January 21, 2010 at 8:58 a.m.
The Excel Award is a way to honor juniors who are nominated by their principals, counselors and the Activities Director in each district. North Branch Excel Award winners are Tyler Ertl and Ali Zimmerman.
The awardees must be active in arts, sports and the community.
Ertl helps with Sno Drifters snowmobile club instruction classes. He told the school board members he looks forward to this every winter, and feels good knowing he has helped young snowmobilers build skills to help them be safe.
Zimmerman works with the junior track program that instructs students from about grade 3 to grade 5 in track and field activities. Her participation helps insure the future of a sport she loves, she said. It also rekindles her passion for running.
The AAA award goes to high school seniors who are chosen by a committee that includes school administration and community members. The Region 7AA committee presented blue ribbons to North Branch High School seniors Jake Kolke and Karisa Richard.
Kolke talked about being a staffer at a Boy Scout camp and how it can be exhausting, but makes him happy because he's been a positive influence on the boys' lives.
Richard said she works at being a well-rounded individual. She achieves a sense of personal accomplishment in being a role model and is involved in speech, track and the fall musical at school.