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For More Information Contact the Public Information Office:
    Ron Rice
    Kathryn Forsyth, Director

For Release: May 4, 2005

State Board Honors Student Tsunami Relief Organizer from Morris County

The State Board of Education recognized the achievements of Amanda Tsukamoto, an 11th grade student at Madison High School in Morris County, today at its regular public meeting. Amanda, a member of both the National and French National Honors Societies with a 4.262 grade point average, took a leadership role in her school and community’s outreach to assist the victims of the Tsunami disasters this year.

"As many New Jersey residents viewed the tragedy of the Tsunami disaster and wondered what they could do to help, Amanda Tsukamoto put her thoughts into action and did something," said Acting Governor Richard J. Codey.

"She and her fellow students joined other state residents in going beyond their normal civic duty and reached out to help others in distant lands far away from our shores. For the selflessness and deliberate sacrifice of Amanda and the Madison High School Red Cross Club, we say thank you for doing more than your part and going the extra mile in service to humankind throughout the world," said Governor Codey.

Amanda has volunteered at her local Red Cross chapter for a number of years and successfully formed the Red Cross Club at her high school. When the tsunami struck south Asia on December 26, 2004, Amanda went to work. Upon the students’ return to school, Amanda and her club began soliciting donations throughout her school and the entire school district. She and her fellow club members collected nearly $6,000.00 in under 10 days.

"The State Board of Education joins the Madison school district and the entire town of Madison in offering our heartfelt gratitude and appreciation for Amanda Tsukamoto’s work on behalf of Tsunami relief," said State Board of Education President Arnold G. Hyndman.

"Because of Amanda’s efforts and the work of her Red Cross Club, much needed relief is going to the victims of this worldwide natural disaster. She is strong role model for other students throughout the state of New Jersey," said Dr. Hyndman.

"The Department of Education is proud of Amanda’s leadership by example," added Commissioner of Education William L. Librera.

"When critics ask what this generation of students doing to advance society, we will be happy to point to students like Amanda as a representative of what is best in New Jersey public schools. We are honored by her work and the work of her peers," said the Commissioner.

In addition to her work on behalf of the Red Cross, Amanda also serves on her school’s Class Council and as an organist and pianist for the children’s choir at Green Village United Methodist Church.

Each month, the State Board of Education honors a student or group of students from a county in New Jersey to recognize academic excellence. In April, the State Board of Education recognized Sara Dickhaus, a senior at Central Regional High School in Bayville.

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