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East Ridge, Park announce ExCEL award nominees

South Washington County Schools announced the following students have been nominated to represent their school for the MSHSL ExCEL award. ExCEL — Excellence in Community, Education, and Leadership — is a recognition program for Minnesota high school juniors who are active in school activities, show leadership qualities, volunteer in their communities and are model citizens.

East Ridge High School

Callie KunzCallie Kunz is the female recipient from East Ridge High School. She participates in a number of clubs and activities including: Swimming, Orchestra, Tri M Music Society, Link Crew, National Honor Society, Key Club, Peer Tutoring and Relay for Life. She is also a volunteer swim coach, teaches music lessons and is involved with her church youth group. Callie maintains a 4.29 GPA.

Jacob ReddenJacob Redden is the male recipient from East Ridge. His involvements include the soccer team, Math League, Drawing Club, National Honor Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos, Student Council, Spanish Club, Coding Club, Ping Pong Club and Feed My Starving Children. Outside of school he is a member in his church, where he has volunteered for a mission trip and is active in his youth group. He is also a volunteer soccer coach, tutor and has a GPA of 4.16.

"Callie and Jacob are great students and dedicated athletes. Their activity both in and outside of school is nothing short of impressive," said Joel Olson, activities director at East Ridge.

Park High School

Annika TheurerPark High School's female recipient this year is Annika Theurer. She runs cross country, plays basketball and softball for the Wolfpack. In school, she is involved in choir, National Honor Society, Leaders of the Pack and Key Club. Annika is also very involved in the community, volunteering at youth sports camps, Loaves and Fishes through her church, the American Legion and Kiwanis breakfast. She has taken International Baccalaureate courses and has a GPA of 4.1.

Zac BollbackZac Bollback is Park's male recipient. He is a member of the alpine ski team and has been named a team captain for this season. He is involved in debate, Link Crew, yearbook and Pack of Friends at Park. Outside of school, he is involved with his church, participating on mission trips and many other service projects. He also volunteers with Special Olympics and as a ski safety patrol. he has a GPA of 3.3.

"Both Annika and Zac are great student-athletes and leaders in our building. The volunteer work that they do outside of school is also amazing," said Park High School Activities Director Phil Kuemmel.

This is the 22nd year that the MSHSL has sponsored the ExCEL award. An independent panel of judges from schools throughout Minnesota will select award recipients in January. Winners will be announced via the League website in February and recognized on KSTC-TV (Channel 45) during the broadcast of the 2018 winter tournaments. For more information, visit www.mshsl.org.

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