Distinguished Student Award


Congragulations to the 2017 Award Winners

Grades 3-5 - Gary Leschinsky

Grades 6-8 - Maya Mau and Katie Updegrove

The NJAGC Distinguished Student Award will be given to one student in Grades 3-5 and one student in Grades 6-8 who exhibit outstanding demonstrated accomplishment in one of the following areas:  Academics, Visual or Performing Arts, or Leadership.

No student who has received the award previously may be considered for the award.


Nominations include self-nomination, nomination by parents, teachers, peers, community or civic groups. 

Students may attend public, private, charter, parochial school or be home schooled and must be in Grades 3-5 or 6-8 during the September 2016 – June 2017 school year.

  • Completed Application form
  • Submission of two (2) Letters of Recommendation explaining the category for which the student is being recommended: Academics, Visual or Performing Arts, or Leadership, and providing several tangible examples that demonstrate why this student should receive the award

         Letters of recommendation may be submitted from any of the following: Teacher, Administrator, Civic or Religious Leader

  • A handwritten or typed essay by applicants, of no more than 750 words, that includes how they became interested in the area for which they hope to be recognized, why they feel their effort is important, their future plans and goals, the impact their activity has had on the student and on others, and other information and anecdotes that help the judges understand their strengths
  • A JPEG photo (wallet size) of student applicant (for publicity purposes)
  • Any publicity received regarding this student should be referenced and included (i.e., newspaper articles, magazines, television, etc.)

Note:  All items must be submitted in one packet and preferably submitted electronically.  If absolutely necessary, submit through US Mail. Material submitted either way must exhibit the deadline date of December 16, 2016, either through email or postmark.  Only complete packets will be judged.

Email to:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or mail to: Awards Chair, NJAGC, PO Box 667, Mount Laurel, NJ 08054.


Applicants will be judged by a group of NJAGC Board members based on a rubric.  To view the Rubric for Evaluation of Distinguished Student Award Nominees, click here.

Areas to be judged are:

1.Quality of the Student Essay:

  • Activity or interest area for which the student is being nominated
  •           How did the student become interested/involved in the activity
  •           What impact has the activity had on the student and on others
  •           How have the student’s future plans and goals been affected by this activity or interest area

      1 Bonus Point:  The student essay demonstrates exceptional communication skills and displays an overall aesthetic.   

      1 Bonus Point:  Publicity such as newspaper or magazine articles have been included.                      

2. Quality of the Letters of Recommendation

  •           Provides a description of the student’s achievements and confirms exceptional abilities
  •           Cites unique examples which place the student clearly above other high ability students
  •           States the positive impact the student has had on others, or offers an appraisal of a positive future for this student.