For the 26th year in a row, the top high school seniors in Central Minnesota were honored at the Students of Excellence Recognition and Award Ceremony. The event was held at the River’s Edge Convention Center, St. Cloud, with more than 600 students, parents/guardians and educators Wednesday, April 24.
The evening was dedicated to honoring the top 155 high school seniors from more than 38 Region 7 high schools. To date, 4094 students have been recognized!
While attendees waited for the doors to open, a former Student of Excellence honoree, Michael Halverson, played piano for guests. Halverson is a classically-trained pianist who now works for G.L. Berg entertainment in St. Cloud. Conversations in the crowd revolved around upcoming proms and plans for college. Parents were proud, laughter was loud and smiles were wide.
After opening statements from Resource Training & Solutions’ CEO, Dr. Rob Cavanna, Sartell Superintendent Dr. Joe Hill recognized the many people who made the night possible; parents, teachers and, of course, students.
Dr. Hill then introduced the evening’s entertainment, ventriloquist and comedian David Malmberg.
As a child of 9, Malmberg saw a ventriloquist perform. It was at that moment he was determined to learn the art of ventriloquism. Additionally, he is a guitarist, broadcaster and author. His show married his talents of music and ventriloquism. The crowd roared when the termite in his guitar told David his act was bombing. Malmberg explained that it is important to find your passion. “My passion is making people laugh by using my skills” he said. “I got to the point in my career that I was unhappy because I was not fulfilling my passion. It took courage to make the leap into this career.”
Encouraging comments from Ken Anderson, Board of Directors Chairman for Resource Training & Solutions, led to the evening’s culminating event; the award acceptance ceremony. Students crossed the stage as their names were announced.
Criteria for selection to the Recognition Event is at the discretion of each school but based upon recommended guidelines. Schools can choose two to four seniors and have the option to invite favorite teachers, coaches and administrators. Resource Training & Solutions has been sponsoring, coordinating and fiscally supporting the event since 1987. Sandra Cordie, Director of Educational Programs for the agency, organizes the event. Next year’s Students of Excellence recognition and awards ceremony will be
April 30, 2014. Schools will be contacted around March 1, 2014, with nomination information.
At the conclusion of the keynote address, Malmberg said, “I encourage you to explore, dream, discover and then, take action to
make it happen.” It was a night filled with congratulations and happiness.
Below, left, Four Eden Valley-Watkins High School Students of Excellence were honored at the Banquet Wednesday, April 24, at River’s Edge Convention Center in St. Cloud. They are pictured with Dr. Robert Cavanna of Resource Training & Solutions, from left to right, Patrick Latcham, Kaylee Forcier, Dr. Cavanna, Deborah Holdvogt, and Kirby Knutson. Submitted photo.
Below, right, Four Kimball Area High School students were honored at the Students of Excellence Banquet April 24 at the River’s Edge Convention Center. The students in the front of the photo, from left to right are Jonathan Bisila, Paiten Schreiner, Katelyn Lichte, and Hannah Zipoy. In back are Dr. Robert Cavanna of Resource Training & Solutions and Eric Widvey, Kimball Area High School principal.