I’m Sarah Gonzalez, an eighth-grader at Lafayette Street School, located in the Ironbound neighborhood in the city of Newark, in Essex County, New Jersey. Although I do play trumpet I also have other hobbies such as drawing and coloring. I’ve been playing trumpet for 4 years, starting at 5th grade until 8th grade. Lafayette Street School I offers after school band so I was able to learn how to play.  I usually achieved Honor Roll throughout the years since I do participate a lot in classes and try to do well. I did get Cs before but those are really rare. I’ve been in my highest point at playing the trumpet once I was in 7th grade since I took more classes and was able to also improve a lot with reading sheet music since that was my weakest point for the past two years. Even when the pandemic took place I was still able to successfully take some virtual classes learning music despite the circumstances. My future goal that I hope to achieve in the future is to make a job out of playing the trumpet since I enjoy playing it.

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.