Nominator's Name: Mike Wilson, principal of Haddonfield Memorial High School
Whiz Kid's Name: Kathryn Dark
School: Haddonfield Memorial High School graduate
Accomplishment: Dark was among 81 students who received the Governor's Award for Arts Education. It recognizes the creativity, talent and leadership of the award winners. Dark is an accomplished viola player. She was also selected to the All National String Orchestra.
Key to Awesomeness (what made him/her successful?): I first found out about the Governor's Award my first year in New Jersey All State Orchestra, when I was a freshman. My roommate in Atlantic City (where we rehearsed for a week) was a senior, and she was practicing for the auditions for the award. At the time, I didn't really think much of it, but I thought it was a cool award. Then, fast forward four years and I'm a senior sitting first chair viola in the All State Orchestra and the orchestra manager is announcing the opportunity to audition for the Governor's Award.
The application required an essay, a teacher recommendation and an audition. The audition was in November, so it was around the same time that I was preparing for my college auditions. Some of my best friends in the orchestra were also auditioning, so I knew I had some tough competition to go up against.
I worked hard and practiced a lot in preparation for the audition. My audition went very well, and then in early April I got a text from my friend just saying "CONGRATULATIONS!" At first I didn't know what it was about, but then I checked my email and saw that we were the two winners for the Governor's Award.
The award we won, officially called the Governor's Award in Music Education, is significant because there were only two winners from the entire state of New Jersey to win this award. It shows our dedication and passion for music in New Jersey. It also shows our commitment to arts in the public education by our participation in the regional and state orchestras.