February 9, 2010
Contact: Lisa Lissimore or Ellen Giloy / MSHSL


ExCEL Awards
League recognizes 32 students for leadership, community service

Celebrating its 14th year of recognizing high school juniors, the Minnesota State High School League today announced the recipients of the 2010 ExCEL Award.

ExCEL — Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership — is a unique recognition program that is awarded annually to high school juniors who are leaders in their schools and who work voluntarily in their community helping others. AAA Minneapolis is the award sponsor.

“The 2010 ExCEL award winners are extraordinary individuals who shine throughout the school year with a strong sense of school pride and community loyalty,” said Lisa Lissimore, the League associate director who oversees the award program. “These student leaders participate in a variety of outreach programs that help impoverished and disadvantaged children with reading and math. Some are involved in food drives while others share their musical and theatrical talents at community events.”

KSTC TV Channel 45, the League’s broadcast partner, will recognize the 2010 ExCEL award recipients during its broadcasts of the winter tournaments, beginning with the semifinals of the State Girls’ Hockey Tournament Feb. 26-27. Each student will also participate in an on-court award ceremony during the halftime of the Class AA girls’ basketball championship game on March 20.

“AAA Minneapolis, a leading advocate of teen driving safety in Minnesota, enjoys a long and important partnership with the Minnesota State High School League in recognizing outstanding students who go beyond the classroom, the athletic field and performing arts stage to demonstrate leadership and a strong commitment to community volunteerism,” said Rod Shilkrot, vice president of marketing for AAA Minneapolis. “We applaud their achievements and look forward to their continued role as peer leaders ? at school and in the community.”

The ExCEL award program began in 1996. Award recipients are selected through a multi-level process that involves League member schools and an independent panel of judges from schools throughout Minnesota. More than 3,000 students have been recognized with this award. Two-hundred and fifty-six students were nominated by their schools this year.

Following are the 2010 ExCEL Award recipients:
Alexa Baker, Robbinsdale CooperKellee Koenig, Crookston
Rachel Bjork, LeSueur-HendersonNikki Kramer, Buffalo Lake-Hector
Isaiah Butler, Sleepy Eye-St. Mary’sVictoria Larkin, Waconia
Ryan Carlson, Cedar MountainKatie McLaughlin, Hibbing
Neuchee Chang, East Ridge, WoodburyMatthew Mittelsteadt, Eastview, Apple Valley
Victoria Dubose-Briski, Bloomington KennedyRyne Myhrberg, Marshall
Ashley Escher, Watertown-MayerChristine Ohenewah, Mankato Loyola
Ellen Ferry, UnderwoodFolashade Pratt, Rosemount
Dan Frankenfeld, EaganKatelyn Ristau, Fillmore Central
Logan Gooch, NevisThomas Schultz, Mora
Tyler Hamblin, Cretin-Derham HallDavid Sell, Monticello
Ashley Heikes, MoraPatrick Sheedy, Marshall School, Duluth
Brandon Hill, Eden PrairieCedric Speltz, Lewiston-Altura
George Hirschboeck, Sleepy EyeAndrew Theis, Sibley East
Rian Hutchison, PillagerTessa Winkelman, Foley
Hillary Kletscher, WabassoCole Witter, Buffalo-Hector

Additional information about the 2010 ExCEL Award recipients may be obtained by visiting the League’s Web site at www.MSHSL.org.
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