AAA club

Published 9:25 am Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Arts and athletics have gone together for Albert Lea High School seniors Jack Sturtz and Mikaela Pierson for a long time, so it was fitting when the two were selected as the school’s Triple-A award winners.

The Triple-A award is an award put on by the Minnesota State High School League and recognizes high school seniors who excel in the classroom, on the athletic field and in the fine arts.

Sturtz played soccer in the fall for Albert Lea and runs track in the spring in addition to singing in the school choir and chorale. He was named all-conference honorable mention in soccer.

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Pierson also participates in choir and chorale, played tennis in the fall and plays on the girls’ basketball team. She served as a captain on the girls’ tennis team and is a captain of the girls’ basketball team.

Sturtz and Pierson were selected from a group of other Albert Lea seniors to represent the district at the region level by school administrators and teachers.

Sturtz and Pierson move on to the region level where one boy and girl will be selected to represent Region 1AA.

The Triple-A Award On-Court Recognition Ceremony will be held in conjunction with the boys’ basketball state tournament in March. The top two award finishers from each region will be invited to the banquet. League officials will announce the four Triple-A award recipients at the banquet. Award recipients, one boy and one girl from a Class A and Class AA school will receive a four-year $1,000 scholarship.

Involvement in the arts and athletics has served as a way for Pierson and Sturtz to broaden their horizons.

“It’s fun to get involved in not just athletics or not just the arts, to spread it out because you meet more people,” Pierson said. “It’s more fun when you know people on a more personal level in the school.”

Pierson has taken on several extra-curricular activities in high school. She’s part of the Youth Advisory Committee against Drug and Alcohol Abuse, a National Honor Society member and teaches Sunday School at her church.

Pierson holds a 4.0 GPA and is at the top of her class in class rank.

For Sturtz his extra-curricular activities have served as a means to explore his varying interests. Though he’s always been involved with music, just last year he decided to join choir after years of playing in the school band.

“I kind of found out what I like to do,” Sturtz said. “It usually changes from year to year what I’m interested in and it varies a lot.”

A few years ago Sturtz played basketball but quit and picked up track in the spring. Last year he enjoyed taking science classes, but this year he’s followed English humanities the most.

Sturtz also ranks toward the top of his class and carries a 3.79 GPA.

The students have not taken a study hall in high school. Pierson gets her first next semester and is looking forward to it.

“Next semester I actually get my first study hall in my high school career, and I’m pretty excited about it,” Pierson said. “And I wasn’t supposed to this semester, but I decided that I needed to drop a college elective and take a study hall so I didn’t go crazy.”

With a schedule like Pierson’s, a break seems like a luxury worth taking.

Pierson’s classes include advanced-placement biology, advanced-placement government, Spanish IV and calculus. She said she’d like to possibly go pre-med at college and is looking at attending St. Thomas University next fall.

Sturtz has a similar workload, taking spanish, advanced-placement government, calculus and physics, but his future plans aren’t locked up. He was accepted to the University of Minnesota and said he’s considering a major in health sciences or physical therapy.

The regional representatives for the Triple-A award will be selected Feb. 2 by a group of administrators in Region 1AA.