Doing her family proud — just like her siblings

Annaka Hook continues tradition as ExCEL nominee, state winner

By Per Peterson

Annaka Hook admittedly has some pretty big shoes to fill. And she’s doing just fine in her efforts to do just that.

Hook, a junior at Tracy Area High School, last week was named a state recipient of the Minnesota State High School League’s ExCEL Award. By being nominated, Hook carries on a family tradition, becoming the fourth TAHS nominee from her family, following in the footsteps of Sarita (2017), Cassandra (2014) and Joshua (2008). Also, Sarita — along with Annaka’s other brother, Joseph — were Triple ‘A’ recipients in 2011 and 2018, respectively, with Sarita earning Region 3A recognition in 2018.

So does Annaka feel the pressure of following in her older siblings’ highly-achieving footprints? Yes, but any stress comes from within.

“No one has put the pressure on me — I’ve put the pressure on myself,” she said. “But I’ve created my own path by doing different activities than my siblings. I’ve also wanted to put in the same amount of work and effort that they did. My grandparents, parents and siblings have been great role models and have always supported me. I’m very fortunate to have the family I do.”

Hook is a member of the Tracy Area High School speech team and just this year joined the Business Professionals of America team; she recently qualified for state in BPA as part of a three-member team in the category of Podcast Production. She has been a three-year member of the Panther varsity cross country team, and was team captain in this past year. She also earned academic all-conference honors this year and is a member of the TMB track and field team. Hook also is very active in band and choir, earning honors accolades her freshmen and sophomore years. In choir, she is a member of the Vocal Jazz group, and she also has taken part in the fall play/musical for the last three years. This year, she played the lead role in the school’s performance of “The Outsiders.”

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.