By Lorrie Ham
Juniors Anjelique Bomar and Adam Fish have been selected as the Mound Westonka High School recipients of the Minnesota State High School League’s ExCEL Award. ExCEL—Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership—is a unique recognition program designed exclusively for Minnesota high school juniors who are active in school activities, show leadership qualities and are model citizens.
This is the 20th year that the League has sponsored the ExCEL Award. An independent panel of judges from schools throughout Minnesota will select state ExCEL Award recipients in January, and award winners will be announced via the League website on Feb. 1. ExCEL winners will be recognized on KSTC-TV (Channel 45) during the broadcasts of the 2016 winter tournaments.
“Both Adam and AJ are outstanding leaders and great students who are highly involved in school activities and our community,” said Westonka Activities Director Jeff Peterson. “Congratulations and good luck as they move on to the state level of competition.”
Bomar is a two-year member of the auditioned Concert Choir. She earned Superior awards in state music contests in both a trio and an ensemble as a sophomore. She earned a Spotlight on Scholarship Award and was a two-time stage crew manager for the fall musical.
As a three-year member of the volleyball team, Bomar earned Most Improved, MVP and the White Hawk Award. She earned three Spotlight on Scholarship awards and served as captain of both the B-squad and the JV volleyball teams.
As a member of the track team, Bomar earned two Spotlight on Scholarship awards. She also earned Hardest Worker and Most Improved (long jump) honors, as well as a third-place conference finish as a member of the 4×400 relay team.
Bomar is a three-year member of the “A” Honor Roll and carries a 3.988 GPA this year. She is a member of National Honor Society and the Principal/Student Advisory Counsel. She is also a member of Link Crew and the Harbor Group.
Outside of the classroom, Bomar is a Sunday School assistant at her church, where she is also a member of the choir and a summer camp counselor. She volunteers her time at the community ice rink, Feed My Starving Children and Unified Track and Field.
“Though it is easy for anyone to become a leader, I believe a few qualities are needed to make a good, successful leader,” said Bomar. “The greatest quality any leader should have is confidence. Without confidence, they lack the respect of their peers or followers. . . A leader not only needs confidence to gain faithful followers, a leader needs to be kind so that everyone feels respected and cared for.”
Bomar’s track coach and former history teacher Sara Schwartz said, “As an eighth-grader, AJ’s leadership skills were already incredible. . . They did not follow her lead because she was bossy but rather because she has an aura about her that makes you want to do your best.”
As a member of the track team, Bomar volunteers to run every event that is needed—from the hurdles to the 4×400 relay. “I could not ask for a better athlete or leader on the team,” Schwartz added.
AJ lives in Mound and is the daughter of Tamara Bomar and Shawn Reese.
As an oboe player, Fish has a vast array of activities and awards to his credit. He is a three-year member of the auditioned Wind Ensemble, a two-year section leader and an All State musician. He earned four Superior and two Excellent ratings in the solo ensemble contest last year.
Fish is a member of the Jazz Band, which earned an Outstanding rating in the regional contest last year. He is a three-year member of the musical pit orchestra, which earned back-to-back Spotlight Honorable Mention awards. Fish was named to the Wright County Conference Honor Band and the Minnesota Youth Jazz Band two years, as well as to the All State Orchestra, U of M High School Honor Band, the St. Olaf High School Honor Band and the Minnesota Band Director’s Association Honor Band. He also participated in the MacPhail Allegro Orchestra Camp.
Fish is on the “A” Honor Roll, and a member of Student Senate, National Honor Society and Link Crew. He has earned four Spotlight on Scholarship awards and serves as section leader on the Band Leadership Council.
Fish has earned two varsity letters in football and was named White Hawks Offensive Scout Squad Player of the Year as a junior. He is a two-year member of the baseball team and earned an award for Most Money Raised for the Free-Throw-A-Thon in basketball as a freshman.
In addition to his school activities, Fish is a camp counselor at Cathedral of the Pines, a youth football and baseball group leader, a performer at Lake Minnetonka Shores and a volunteer with Feed My Starving Children, WeCAN and White Hawks Love to Read.
“My time at Cathedral of the Pines church camp has given me an opportunity to develop leadership skills and benefit many people and families,” said Fish.
“Adam is an integral part of our student leadership team and the band council,” said band director Gretchen Chilson. “He works tirelessly to encourage and inspire younger/less experienced band students by demonstrating that practice and dedication, not luck, are responsible for his many musical successes.”
Adam is the son of Jeff and Julie Fish of Minnetrista.