PARIS – Today may be a day that changes the life of Samantha Brown.

In addition to being presented the 2007 Principals Award this week for outstanding academic and citizenship achievement, the Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School senior will be told whether she has been admitted into Dartmouth College and Brown University, where she hopes to study sociology. The dual accomplishment brings a wide-eyed smile to the Paris resident’s face.

“It’s really scary. You should see my mom,” chuckled Brown of the coincidental e-mail she received from both Ivy League schools informing her that she will be notified of their decision today.

“She’s bright, she’s articulate, she’s willing to work hard. She has it,” said Principal Ted Moccia of the high school senior who smiles and blushes listening to the accolades. Moccia said he selected Brown for the award because she has been a role model for the rest of the student body during her four years at the school.

“She is a leader in the classroom and on the field of competition,” Moccia said in announcing the award this week. “Samantha has met all the challenges head on with a positive attitude and a diligent work ethic. She is very deserving of this recognition and has worked hard to earn the respect of the entire staff and student body at OHCHS.”

The Principals Award is sponsored by the Maine Principals Association and is awarded to more than 140 Maine public and private high school students by principals who are members of the professional association, which represents Maine schools administrators.

“Life’s about relationships,” said Moccia in an interview Wednesday. His mission is to ensure positive relationships throughout the school, and Moccia said Brown simply fits in regardless of what group she is with. “I think she’s just a great kid.”

Brown, who is ranked second in her class, will be the salutatorian at graduation. She is co-captain of the Alpine ski team, which this year took second place statewide, and plays the clarinet in the school band, and said the experiences have all helped her to build positive relationships.

“The more you do them, the more they compliment each other. You learn each takes practice and a good eye,” Brown said of the eclectic activities she is involved in. Not an unusual trait in a family where her parents, Holly and Michael, and her younger sister Jessica and brother Ben all have varied interests from the arts to athletics to construction and real estate.

Moccia and Brown will attend an Honors Luncheon at the Bangor Civic Center on April 7 with other award winners and their principals. At the luncheon she will be presented with an individual plaque. It is one of five $1,000 scholarships in the name of Horace O. McGowan and Richard W. Tyler, both former Maine principals and executive directors of the association.

She lives by several mantras including one that hangs in her English classroom and reads, “Whatever you are, be a good one.”

Brown, by the way, said if she is admitted to both schools, she will most likely select Dartmouth College.

“It just feels like home when I walk around,” she said.

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