Vaske receives Triple A Award
WORTHINGTON -- For the first time since its inception, a Worthington High School student has been named a state finalist in the Triple A Awards program.
Chad Vaske, a WHS senior, will represent the school and Region 2AA at the state recognition banquet in Minneapolis March 25.
The Triple A Awards were developed in 1988 to honor students who excel in the areas of academics, athletics and fine arts. Sponsored by the Minnesota State High School League, the award is presented to students who have maintained a minimum of a "B" average and are active within their school and community.
Each school nominates one male and one female for the honor, with Vaske and Lisa Kremer selected to represent WHS at the regional level. Vaske received a medal and a plaque as the region winner during a banquet Feb. 19 at Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter. More than a dozen students competed in each of the male and female categories at the regional level.
WHS athletic director Don Kuiper and counselor Jan Larson said Vaske epitomizes excellence in all areas of the Triple A Award.
"What really sets Chad apart is his character," Larson said. "He's pretty rare for a high school adolescent. He's genuinely kind ... he has a high standard of values."
Kuiper said it's exciting to have a local student advance to the state finals in the Triple A Awards.
"High character values, standards and integrity -- I see that all coming from Chad," he said. "He's a very motivated young man."
Vaske carries a 4.0 grade point average at WHS, is a three-sport athlete and is involved in numerous extra-curricular activities including speech and debate. He is a two-time letter winner in football, three-time letter winner in track and a letter-winner in basketball his junior year.
He holds a school record for most kickoffs returned for a touchdown in a season, was MVP of special teams in football during his junior and senior seasons, and was named MVP of the track team his junior year.
In the fine arts, Vaske is a four-year member of the Knowledge Bowl, completed three years in the science club, has been a member of the National Honor Society and Math Club during both his junior and senior year and is in his third year of Knowledge Master. This year, he is a member of the advanced placement book club and Business Professionals of America (BPA).
Larson said Vaske's involvement in extra-curriculars is a testament to the variety of opportunities available to students at WHS.
"Chad is exemplary in a number of areas," she said. "It shows we give students a lot of opportunities to be active in high school."
"For me, I think it's great for our community to see a good balance between athletics and academics," Kuiper added.
Vaske said he's had a lot of support along the way from family and teachers in accomplishing his education goals.
"(The award) wouldn't have happened without the support of my great teachers and coaches here at WHS," Vaske said. He also credited his parents, Larry and Dawn Vaske of Wilmont, for chauffeuring him around during his early high school years and being supportive in his involvement in high school activities.
The state Triple A Award winner will receive a $1,000 scholarship, which is renewable for up to four years.
If Vaske is selected a state winner, the scholarship will be much appreciated. He plans to attend the Carlson School of Management Honors program, majoring in a business-related field.
Kylla Bargfrede, a Jackson County Central senior, was selected as a state finalist from Region 3A. She has participated in volleyball, gymnastics, softball, track, choir and has been active in the FFA. She holds the school record for the highest score ever earned on the balance beam, at 9.5, and has four state tournament records in softball.
Bargfrede was all-conference in volleyball, gymnastics and softball.