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Academic Awards Night celebrates ‘dedicated’ students

Event to include Dollars for Scholars announcements

Seniors+Aaron+Councilman+and+Jared+Zirkes+are+both+recipients+of+the+Highest+Honors+title%2C+awarded+on+Academic+Awards+and+Scholarship+Night%2C+taking+place+on+Wednesday%2C+May+17.
Seniors Aaron Councilman and Jared Zirkes are both recipients of the Highest Honors title, awarded on Academic Awards and Scholarship Night, taking place on Wednesday, May 17.

Seniors Aaron Councilman and Jared Zirkes are both recipients of the Highest Honors title, awarded on Academic Awards and Scholarship Night, taking place on Wednesday, May 17.

Emma Kempf

Emma Kempf

Seniors Aaron Councilman and Jared Zirkes are both recipients of the Highest Honors title, awarded on Academic Awards and Scholarship Night, taking place on Wednesday, May 17.

Samyu Yenamandra

Every May, Park honors its dedicated students at its annual Academic Awards Night, a ceremony recognizing the outstanding students at the school, according to Gifted and Talented adviser and English teacher Mary Norris.

“What I absolutely love about (the night) is the kids who have worked so hard and have given this school so much finally get something back,” Norris said.

Freshmen counselor Barb Nelson said she is supervising the monetary scholarships and working closely with the local scholarship board Dollars for Scholars.

“Dollars for Scholars is a community based board that meets monthly throughout the school year, so I serve on the board as kind of a scholarship coordinator, if you will,” Nelson said. “I’m kind of in between all the donors, the board and then the school. I’m working really closely between the Dollars for Scholars treasurer, Diane Vig, who helps oversee the money part of things and then we work together doing the online application students have to do through Dollars for Scholars.”

According to Nelson, Dollars for Scholars offers multiple types of scholarships for students with different goals and extracurriculars.

“Typically when you think of scholarships, you think of top of the class, the kids who have done the best. There’s one specifically for a student going to Dunwoody. There’s one that gives a scholarship specifically for someone going to a two-year college,” Nelson said.

The committee in charge of Academic Awards night is made up of school faculty and congregates to decide to whom the scholarships will be distributed.

“It’s really fun when the committee, that’s made up of teachers, administrators, and counselors, gets together and reviews all the student applications. It gets down to the end  and when you only have so much money and so many more kids that could be deserving, but we hopefully do a thoughtful job in being able to award them the money to students that represent Saint Louis Park,” Nelson said.

According to Norris, choosing the students for the awards is very difficult, but the variety of awards makes the ceremony exciting.

“We’ve got the monetary awards and the non-monetary awards,” Norris said. “We’ve got a little bit of something for everybody, so it’s going to be a very full night.”

The event is open to anyone interested in attending, Nelson said.

“For the evening event, anyone who is receiving an award, scholarship, or both is invited to attend and their parents or guardians or family members,” Nelson said.

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Academic Awards Night celebrates ‘dedicated’ students