Milwaukee Public Schools
Press Release

One of America’s ‘Best and Brightest Young Artists’ is at MPS’ Milwaukee High School of the Arts

MHSA students have received the national honor for four straight years

By - Dec 4th, 2013 08:59 am
MPS MHSA student and national YoungArts Merit Award winner Shampriel Morrise, seen performing in MHSA’s production of “Blues In The Night”

MPS MHSA student and national YoungArts Merit Award winner Shampriel Morrise, seen performing in MHSA’s production of “Blues In The Night”

MILWAUKEE (December 4, 2013) — An 11th-grade student at Milwaukee Public SchoolsMilwaukee High School of the Arts is among the “best and brightest young artists in the nation,” an honor bestowed by the National YoungArts Foundation.

MHSA student Shampriel Morrise received the YoungArts Merit Award, an honor shared by just 700 young artists around the country selected from more than 10,000 applicants. Many YoungArts winners – more than 17,000 in total over the years – go on to become leading professionals in their fields, including actresses Vanessa Williams and Kerry Washington.

The merit award comes with the opportunity to travel to Miami, New York or Los Angeles in February to take master classes taught by world-renowned artists and the chance to become a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts complete with a visit to the White House.

Shampriel, who is a “voice major” at MHSA, is being recognized for her submission in the ‘Popular Voice’ category. Her win marks the fourth straight year that a student from MPS’ arts specialty high school on the west side has won YoungArts national recognition for vocal performance.

“The fact that this honor has been bestowed upon a Milwaukee High School of the Arts student for four straight years is an impressive reminder that MPS and MHSA are home to some of the best young artists in the area and across the country,” MPS Superintendent Gregory Thornton said.

“We’re so proud of Shampriel!” MHSA Principal Barry Applewhite said. “This honor validates all of her hard work and the work of the educators who support her here at MHSA.”

The arts have been a significant focus of MPS’ budgets in recent years. Over the past two years, the district has added more than 90 art, music and physical education teaching positions back to schools.

YoungArts has honored more than 17,000 young artists with more than $30 million in monetary awards and nearly $186 million in college scholarship opportunities. More information about YoungArts is at

About Milwaukee Public Schools
Milwaukee Public Schools, Wisconsin’s largest school district, is expanding college and career readiness efforts and continuing to implement innovative reforms that give every student the opportunity to succeed. MPS’ high-quality school options for 3-year-olds to high school seniors feature school climates in which positive behavior is reinforced; certified, highly-trained teachers; 21st-century learning technology for students; and curriculum aligned to the rigorous Common Core State Standards, which set a clear, high bar for the topics students must master at each grade level. MPS’ graduation rate is 14 points higher than the rate for the Class of 2000, its Class of 2013 earned $24 million in scholarships and the district is home to some of the state’s best high schools according to the Washington Post and U.S. News and World Report. More MPS news is available at

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