By Per Peterson
This year’s ExCEL Award nominees from Tracy Area High School are Elizabeth Fultz and Owen Elsen.
ExCEL stands for Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership and is a recognition program for Minnesota high school juniors who are active in school activities, show leadership qualities and volunteer in their community.
Each member school of the Minnesota High School League is invited to nominate one girl and one boy for the award. Nominees must be a junior in high school; make satisfactory progress toward graduation; participate in a MSHSL fine arts and/or athletic activity; hold a leadership position(s) in their school; and work voluntarily in their community.
ExCEL Award recipients are selected by an independent panel of judges from schools throughout the state. This is the 25th year that the Minnesota State High School League has sponsored the ExCEL Award; Wells Fargo is the program’s sponsor.
To be considered for the award, students must fill out an application that includes their academic history and all the activities they are in, complete a student essay and include a letter of recommendation from one of their teachers.
Fultz, the daughter of Jay and Sheila Fultz, is a three-year member of the A honor roll, has earned two academic letters, and has been recognized as an Outstanding Student Achiever. She also has been a Peer Helper for three years and is a Big Buddy this school year.
A varsity letter winner in track and cross country her sophomore year, Fultz is a member of the TMB volleyball team, and was a letter winner and Academic All-Conference member this past season. Fultz is a drum line member, and has been part of the band and choir for three years. She has twice received superior ratings in both vocal jazz choir and trio (solo and ensemble contest).
Fultz’s contribution in the community consists of her time with FFA and 4-H, an international mission trip with her church, and time spent in the Ralco Enrichment Center at the Lyon County Fair. She has also volunteered with her church and with JO volleyball.
“The qualities that I believe make a good leader are the ability to adapt to any given situation, being able to use other people’s strengths and always being willing to put in the hard work, right along with the entire team,” Fultz wrote in her ExCEL student essay.
See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.