BLHS SENIOR CASSANDRA JAHN won the AAA Award and the Grand Knights Award for 2014. (Photos by Jennifer Edwards).

Students honored at Academic Awards night

Staff Writer
Jennifer Edwards
Big Lake High School held their academic awards banquet Wednesday and  46 junior classmen took the oath of  National Honor Society membership.
Board Member Tom Pietrzak, whose daughter, Laurel, received the Excel Award from Activities coordinator Thayne Johnson, welcomed everyone to the awards.
“More than ever life is busy,” he said. “Students are busy with school, work, sports and getting ready for college, yet all these students have chosen to be active in something greater than themselves.”
The ideals of service, character and leadership  are assumed in NHS members, Pietrzak said. 
“What we are seeking  are scholars and leaders who can work well with others in a group,” he said. “You have committed to doing that.”
National Honor Society students gathered and donated over 2,000 pounds of food this past year, said NHS advisors Susan Sass and Becky Tetzner. They also raised funds for a family in need. 
“All of the NHS students wrote their own service projects this year,” Ms. Sass said. “There were many different ones from tutoring other students to making and donating blankets.”
This year’s NHS officers, President Nicole Roof, Jackie Bell, April Harrison, Connor Johnson, Morgan Turk, Laura Jore, Caitlyn Loeffler and Kelli Poffenberger, recited the history of the NHS, lit candles and led the new inductees in the oath.
“Our senior members have given endless hours of service, laughter and leadership,” said Ms. Tetzner.
Physics Teacher Sam Kilpela presented the Drake Award for Physics to Troy Berg. Berg, who often scores 100% on his tests, Kilpela said, receives a four-year scholarship to Drake University.
Math Teacher Angela McCormack presented the math award to Matt Olson. 
Knowledge Bowl
She also introduced the seniors from the Knowledge Bowl team, now 20 students strong. Two teams from Big Lake went on to compete in the regional competition, she said.
Activities Coordinator Thayne Johnson presented the AAA Award to senior Cassie Jahn. Laurel Pietrzak won the ExCel Award.
Assistant Principal Angie Folch announced Big Lake has two national merit Scholar finalists. Troy Berg and John Wallace earned the honor.
Ms. Folch also introduced the A honor roll students: Abby Archamboult, Troy Berg, Jared Bradford, Sydney Butalla, Kayla Chouinard, Eric Chuba, Brianna Cornwell, Olivia Crocker, Sam Dokkebakken, Abbey Domyahn, Michael Doperalski, Cory Gease, Alec Green, April Harrison, Lauren Ireland, Connor Johnson, Laura Jore, Justin Lanan, Chandler Lannes, Brooke Maruska, Julie Morris, Zachary Muller, Kelli Poffenberger, Jake Pribnow, Erin Ralph, Nicole Roof, Chelsea Savage, Madisann Sayler, Alexandra Smith, Mikaela Stephens, Morgan Turk and Derek Wick.
Top Honors
Principal Bob Dockendorf introduced the top honors students and the winners of the Presidential Educational Excellence Award. 
“Our top honors students set the academic bar high,” said Principal Dockendorf. 
“They challenge their teachers with their thirst for knowledge.”
They are Troy Berg, Jared Bradford, Sydney Butalla, Kayla Chouinard, Eric Chuba,  Olivia Crocker, Sam Dokkebakken, abbey Domyahn, Michael Doperalski, April Harrison,  Lauren Ireland, Connor Johnson, Laura Jore, Justin Langan, Brooke Maruska, Zachary Muller, Kelli Poffenberger, Erin Ralph, Nicole Roof, Madisann Sayler, Alexandra Smith,  Morgan Turk, John Wallace and Derek Wick.
The Big Lake Knights of Columbus will give 20 student scholarships this year. Nineteen of those will be announced on graduation day, but Wednesday Dan Smith presented the Grand Knight’s Award to Cassandra Jahn.
Ms. Sass and Ms. Tetzner thanked everyone for coming and for all their hard work. They also thanked John and Peter Wallace for supplying music throughout the evening. They both played the piano and performed a duet


Kathleen R. Huber

DANCERS FROM JENNIFER’S DANCE CENTER will be performing at Disney World in Florida in October. Pictured (front row, left to right), are Grace Esselman, Lillian St. Jean, Sophia Gerou, Kailey Buchta, Rowan Payne and Hannah Oakes. Middle row are Amelia Cameron, Brianna Anthony, Jacqie Bengtson, Gianna Mitchell, Alex Dillion, Abby Yanke and Rose Curtis. Back row are Tori Ramert, Alexis Erickson, Sophia St. Ives, Tiana Link, Rachel Royseth, Kristian Kunkel, Brooklynn Bengtson, Nicole Bengtson and Kendall Luoma. Not pictured are Haylee Oakes and Melanie Miskowic. (Submitted photo).

FIVE GIRLS FROM MARY OF THE VISITATION CHURCH’S YOUTH GROUP helped Gail Stanley (not pictured) of Big Lake pack her belongings for a move she was taking to Princeton last weekend. The girls are (from left to right): Bridget Buchholz, Jasmine Johnson, Michaela Manifold, Brittney Kostek and Josie Berger. (Photo by Bill Morgan)

CENTRACARE HEALTH MONTICELLO HOSPITAL provides top-quality health care for the community. St. Cloud Hospital, run by CentraCare Health, was recently named the third best medical facility in the state, second only to the Mayo Clinic and Abbot Northwestern. (Photo by Jennifer Edwards).

CHUCK MAURER, 54, of Becker was killed in a car crash Tuesday and his 10 year old daughter, Casey, was airlifted to North Memorial Medical Center after his mini-van was t-boned by a pickup truck driven by four teenagers from Little Falls. (Submitted photo courtesy of the Maurer family.)
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