Sean Ford is a bright 7th grader at Great Oaks Legacy Fairmount Heights Charter School in Newark. He is an honor roll student and recently received an award for “Excellence in Math”. Sean is also on the schools basketball team. He often helps his fellow classmates when they are struggling with a subject. On the weekends he participates in the theatre program at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. He is enjoying the program and is discovering how to fully nurture his natural born talents. He is a proud Oakland, California native and goes back to his hometown every summer to visit friends and family. He is known for being a comedian and having great hair. At the same time, Sean is an old soul and tends to be a deep thinker. He wants to make a big difference in the world but he hasn’t quite figured out how he will achieve that yet. In his spare time, he enjoys gaming, sketching, dancing, coding, and riding his bike. Sean has interest in learning how to play baseball and soccer. He is considering go to college abroad in the future. His ultimate goal is to just be a good human and to be educated in many different avenues.

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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.