Isabel Shi is a senior at Bergen County Academies (BCA), where she is in the Academy for Visual & Performing Arts, Theatre. Isabel got her start studying Chinese classical and folk dance and has since expanded to ballet, modern, contemporary, and musical theatre and its related styles. She is currently training privately under Zhongmei Li and at BCA under Laurie Crochet-Hyslop. Isabel often participates in theatre productions, where her dancing is highlighted or her choreography is showcased; Recently, she played JacQui B in the original world premiere production of LLF: Don’t Trust the Boyz at BCA. She also danced with the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet as a shadow/understudy for the “Tea” role during their 2019 Nutcracker season in Aspen, CO. Moreover, she has also attended the A.I.M by Kyle Abraham Next Step Forward: A.I.M Summer Intensive 2021 and the 2021 NYU Tisch Future Dancers & Dancemakers Workshop.


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.