Clark Student Gabby Smith Recognized as 2018 Unsung Hero

ALJ Student Gabby Smith Credits: Smith Family
Gabby Smith with Superintendent Edward Grande and ALJ Principal Jennifer L. Feeley Credits: Smith Family
Clark Board of Education member Lorraine J. Aklonis with Gabby. Credits: Smith Family

CLARK, NJ – Arthur L. Johnson High School student Gabriella (Gabby) Smith was recognized on Wednesday, March 14 by the Union County School Board Association as one of their 2018 Unsung Heroes.  The ceremony took place at Rahway High School.

“My wife Susan and I are extremely happy and excited for Gabby,” said her father Bill Smith.  “Gabby never ceases to amaze us with her accomplishments and overcoming her Asperger’s.  This is a tremendous honor for Gabby and for her self-confidence.”

According to the Union County School Board Association, school administrators throughout the county are asked to submit the name of a “student who has distinguished themselves in unique ways, who models good citizenship, or a quiet strength that inspires others in the spirit of volunteerism.”

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“Since being diagnosed with Asperger’s on the Autism Spectrum when she was 4 years old, Gabby has continued to excel in the classroom.  She has progressed from being in special education classes in elementary school to classes with in-class support and aides in middle school,” said Smith.  “Once in high school, she has continued to progress in main stream classes, attaining honors or high honors in every marking period while at ALJ High School.” 

“We couldn’t be happier watching a young girl determined not to let a disability side track her and tackle it head on,” continued Smith.  “She is an inspiration not only to my wife and I, but her sister Dominique as well.  Gabby has a knack of inspiring everyone she meets.”

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