By Per Peterson
Cassidy Smith and Fritz Landherr are this year’s Tracy Area High School nominees for the ExCel Award.
To be eligible for the award, students must be a junior in high school, make satisfactory progress toward graduation requirements, participate in a League-sponsored fine arts and/or athletic activity, hold a leadership position in their school, work voluntarily in the community and meet MSHSL General Eligibility Requirements.
Students are nominated by a teacher and each candidate must complete a form that shows the school activities they participate in, honors they have received, and volunteering and community service they take part in.
Students must also complete an essay, including their favorite “leadership quote and the qualities that you believe make a good leader.”
“Nothing is impossible. The word itself says ‘I’M POSSIBLE.” – Audrey Hepburn.
In her essay, Smith wrote that commitment and passion are the two key qualities that make up a good leader.
“If you want others to give their 100%, then you must show that you are willing to give it 100%. Just like in sports. When your teammates see you giving it your all, they, too, will want to give it their all. This will help you gain respect from your teammates and also push your teammates to get better. You can relate this to everything you do, from volunteering at your local animal shelter to practicing an instrument.”
When asked to list a volunteering experience and how it benefited herself and others, Smith wrote about helping with the recent Glenn Mitzner benefit in Balaton. Mitzner, who suffered a stroke earlier this year, is a well-known businessman in Balaton, and Smith. along with her youth group, ran the bingo stand and served food at the event.
“It was very touching for me to witness how our tiny community came together to give back to a member in need,” Smith wrote. “I felt very privileged to volunteer at something so special. This experience really hit home with me. It taught me to build good relationships with others.”
For more on this article, see this week’s Headlight-Herald.