Vail Christian awards scholarships to three local students |

Vail Christian awards scholarships to three local students

High school awards inaugural Heart of an Artist scholarship and annual Honor scholarships

Marek Labenski, Tenley Brasington and Paige Middleton all received scholarships to attend Vail Christian High School. Middleton received the inaugural Heart of an Artist scholarship, and Labenski and Brasington received the seventh annual Honors scholarships.
Vail Christian High School/Courtesy Photo

On Thursday, March 9, Vail Christian High School announced the recipients of two scholarships: the Heart of an Artist Scholarship and its Honor Scholarship. Local students Paige Middleton, Tenley Brasington and Marek Labenski were named as the award recipients.

Heart of an Artist

This is the first year the high school has offered the artist scholarship, as it aims to celebrate the artistic and creative side of students entering high school. The Heart of an Artist Scholarship offers $5,000 off tuition, renewable for four years.

Candidates must demonstrate both breadth and depth in their creative pursuits, and commit to taking fine arts classes each year in all areas offered at Vail Christian High School. The scholarship is part of a broader mission to develop and celebrate the whole student and ignite passion in arts, academics and athletics.

Middleton was named the first recipient of the school’s Heart of an Artist Scholarship. Middleton has been homeschooled and is an accomplished pianist and violinist. She also has a passion for and experience in video/media production, creative writing and poetry and has performed with Bravo! Vail.

When asked about the big picture of the arts in our world, Middleton said, “Music, like all the arts, can help bring the world together. Having the heart of an artist requires determination and an overall passion for humanity. Having the heart of an artist means that you are kind and want to spread sympathy, compassion, joy and inspiration to those around you.”

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According to one of Middleton’s music teachers, “Paige plays with expression and artistry beyond her years and approaches her musical studies with discipline and dedication.”

Honors scholarships

The 2023 academic merit Honor Scholarships were awarded to two deserving Eagle County eighth graders: Tenley Brasington of Vail Christian Academy and Marek Labenski of Saint Clare of Assisi. The two winners were chosen on the basis of grades, standardized test scores, teacher recommendations, written essays and personal interviews.

The merit-based scholarships provide half-price tuition each year until graduation from Vail Christian High School, totaling over $50,000 per student over four years.

Brasington and Labenski will be part of the school’s incoming freshman class who will graduate in 2027. This is the seventh year Vail Christian High School has awarded the Honor Scholarship to incoming freshmen. Winners must maintain a GPA of 3.75 throughout their four years of schooling and must exhibit strong character and leadership.

Brasington is described as a leader by her peers, teachers and friends. She works hard and strives for perfection not just academically, but as a strong athlete and leader among friends, as she shares her love of life and is a light to those around her.

“Tenley will consistently ask how she can achieve higher grades and looks to take on new academic challenges,” said LaRae Keyes, one of Brasington’s teachers. “Tenley is also articulate and asks intelligent questions in class, and is not afraid to politely approach her teachers with questions or clarification. If she is not challenged, she pursues other avenues where she will be.”

Labenski, the other recipient of the 2023 Honor Scholarship, is described as a gifted writer and kind soul who loves to learn. He is passionate about literature and reading but also excels in all academic areas including math.

“Rarely have I encountered someone who is so desirous of being challenged in school and who is so quick to learn. He has an incredible ability to take abstract concepts and connect them to his life,” said Sister Mary Mia in her recommendation of Marek.

At the annual scholarship award ceremony, Vail Christian’s Director of Admissions, Kristy Maslan, shared just some of the adjectives used to describe the scholarship recipients in their nomination forms and interview notes. Among those words were: thoughtful, brilliant, creative, independent, helpful, confident, diligent, leader, curious, dedicated, focused, service-minded and team player.

“Character traits are so important, and we value those and love to see them so clearly show in our students’ lives,” said Vail Christian’s Head of School Steve O’Neil. “Our students have the whole package: mind, body, spirit. Paige, Tenley and Marek all certainly exemplify traits in line with our school’s values.”

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