Chelmsford Public Schools Massachusetts Art Educators Association

Xavier Herrera, Harrington Elementary Fourth Grader, Earns MAEA Youth Art Month Presidential Award

Chelmsford Public Schools Massachusetts Art Educators Association

Herrera one of three fourth graders honored statewide

CHELMSFORD, MA (March 11, 2021) – Xavier Herrera, a fourth-grade student at Chelmsford’s Harrington Elementary School, was one of three fourth grade students statewide to receive the President’s Award by the Massachusetts Art Educators Association (MAEA) on Wednesday.

Mr. Herrera, 10, was honored for his drawing titled ‘Metamorphosis,’ which depicts a character made up of different animal features. His work will be featured in the MAEA Youth Art Month Virtual Exhibit on display Monday, Mar. 15, on the MAEA website.

“Xavier has always been very interested in art,” said Kelly Mazzone, who has been an art teacher at the Harrington School the last two years and the Parker Middle School the previous two. “He very much enjoys pencil sketching. Any project you put in front of him he does well. He is always designing his own characters. Whenever we do a free draw, he and his friends will illustrate their own stories, and he gravitates to that with his own characters.”

Mr. Herrera’s honor marks the second time in as many weeks that Chelmsford students were recognized by the MAEA. Last week, four artists from Chelmsford High School – seniors Liam McCafferty and Hannah Nettikadan, junior Avery Marr and freshman Audrey Rice – had their artwork selected to the MAEA Amazing Emerging Artists Recognitions virtual exhibit.

Mr. Herrera said the honor is the biggest of his young career. He sees himself pursuing a career in art as he grows older. “Honestly, I was very surprised and happy,” he said.

“I’m extraordinarily proud of him,” said Xavier’s mother, Xiomara Figueroa, a certified nurse’s assistant who works with elderly. “If you give Xavier a picture of something, he will draw it. It started with Play-Doh and he would make little characters, but now everything is comic book drawing and stories.”

Xavier is one of two children of Ms. Figueroa. His sister, Xexilya Herrera, 13, is an eighth grader at the McCarthy School.

About Chelmsford Public Schools

The Chelmsford Public School District provides all students with multiple pathways to optimize their own potential for academic excellence, leadership, and social and emotional wellness. The mission of the Chelmsford Public Schools is to educate, engage, prepare, and empower well-rounded and knowledgeable learners to PERSEVERE through challenges, demonstrate RESPECT and INTEGRITY in their words and actions, are DEDICATED to their community, and display EMPATHY as global citizens while discovering and pursuing their full potential.  This PRIDE-driven culture enables all members of the school community to support the growth and development of students.  For more information, please visit