Grace Petersen, senior at Chatham High School, is honored to be awarded the Governor’s Award for Arts in Education! Grace is a proud member of the Chatham High School Select Choir and Honors Music Program. She is currently the Club President of CHS Treble A-Cappella group “No Strings Attached” and Treasurer of the Chatham Performing Arts Club. Grace is also a member of the National Honors Society, Key Club International, and World Language Honors Society. She was a member of the 2019 NJMEA All-State Mixed Choir. Grace was most recently seen as Esmeralda in Chatham High School’s “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and is looking forward to playing Marcy Park in this year’s production of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”. Outside of school, Grace has performed as a Finale Ensemble Member in CHICAGO on Broadway for John Kander’s 90th Birthday at the Ambassador Theatre. Additionally, she has performed in World Premiere and Pilot Productions for Stephen Schwartz through Pixie Dust Players. Grace was a Senior Company Member and Soloist within Paper Mill Playhouse’s 2019 Summer Conservatory and a member of the 2019 Paper Mill Playhouse Broadway Show Choir. Grace would like to thank Chatham High School Choir Director Ken Bryson for his support and mentorship throughout her high school career. She would also like to thank the School District of the Chathams and the Chatham Performing Arts Boosters for their monumental support of Grace’s education in the arts. Finally, she would like to thank the New Jersey Music Educators Association and All-State Choral Procedures Committee for their commitment to Arts Education within New Jersey schools.

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.