Student Spotlight

This page highlights some of the amazing things our students and groups are doing.

Sophia Kickhofel

Carnegie Hall has announced the names of the 18 outstanding young musicians selected from across the country for the annual National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYO Jazz). The members of the 2019 jazz orchestra, ages 16-19, have been recognized by Carnegie Hall as being among the finest players in the country following a comprehensive and highly selective audition process.

Sophia has been selected as one of only two alto saxophonists for this prestigious national ensemble.

The 2019 NYO Jazz program runs for 4 weeks in the summer. It begins with a two-week residency at Purchase College, SUNY, where students will work with NYO Jazz Artistic Director Sean Jones and an all-star faculty. NYO Jazz will perform at Carnegie Hall on the famed Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage with Kurt Elling as special guest artist. Mr. Jones and Mr. Elling will then join NYO Jazz on its first tour to Asia, which will include performances in Taipei, Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong.

The most incredible part? The NYO Jazz is a tuition-free program and covers all student expenses related to transportation, housing and meals. Sophia has earned herself a trip around the world to play the saxophone.

Our very own Iron Maidens robotic team has once again advanced to the MN State Tournament! ALL of the original Iron Maidens graduated last year. The young ladies in the attached photo had some giant shoes to fill but they have worked hard do so and it has paid off. They advanced because their engineering notebook was deemed the very best of the tournament so they earned what is called the THINK award.

Apple Valley’s 2018-19 ExCEL Award Winners

2018-19 ExCEL Award Winners Announced

Apple Valley High School is pleased to announce that Colton Bauer and Elianna Van Hulzen have been selected as the 2018-19 Minnesota State High School League ExCEL Award Winners. The ExCEL award — Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership — is a unique recognition program designed exclusively for Minnesota high school juniors who are active in school activities, who show leadership qualities, and who work voluntarily in their community.

Colton Bauer, son of Daniel and Karen Bauer, is active and a letter award winner in football, hockey, lacrosse, and as a saxophone player in band. He maintains a 4.0 GPA and is a member of AVHS’s National Honor Society, Math Team, and German Club. He has volunteered through both in-school opportunities at Feed My Starving Children and for AVHS’s Veterans Day program, as well as working with many youth sports programs in Apple Valley. According to one of Colton’s coaches, “he is a very well-rounded individual who excels academically and athletically, yet understands the importance of relationships and service to others.”

Elianna Van Hulzen, daughter of Heidi and Jonathan Van Hulzen, participates in soccer, lacrosse, and choir at AVHS, including being a team member on the 2018 MSHSL State Championship Girls Lacrosse team. She is a member of the A honor roll and active in AVHS’s E3 STEM program. She volunteers through AVHS’s Eagle Buddies program, as well as through mission trips with her church and local chapter of FCA. One of her teachers describes her as someone who “has a zest, an energy that radiates off her in her passion for all that she does” and “selflessly gives her time and talents to others.”

Both Colton and Elianna are now entered in the statewide awards program selected by the MSHSL. The final ExCEL Award recipients will be selected by an independent panel of judges from schools throughout Minnesota. Each recipient will be recognized during the broadcasts of the 2019 winter tournaments. Congratulations to Colton and Elianna, their parents, and their teachers on this achievement.

Lola Lezama Cruz

Maria Lezama Cruz has been selected as a 2019 Donaldson STEM Award Winner.

As a Donaldson STEM Award Winner, Maria will receive $500.00, a one-year membership to the Science Museum, and the opportunity to spend time with a Donaldson Scientist.

Maria’s award ceremony will take place during the Science Fusion: Latinx Americans in Science event on Saturday, January 19th at the Science Museum of Minnesota in downtown St. Paul.