Two HTHS Seniors Recognized with Governor’s Award for Excellence

(Secaucus, NJ––April 22, 2021) Brogan Donston and Nicolette Zika have earned the Student Award for Artistic Excellence and Leadership in Dance as part of the New Jersey Governor’s Awards in Arts Education, announced Dr. Joseph Giammarella, Principal of High Tech High School.

Brogan and Nicolette were recognized for their outstanding work in the field of dance and for remarkable commitment to the art. They represent two of only eighty students statewide who are decorated with an NJ Governor's Award for Arts Education. Both Brogan and Nicolette are dance majors in the Academy of the Performing Arts at HTHS where Brogan and Nicolette study with instructor Ms. Trista DeFilippis as part of the career and technical education (CTE) program. Beyond their commitments at HTHS, Brogan and Nicolette have studied and performed in venues throughout the region dating back to their early childhoods.

Of her students’ accolade, Ms. DeFilippis said, "I'm incredibly proud of both Nicolette and Brogan. Their talent, creativity, hard work and dedication to dance is inspiring. They are both so deserving of this recognition."

The Governor’s Awards in Arts Education has, since its establishment in 1980, sought to keep a spotlight on the arts through recognition of exemplary student artists and arts education programs throughout the state. The awards are distributed at an annual ceremony, which will be held virtually this year in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more about the Governor’s Awards in Arts Education, visit

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