance and accomplishment at the annual President Honors Awards Ceremony at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Freda Lupin Memorial Hall.

The following students were nominated by NOCCA faculty and selected by president and CEO Kyle Wedberg for this prestigious honor:

Emmanuel Chastain, media arts, Mandeville High School

Brianna Despenza, visual arts, Edna Karr High School

Lila Dunlap, creative writing, Homeschool (Orleans Parish)

Jessica Hebert, theatre design, Mandeville High School

Brian King, classical instrumental music, Haynes Academy of Advanced Studies

David Murray, vocal music, NOCCA Academic Studio

Meredith Pennison, dance, Grace King High School

Xavier Reed-Molina, jazz instrumental, Benjamin Franklin High School

Melaina Ricks, drama, Archbishop Chapelle High School

Samantha Rohr, musical theater, Haynes Academy of Advanced Studies

Alexandra Stadler, culinary arts, Haynes Academy of Advanced Studies

Cierra Varnado, academic studio, NOCCA Academic Studio,

“These students are being recognized not just for their extraordinary talent, because all NOCCA students are talented. These students are being recognized for going the extra step as is manifested in the growth, consistency, desire, and leadership they have demonstrated during their time at NOCCA,” Wedberg said.

“We are proud of every NOCCA student, but these 12 students have each shown something of note that makes them deserving of this high level of recognition. We welcome the opportunity to join with the families and friends of the honorees, NOCCA’s supporters and our entire campus community to celebrate these incredible students.”

NOCCA, Louisiana’s arts conservatory for high school students, offers students from across the state tuition-free arts instruction in creative writing, culinary arts, dance, media arts: filmmaking and audio production, music, theater arts, and visual arts as well as the full-day school Academic Studio. Visit for more information.