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ExCEL Award

The ExCEL Award

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, leaders in their schools, and who demonstrate a strong commitment to community service. This award is sponsored by the League's corporate partner TruStone Financial Credit Union. 

Nomination Criteria 

Every League member school is invited to nominate one girl and one boy for the ExCEL Award. Nominees must:

  • Be a junior in high school
  • Make satisfactory progress toward graduation
  • Participate in an MSHSL fine arts and/or athletic activity
  • Hold a leadership position(s) in their school
  • Volunteer in their community
  • Meet MSHSL General Eligibility Requirements (Bylaw 206)

We’re counting on you to help us to recognize student leaders in your school who are making a difference. 

Directions for Students Applying for ExCEL award  

Application is available now and is due December 8, 2023. 

Please carefully follow the directions below to prepare your submission materials. Materials will be submitted to the MSHSL by your school's Activities Director. 

  1. Complete the EXCEL Student Application Materials and return it to your school's Activities Director in an electronic format. 

The Application has 3 parts:

  • Nomination
  • Student Essay
  • Record of Student Activities 

2. Give the EXCEL Letter of Recommendation form to a school staff member. When the staff member has completed the Recommendation, they should return it electronically to the Activities Director. 

3. Submit a headshot in a JPG format of at least 300dpi to your school's Activities Director. 

Additional Instructions: 

  • Type all information and answer all questions in the space provided. Handwritten applications will not be accepted. 
  • Addendums will not be accepted.
  • Do not use acronyms or abbreviations 
  • Provide all requested information. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.  
  • Return application materials electronically to your Activities Director.

Selection Process 

The ExCEL Award recipients will be selected by an independent panel of judges from schools throughout Minnesota. Award recipients will be announced via the League website on February 6, 2024.

ExCEL Recognition

Each recipient will be recognized on 45TV during the broadcast of the 2024 winter tournaments. They also will participate in an on-court award ceremony during the Class AA championship game of the Girls Basketball State Tournament in March.

Questions about this program can be directed to Marissa Anitzberger at or 763-569-0483.

ExCEL Award Winner Graphic 2024

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