2C936ED5-E3DD-40D4-ABE4-F2661BABD521 - Maria Papera-bb185516

My name is Maria Papera, a senior at Montville Township High School and the President of the Montville Forensics team. This is my fourth year competing in speech and debate and seventh year participating in the activity overall. Competition has been both incredibly rewarding and enjoyable, even as it has moved online in the past year. Academically, I have earned the Seal of Biliteracy in both Italian and Spanish, I am a National AP Scholar with Distinction, and I am a National Merit Scholarship Commended Student. I have additionally played lacrosse and field hockey for Montville at the varsity level for the past four years. Outside of my academics and extracurriculars, I spend most of my time listening to podcasts, doing embroidery, or exercising. Although I have yet to make a college decision, wherever I end up I plan to study political science and linguistics in the fall!

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.

16 Mount Bethel Road Suite 202, Warren, NJ 07059
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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.