By Lorrie Ham
Mound Westonka High School has chosen seniors Andrew Fish and Diana Hoernemann to represent the school at the regional Triple “A” Award banquet. An on-court recognition ceremony for the state-wide winners will be held in conjunction with the boys state basketball tournament in March. Sponsored by the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL), the Triple “A” Award—Academics, Arts and Athletics—is a unique program designed to recognize Minnesota high school seniors who have excelled in the classroom, on the athletic field and in the fine arts.
Diana Hoernemann has been a member of the school’s top auditioned band for four years. She is a three-year charter member of the Wind Ensemble’s leadership council and has held student conductor and clarinet section leader positions. She has participated in numerous honor bands and participated in the Minnesota Ambassadors of Music 2016 trip, where the top music students from around the state came together to share their love of music internationally.
Hoernemann has entered numerous artworks and received awards in the Minnesota State Fair competition. As a junior, she enrolled in STEAM Integrated Physics, a new, project-based class combining the principles of physics and visual art, where she received the Heartbeat of the Classroom award.
Hoernemann was named a National Merit Commended Student, missing the semi-finalist cutoff by one point. She takes a rigorous course load and maintains a 4.0 grade point average. She received a score of 5 on both the Calculus AB and Statistic AP exams. She successfully passed the AP Chemistry exam by self-study. She earned a pair of “A” grades in two College in the Schools (CIS) Spanish courses at the University of Minnesota. She is also a member of National Honor Society.
A three-sport athlete, Hoernemann participates on the tennis, dance and track and field teams. She was invited to join the high school tennis team as an eighth-grader. She has earned second- and third-place individual conference honors at the No. 4-singles position. Hoernemann’s perfect GPA helped her team win the Academic All-State Award. She also received the Heartbeat of the Team award for her strong work ethic and positive attitude.
She was a member of conference and section championship teams in dance. She participated in the section meet in track by running the 200-meter and the 4×200-meter relay races. She also earned Spotlight on Scholarship awards for each sports season.
“My involvement in the arts, academics and athletics has taught me the lessons that define who I am,” said Hoernemann, who called the leadership training that she received as part of the band’s leadership council her most valuable experience. “Great leaders place the interests of their team before themselves and share the credit for any success . . . true leadership is earned.”
Band director Gretchen Chilson wrote a letter of recommendation for Hoernemann. “Diana is a conscientious leader and teammate who encourages less experienced students, works to make everyone in the group feel included, and consistently does her best work,” she said. “Diana is a kind friend, a stand-out leader and a positive influence on others.”
Hoernemann plans to pursue a degree in chemical engineering at the University of Wisconsin Madison, where she plans to audition for band, paint in her free time and play tennis on an intramural team. Diana is the daughter of Mark Hoernemann and Paula Rutherford.
Andrew Fish is an accomplished musician and a four-year member of the auditioned Wind Ensemble. As a member of the band, he has had the opportunity to travel to other areas of the country to interact with local musicians and experience different cultures. He was also nominated to participate in the Minnesota Ambassadors of Music European tour, which gave him the chance to visit seven different European countries and create bonds with band and choir students from throughout Minnesota.
Fish is a three sport athlete – participating on the football, hockey and baseball teams. He has earned multiple varsity letters based on practice and game performance, community service, fundraising and maintaining academic standards. He also earned Spotlight on Scholarship awards for each season.
Fish maintains a 3.862 grade point average, participates in CIS classes and takes several AP classes.
“My involvement in arts, athletics and academics has made me into the man I am today,” said Fish. “I have developed into a hard-working problem solver that can fit in anywhere and will be for life.”
Head football coach Nick David nominated Fish for the award. “Andrew is one of those rare individuals who has made the internal decision to excel,” he said. “He is a leader on his football, hockey and baseball teams, as well as in band. He has also maintained a competitive grade point average and has taken on active leadership roles in many community service projects and organizations with the school district.”
Fish plans to major in mathematics, but is undecided on the college. Andrew is the son of Jeff and Julie Fish.
About the Triple ‘A’ Award
Triple “A” Award recipients are selected through a multi-level process that involves member schools of the MSHSL, the League’s administrative regions, and a special committee of educators, business leaders and members of the fine arts and athletics communities. Every member school of the League is invited to nominate one girl and one boy for the Triple “A” Award. Nominees must be seniors in high school, have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, participate in MSHSL fine arts and/or athletic activities, and comply with the MSHSL Student Code of Conduct.