Jon Selness and Danielle Graves were Mabel-Canton’s nominees for the ExCEL Award. DAVID STOEGER/NEWS-RECORD
Jon Selness and Danielle Graves were Mabel-Canton’s nominees for the ExCEL Award. DAVID STOEGER/NEWS-RECORD
Each year, Minnesota high schools are able to nominate two seniors for the Triple A Award and two juniors for the ExCEL Award. This school year, district staff chose to nominate Noah Manning and Sara Lind for the Tripple A Award and Jon Selness and Danielle Graves for the ExCEL Award.

Triple A Award

According to the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) website, the Triple A Award exists to recognize and honor high school seniors who have excelled in the classroom, on the athletic field and in the fine arts. The award also exists to elevate academic standards and create greater awareness of League-sponsored activities and their values. It also provides member schools of the League with the opportunity to participate in a statewide program that supports, promotes and recognizes academic and extra-curricular achievements.

Each district is allowed to select one male and one female nominee for the honor. The nominees must be a senior, have a grade point average of 3.0 or better and participate in league-sponsored athletics and fine arts in compliance with MSHSL's Code of Conduct. Regional winners of the awards will be announced in March.

Sara Lind is the daughter or Dan and Erika Lind of rural Peterson and has been part of FFA, volleyball, basketball, softball, band and choir during her high school career. She has received honors including hardest worker, academic all-conference for volleyball, basketball and softball, academic all- state in volleyball and MVP in volleyball.

Lind said participation in extracurricular activities has made her "a more well-rounded person." Lind plans to attend St. Mary's University in Winona to pursue a degree in business administration following high school.

Noah Manning is the son of Kevin and Joan Manning of Mabel and has been active in choir, band, basketball, baseball, football and FFA. He has received honors including football MVP, hardest worker and academic all-conference in football and basketball, along with honorable mention in baseball.

Manning said that participating in extracurricular activities have made him more responsible for managing his time and have made him more aware of what one has to do to grow.

Noah plans to attend a two-year college after graduation and later transfer into a four-year school.

ExCEL Award

The ExCEL award stands for Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership. According to MSHSL's website, the recognition program is designed exclusively for Minnesota high school juniors who are active in school activities, who show leadership qualities and who volunteer in their communities.

Every member school of the League is invited to nominate one girl and one boy for the ExCEL Award. Nominees must be a high school junior, be making satisfactory progress to graduation, participate in a fine arts and/or an athletic activity, hold a leadership position in their school and do volunteer work in their community.

Danielle Graves is the daughter of Joel and Joyce Graves of Mabel and has been involved in volleyball, basketball, softball, choir and band. She volunteers at Mabel First Lutheran church during vacation bible school, along with mission work and Meals on Wheels.

"Leadership means taking charge and being a good role model to others," Graves said. She plans to attend a four-year college to study nursing following graduation.

Jon Selness is the son of Scott and Becky Selness of Mabel and has been involved in football, basketball, baseball, band and choir. He has volunteered for numerous years at Newburg Methodist Church and in the flag football program.

"Leadership is setting an example for other people and for your teammates along with helping them participate," Selness said. He plans to attend a four-year college following graduation.