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    Jon Zlock
    Richard Vespucci
    Ron Rice


For Release: March 3, 2004

Ocean County Student Honored as March Student of the Month, State Board Welcomes New Student Representative

Patrick Ward, a senior at Point Pleasant Borough High School, was recognized today by the New Jersey State Board of Education as the March Student of the Month.

Additionally, Katie Wright, a junior from Shawnee High School in Burlington County, began her tenure as the new State Board Student Representative.

Ward, an accomplished pianist, singer and dancer, has applied to Yale University and is also considering the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton and New York Universities.

"Patrick is a dynamic individual that has excelled in a multitude of academic and artistic disciplines, as well as, in community service, and school activities," State Board President Arnold G. Hyndman said. "The State Board of Education is pleased to bestow this distinction on a young man that personifies excellence in all of his endeavors and wishes him much success in what is sure to be a career of remarkable achievement." Ward wants to major in economics and is interested in a career in law and politics.

"The Department of Education joins the State Board in its praise of a true "renaissance" student," Commissioner of Education William L. Librera added. "Patrick’s academic success, in his school’s curriculum and on nationwide standardized tests, makes him a role model for all of New Jersey’s high school students. We salute not only the breadth of his achievements, but also the fact that his given of his talents to improve his community."

Patrick has demonstrated superior academic achievement by receiving the highest possible score on three Advanced Placement (AP) exams and a score of 1580 out of a possible 1600 on the Scholastic Achievement Test (SAT). As a result of his academic prowess, Patrick Ward won the Rennssleaer Medal and the American Chemical Society Award.

In addition to his artistic and academic success, Patrick has been active in school activities, such as the Match League and the Lincoln-Douglas Debate Team, and volunteered in his community with organizations such as DARE. Patrick was also inducted into the National Honor Society as a junior and currently serves as the secretary of his school’s Future Business Leaders of America club.

In other State Board business, new State Board Student Representative Katie Wright was welcomed to her first public State Board meeting. Katie volunteers in a number of capacities in her community. She has served as a Candy Striper at Virtua-Marlton Hospital since her freshman year in high school and volunteers her time to a program called Teen-Line, a help assistance hot line for teenagers.

"The State Board is proud to have Katie as our new Student Representative," said State Board President Hyndman. "As the voice of students throughout the state of New Jersey, her input will be an invaluable resource for the Board as we chart the course for student achievement in the coming year."

Each month during the school year, the State Board recognizes a student or group of students for accomplishments in community service, the arts, academics, and sports. Last month, the State Board honored April Walters, a student at Gloucester County Institute of Technology (GCIT). Each year, the New Jersey Student Council Association selects one student to represent the association on the State Board of Education as a non-voting member. The student is selected by his or her peers and attends 12 State Board meetings. Katie Wright’s predecessor was Jill Baker, a student at High Point Regional High School in Sussex County.

For more information, please contact the Department of Education’s Public Information Office at (609) 292-1126.