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Perham continues as 'School of Champions'

Following both the tradition of one of her classmates, and that of a school of recognized excellence, junior Abby Huebsch has been honored as an ExCEL Award winner.

Huebsch's Perham High School classmate, senior David Tomporowski, was a 2007 ExCEL Award winner, who was recently recognized as a 2008 Triple "A" Award winner for excellence in athletics, arts, and academics.

By earning the regional "AAA" honor, Tomporowski is now a candidate for the statewide recognition--as well as a scholarship. He is the second Perham High School student who has achieved the "Triple A" award. In 1995, Tasha Hamann qualified and went on to be awarded the "Triple A" statewide honor.

Both awards are given by the Minnesota State High School League.

The ExCEL, Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership Award 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.

Every member school of the Minnesota State High School League is invited to nominate one girl and one boy for the ExCEL Award. 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 in school; and work voluntarily in their community.

Three-hundred and fourteen students were nominated by their schools this year. Forty high school juniors from communities throughout the state have been selected as the 2008 ExCEL Award winners.

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 2,500 students have been recognized with this award.

Elizabeth (Abby) Huebsch is involved in National Student Leadership Conference, National Honor Society, Student Council, and Mock Trial at Perham High School. She is the Homecoming Chairperson and also a member of the yearbook staff.

Huebsch participates in golf, swimming, speech, and band. In her community service roles she is a Pay It Forward tour organizer and a church volunteer and singer. She is also involved with the food drive, Adopt a Highway, and Students Today Leaders Forever.

The Triple "A" Award given to David Tomporowski recognizes and honors high school seniors who have excelled in the classroom, on the athletic field, and in the fine arts.

To be eligible for the Academics, Arts, and Athletics Award a student must: be a high school senior at the time of nomination (nominations are limited to two qualifying students per school--one male and one female); have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher at the date of nomination; participate in League-sponsored athletics and fine arts activities; comply with the MSHSL's Student Code of Conduct; and complete the application form and submit it to the administrative region secretary.

Triple "A" Award recipients are selected through a multi-level process involving member schools of the League, the League's administrative regions, and a special committee of educators, business leaders, and members from the fine arts and athletic communities.

While all schools have many deserving students, the "ideal" student for the Triple "A" honor 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.