Seniors Caleb Happel and Nicki Ellingson are Spring Grove High School recipients of the 2014 Triple A (Academics, Arts and Athletics) Award. PHOTO: JON SPELTZ/SPRING GROVE HERALD
Seniors Caleb Happel and Nicki Ellingson are Spring Grove High School recipients of the 2014 Triple A (Academics, Arts and Athletics) Award. PHOTO: JON SPELTZ/SPRING GROVE HERALD
Since 1988, the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) has been awarding seniors who have a "B" or better grade point average, who participate and excel in League-sponsored athletic and fine arts activities, and who comply with the MSHSL's Student Code of Conduct the Triple A Award - academics, arts, and athletics. This year's nominees from Spring Grove High School are Nicki Ellingson and Caleb Happel.

Schools are allowed to nominate one male and one female only. The final award recipients are selected through a multi-level process that involves member schools of the League, the League's administrative regions, and a special committee of educators, business leaders, and members from the fine arts and athletic communities.

Nicole Ellingson

Nicole Ellingson is the daughter of Dean and Jennifer Ellingson. She has participated in many activities during her high school career. She has been a member of the band and pep band since ninth grade. As a sophomore, she was the stage manager for the high school musical, "Bye, Bye Birdie." She has received the Academic Excellence Award since ninth grade, was inducted into the National Honor Society last year, and is the current student council President.

Athletically, she has been a member of the varsity volleyball team since ninth grade and was also selected as an All-Conference player for tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grades. As a senior, she also received the honor of Academic All-State. She has also been a member of the varsity girls' basketball team since eighth grade. She was selected as an All-Conference player her junior and senior year.

After graduation, she plans to attend Clarke University majoring in psychology and participate on the volleyball team.

Caleb Happel

Caleb is the son of Jean Happel. He has been a student involved in a variety of activities throughout his high school career. He has been a choir participant as well as participating in the solo/ensemble contest. As a sophomore he participated in the One Act Play. He has received the Academic Excellence Award and was one of the local boys chosen to attend Minnesota's Boy State.

Athletically, he has been a varsity member of the football team since ninth grade including participating in the state tournament with the team. Since ninth grade he was also a part of the Academic All Conference football team and received the honors of Team Rookie of the Year Defensive Player of the Year, Outstanding Leader, and the Most Valuable Player.

He has brought the sport of powerlifting to the school and with his involvement and passion for the sport, has enticed others to participate as well. In 2012, he won a National Powerlifting Championship and participated again in 2013. He will be participating in the 2014 National Competition as well.

After graduation in June, Caleb plans to attend the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse majoring in Sports and Exercise Wellness and participating on the football team.