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For More Information Contact the Public Information Office:
    Jon Zlock
    Kathryn Forsyth, Director

For Release: May 3, 2006

State Board of Education Recognizes May Student of the Month

Sescily Coney, a junior at Pennsauken High School, was recognized this morning by the State Board of Education as the May Student of the Month.

Coney is the student ambassador for the National Stop the Violence Alliance, a non-profit corporation founded by her mother, Stephne, in 1990.  As “Miss National Stop the Violence American Queen of the United States,” Coney has traveled across the country asking students to consider the lessons of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Theresa.

“Violence makes students not want to go to school,” the 15-year-old said.  “We shouldn’t be scared.”

Coney visited Columbine High School after the April 1999 school shooting and spoke at the National Crime Prevention Council’s Convention after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

“As adults, we strive to make our schools as safe as possible for students,” said Dr. Arnold G. Hyndman, president of the State Board of Education.  “It is refreshing – and inspiring – to see a young woman like Sescily so dedicated to this issue.  That’s why we’re proud to honor her today.”

“Each month, we recognize the top students in the state because we believe their work and dedication should be shared,” said acting Commissioner of Education Lucille E. Davy.  “Sescily is a prime example of this.  She clearly cares about her fellow students, not only in New Jersey, but across the country.”

In addition to her role in the National Stop the Violence organization, Sescily enjoys singing, dancing and playing sports.  She is enrolled in Advanced Placement and honors courses at Pennsauken High School, and she recently attended Drexel University as part of a college credit program offered at her school.

Each month, the State Board of Education recognizes an outstanding student from one of the 21 counties in the state.  Last month, the board recognized Maria Pace, a senior from Millville High School in Cumberland County

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