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JHS students nominated for award

Jefferson High School (JHS) nominated Julia Sieling and Mitchell Peck for the Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership (ExCEL) Award.

Other finalists for the award included Melissa Drown, Elliot Jacobson, Carly Snell, Shelby Steidl, Emily Thul and Marissa Wheeler

ExCEL is a unique recognition program designed exclusively for Minnesota high school juniors. Students who are active in fine arts and/or athletic activities, who show leadership qualities and who are model citizens in their community are eligible. Award recipients will be recognized on KSTC TV (Channel 45) during the winter high school sports tournaments.

Sieling is the daughter of Jay Sieling and Deb Sieling Dittberner. She is involved in cross country, Nordic ski and track and field in the athletic arena. She has received all conference honors and participated in the state tournament in all three sports.

Fine arts involvement includes symphonic band, jazz band and marching band. She is an "A" honor roll member, a Spotlight on Scholarship athlete and a member of the JHS Student Council. Community involvement includes volunteering at her church by assisting with the annual Christmas pageant.

Chad Duwenhoegger, JHS principal, shared that she is an "outstanding leader" and "has a tremendous passion for school pride and unity."

Peck is the son of Mike and Therese Peck. He is active in football, basketball and track and field in the athletic arena. He received all conference honors in hurdles. Fine arts involvement includes band, jazz band, pep band and marching band.

Peck is an "A" honor roll member, a Spotlight on Scholarship athlete, a member of the student council, the 212 leadership team and math league. Outside of the school day, Peck is active in his church youth group and assisted with serving the community Thanksgiving dinner.

Duwenhoegger said that Peck is "a humble leader who is always willing to work hard no matter the task."

The ExCEL Award program, now in its 17th year, is sponsored by the Minnesota State High School League. For more information about the program, contact the league at (763) 560-2262 or