Newark High School seniors Olivia Howard and Matthew Sittig are the 2012 winners of the Greater Newark Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Youth Awards.

Newark High School seniors Olivia Howard and Matthew Sittig are the 2012 winners of the Greater Newark Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Youth Awards.

Howard, the daughter of Dave and Julie Howard of West Miller Street, received her award at the Chamber dinner May 16 at the Quality Inn. Sittig, who was unable to attend the dinner, will receive his June 13.

John Ginter, Howard’s school counselor at NHS, nominated her for the award and remarked about her outstanding qualities, not only as a student, but overall, at the dinner.

He said Howard, whose GPA as of the end of the third semester was 91.595, and who will begin her studies at SUNY Brockport this fall where she will major in dance and education, is “truly an outstanding youth and one that the community should be really proud of.”

He said Howard, who will be graduating in the top 13 percent of her class, has taken a “rigorous course load” at NHS, that has included “five AP classes and a few more college level classes on her way to her advanced regents diploma” which will “springboard her into tremendous success at SUNY Brockport.’”

Ginter lauded Howard’s leadership qualities and the “great amount of peer respect” she is given based on the fact that she is student body president, Honor Society president, and vice president of both Spanish Honor Society and Interact Club.

He also told about Howard’s “nonstop” involvement in plays and musicals while at NHS.

Ginter said it amazed him that a student who is so involved in school would find the time to mentor young dance students at the Studio For Performing Arts in Newark and is a liturgy teacher at St. Michael’s Church, along with volunteering at the Newark Food Closet and the Newark Public Library.

Howard’s extensive involvement in school and extra-curricular activities also includes: being vice president of her class in grades 9-11; a Link Crew student mentor in grades 11 and 12; and a member of Vocal Jazz Ensemble and plays alto saxophone in the Jazz Band.

She was a member of the Junior High Area All State Choir in ninth grade and a member of the Senior High All County Choir when she was a junior. She was a member of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Holiday Pops High School Chorale in both her junior and senior years and was a NYSSMA solo fest member in grades 9-11.

Howard, who is vice-president of the Drama Club, has been extensively involved in performing since she was at Newark Middle School and has won several  related awards including receiving: the runner-up Elenbe award for best supporting actress in a musical, the best supporting actress in a play Elenbe award in 2010; the best leading actress in a play Elenbe award in 2011; and outstanding supporting actress in a musical recognition in Rochester Broadway Theatre League’s 2102 Stars of Tomorrow Recognition program.

She also has been extensively involved for several years in dance and performing as a dancer in various Studio For the Performing Arts Ballet Company productions.

Howard also has been involved in sports and has been active in Junior Varsity and Varsity Girls track; and participated in Junior Varsity Girls Soccer, winning a sportsmanship award in her sophomore year in soccer.

She was an Empire Girls State citizen representative from Newark when she was a junior and was a Newark Park staff member in 2009 and 2011 assisting with ages 3-6 summer camp and participated in RBTL’s Summer Stars performing arts day camp in 2008-2010.

Howard graciously received her award.

"I would like to thank Mr. Ginter for nominating me and for all of his support, my parents who give me endless love and support, Mr. Muscolino for this great honor, and the Chamber of Commerce for everything they do to make Newark a wonderful place to live. I am truly proud to say I am from Newark. Thank you again for this great honor."