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

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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

photos


Phyllis G. Monson

THE TEEN BAND PLATYPUS will perform at the Big Lake Chamber of Commerce annual Block Party at McPete’s Sept. 6.

NO LEFT TURNS ALLOWED exiting from Big Lake High School property onto Eagle Lake Road when school starts up in September. The new rule is to alleviate congestion and and is part of the county plan which changed traffic lane configurations. (Photo by Jennifer Edwards).

Pictured from left to right are scholarship winners Jordyn Edling, Madi VanHorsen, and Breanna Cornwell volunteering to sell ducks for Monticello’s Riverfest celebration. (Submitted photo.)