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    Tom Rosenthal
    Rich Vespucci

For Release: June 5, 2002

State Board of Education Recognizes Student from Salem County

The State Board of Education today honored an eighth-grade student from Elsinboro Township School, Salem County. The student, Andrew Elwell of Salem, has distinguished himself in every aspect of school life: academics, extracurricular activities, and sports. He has also participated in many community activities. Andrew is editor of his school’s newspaper and yearbook and will serve as class valedictorian at graduation ceremonies later this month.

"Andrew Elwell has varied interests, all of which add to his strength as a student and young citizen of his community," said State Board of Education President Maud Dahme. "He has taken advantage of all of the enrichment opportunities his public school had to offer and has demonstrated that he is well-prepared for high school.

"We wish him continued success in the years to come," Dahme said.

Andrew has excelled at the highest levels in his school and has received an academic achievement award from the Salem County School Administrators Association. In addition, he has earned a National History and Government Award and has won an essay contest on the topic of school safety. He took first place in his school’s science fair and has participated in the national Geography Bee. He is a two-time Salem County spelling champion.

In his community, Andrew has helped raise money for cancer research, volunteered to participate in community clean-up projects, and is an active member of his county’s 4-H club.

Andrew plays three instruments – piano, trumpet and saxophone. He also sings in his school’s chorus and has been named to the All South Jersey Elementary Chorus. He also enjoys acting and is a member of the Oakwood Summer Theater. In a recent production of Aladdin, Andrew portrayed the Genie.

In sports, Andrew has participated in recreational leagues for soccer, basketball and baseball. He has been a basketball all-star, and in school he has received a National Physical Fitness Award.

"Andrew Elwell can only be characterized as a student who autographs his work with excellence," said Patricia Parente-Sofia, chief school administrator for the Elsinboro Township School District. "Andrew can be observed everywhere in the school excelling – in his academics, working with younger students, pulling together the next issue of our school newspaper, competing in the National Geography Bee, taking first prize in the science fair and volunteering in the community. He is always in good humor, with a smile on his face and an attitude of cooperation."

Jim Costabile, one of Andrew’s current teachers, said, "Andrew is unquestionably one of Elsinboro School’s finest students. Because of his academic mastery combined with his extraordinarily enthusiastic and leadership abilities, I know that he will do himself and the high school he attends a great deal of credit."

The State Board hosted Andrew Elwell today as part of its recognition program to honor each month a student or group of students for accomplishments in areas such as community service, the arts, academics and sports.