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    Tom Rosenthal
    Richard Vespucci
    Jon Zlock

For Release: February 5, 2003

State Board Recognizes February Student of the Month

The New Jersey State Board of Education today recognized Caroline Kwon, an eighth-grader at Warren Middle School in Somerset County, as the student of the month for February 2003.

Kwon, according to Kathleen Sanger, the school counselor, is "intelligent, inquisitive, friendly, extremely outgoing and motivated.

"I have known Caroline Kwon for five years and say unequivocally that she is one of the finest students I have encountered in my many years in the field of education," Sanger wrote in her recommendation to the State Board. "She is multi-talented and is simply a delight."

The State Board welcomed Kwon at its regular monthly meeting today in Trenton as part of its program that recognizes a student or group of students for accomplishments in community service, the arts, academics and sports. Each month, a student or group of students from one of the 21 counties in the state is honored.

"The State Board of Education is proud to recognize Caroline Kwon as an outstanding student with a bright future and an already impressive resume at such a young age," Board President Maud Dahme said. "Caroline’s many activities, coupled with her wonderful leadership qualities, are admirable. The State Board expects she will continue her success, both in the classroom and beyond, into the future."

In Somerset County, Caroline was picked from 20 candidates to be recognized by the State Board. A panel consisting of 15 members of the Somerset County Professional Development Board reviewed all applications.

Caroline is a straight-A student with Honors courses in Algebra I, English and Spanish I. She is also active in her church — this past summer, she volunteered to help the poor in Mexico. She’s also volunteered at Food Bank and is involved in the Community Service Club.

"The state Department of Education is proud to join the State Board in honoring such an accomplished young woman," Commissioner of Education William L. Librera said. "We are impressed with Caroline’s credentials and she is to be lauded for her many, many pursuits and accomplishments."

In school, Caroline is part of the G & T program and participates in mock trials, the debate team and an improvisational group. She is a long-jumper on the school track team, studies karate and is a member of the YMCA state swimming team. She is also an accomplished pianist who has played for eight years.

Last year, she won a medal for her piano playing in Italy.

"Caroline’s piano awards list is a page-long," Sanger wrote in her recommendation letter. "She accomplishes so much so easily that, at times, I need to remind myself of the amount of time and dedication that one of her activities requires."

Caroline also demonstrates a concern for others. Recently, she stepped forward with her friends to sit with a new student who was being teased on the school bus.

"The genuineness, integrity, and unassuming nature of this student are evidenced and her many accomplishments are impressive," Sanger wrote. "Her most striking characteristic, however, is her concern for others and her natural, friendly personality. She has a strong sense of values."