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    Ron Rice
    Kathryn Forsyth

For Release: April 7, 2004

State Board Honors Monmouth County High School Student As Its April Student of the Month

Danielle Shin-Lee Conk, an honor student and senior at Allentown High School in Monmouth County, was recognized today by the New Jersey State Board of Education as its April Student of the Month.

Danielle, an active participant in her town's Optimist Club drive to assist needy citizens, has been accepted at The College of New Jersey and is awaiting acceptance to the State University of Washington in Seattle, Washington.

"Danielle Shin-Lee Conk has accomplished extraordinary feats despite obstacles that would have stopped someone with less resolve and determination," said State Board President Arnold G. Hyndman. "Her achievements in the community and in her high school, clearly show the strength of her character and will over her physical limitations. We are pleased to bestow this honor on Danielle today." Danielle was diagnosed at seventeen months with cerebral palsy.

"Today, the Department of Education proudly joins the State Board in its recognition of this exceptional student," Commissioner of Education William L. Librera added. "Danielle's perseverance and success in so many academic and community endeavors, specifically by overcoming physical challenges in her sophomore year in high school, is a testament to her strong will and desire to succeed." During her sophomore year at Allentown High School, Danielle required surgery. Despite being confined to a wheelchair, she was an integral part of her school's FFA First Place Horse Judging Team. Three days later, with pins in her toes and stitches in her legs, Danielle performed with her choir.

Danielle has also been named to her school's Honor Roll on numerous occasions, won her school's World Cultures and Zoology Awards and volunteers for a number of charitable efforts in her community.

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 Patrick Ward, a senior at Point Pleasant Borough High School in Ocean County.

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