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Aarav Gupta is a junior at Summit High school and will be graduating in 2022. In addition to completing grades 9 and 10 with Summa Cum Laude status, he received a New Jersey Science league award after participating in numerous physics competitions. As a part of his high school tennis team, he received the Hilltopper Award not only for outstanding performance, but also for sportsmanship and discipline, which he credits in part to earning his black belt in Tae Kwon Do years earlier. His love for business and entrepreneurship inspired him to start the SHS business club and author a book about young entrepreneurs and their challenges which will be published in August of 2021. Participating in the forensics club has improved Aarav’s communication skills and helped him to move out of his comfort zone. In fact, he is currently an anchor for his high school’s news show and was chosen to be one of the Peer Leaders who help his high school become a better place. He is thankful for the opportunity to participate in Speech and Debate and grateful for wonderful coaches and teammates that have helped him along the way.

The Governor’s Awards in Arts Education began in 1980 to promote awareness and appreciation of the arts, recognizing the creativity, talent and leadership of the award winners. Each year, awards are presented to approximately 20 educators and 80 students. National and statewide organizations select the students for their exemplary work in creative writing, speech, dance, music, theatre and visual arts and the leaders for their exceptional commitment and contribution to arts education. The program also recognizes arts educators and arts education advocates, whose leadership has helped nurture the development of students in the arts across the state.

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The Governor’s Awards event is a partnership of the Arts Ed NJ, the Department of Education, Art Pride New Jersey Foundation, the Department of State and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Additional support is provided by: the Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics; Art Educators of New Jersey; Art Administrators of New Jersey; Dance New Jersey; New Jersey Council of Teachers of English; New Jersey Speech and Debate League; New Jersey Music Educators Association; New Jersey Performing Arts Center; Writer's Theatre of New Jersey; Speech and Theatre Association of New Jersey; New Jersey Thespians and Young Audiences of New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. The cooperating organizations, award sponsors and individual members of the planning council dedicate their time to make sure that excellence in the arts is rewarded, and work tirelessly throughout the year to plan this special event. The Governor's Awards in Arts Education ceremony are a major collaborative effort of the arts, education and state government.