Student achievement is honored

– By MaryHelen Swanson

Honored at the North Branch school board meeting Thursday evening, April 12, were the district’s nominees for the Triple A Award and ExCel Award, both awards given out through the Minnesota State High School League.

Students nominated for these two awards were (l to r): Zach Sundly - ExCEL; Patrick Mork - Triple A; Greta Lindberg - Triple A; and Emily Trunk - ExCEL. Photo by MaryHelen Swanson

The Triple A Award is given to recognize and honor high school seniors who have excelled in the classroom, on the athletic field, and in the fine arts and to elevate academic standards and create greater awareness of League-sponsored activities and their values.

The “ideal” student is one who has achieved academic excellence and, at the same time, put forth the time and effort to participate in a League-sponsored athletic program and a fine arts activity.

This year North Branch Area High School’s nominations for the Triple A Award were Patrick Mork and Greta Lindberg.


The ExCEL – Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership – is a unique recognition program designed exclusively for Minnesota high school juniors who are active in school activities, who show leadership qualities, and who are model citizens.

Nominees must be a junior in high school,  make satisfactory progress toward graduation requirements,  participate in a MSHSL fine arts and/or athletic activity,  hold a leadership position(s) in their school, and work voluntarily in their community.

This year North Branch Area High School’s nominations for the ExCEL Award were Zachary Sundly and Emily Trunk.

During the school board meeting the student athletes from winter sports were recognized for their accomplishments.

Most notable was the coachs’ acknowledgment of the academic achievements as well as athletic.

For instance, girls basketball Coach Dan Shindler noted that 28 of the 30 girls on the team had a 3.0 or higher GPA and all the seniors on the team made All Conference Academic, meaning they maintained a 3.4 GPS.

Dance team coach Marie Ray noted that the NB girls (dance team) had the highest GPA in the whole conference.

It was accomplishments such as these that drew applause from the audience and board members each time a student was introduced.

Many in winter sports were unable to attend the meeting, however, as they were involved in spring sports, already underway.

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