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Meyer, Davis capture WHS Triple "A" honors

Worthington High School seniors Anna Meyer and Davis Moore are the school's 2019 WHS Triple "A" award recipients. (Tim Middagh / The Globe )1 / 2
Davis Moore and Anna Meyer performed "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" as third graders during the Worthington International Festival. (Special to The Globe)2 / 2

WORTHINGTON — Anna Meyer and Davis Moore can both add checkmarks to their lists of things they hoped to accomplish during their last year at Worthington High School.

The two seniors were recently named the 2019 WHS nominees for the Triple “A” award. The annual award, coordinated by the Minnesota State High School League since 1989, recognizes high school seniors who have demonstrated excellence in academics, athletics and the arts.

“I feel this is one of the bigger awards a student can receive across the state or within the school district,” said Josh Dale, District 518 activities director. “It’s amazing how they can be involved in athletics and fine arts and still maintain such a high GPA.”

Every year a five-member selection committee comprised of administration, teachers and counselors reviews applications from WHS students and selects one female and one male on a points-based selection system.

Moore, the son of Gordon and Jane Moore, said it has long been a personal goal of his to apply a hard work ethic over the years in hopes of one day achieving the Triple “A” nomination. The third Moore to receive the WHS Triple “A” nomination, Davis said he had witnessed and was inspired by the achievements of his siblings Gordy (class of 2013) and Meredith (class of 2016) during their high school careers.

“They became examples for me to look up to and demonstrated the rewarding benefits of hard work,” he said.

He also credited his parents and his teachers, who he said put in much time throughout his educational journey to help him succeed and “get to where I want to be as a person.”

Meyer, the daughter of Kelly and Heidi Meyer, called it an honor to be recognized for high achievements in all three areas.

“It’s always something that I’d hoped to achieve,” the 18-year-old said.

The duo advance to the Region 2AA competition, with regional winners announced during a Jan. 27 awards banquet at Gustavus in St. Peter. The male and female from Region 2AA will advance to the state Triple “A” competition, with winners announced in March during the state basketball tournament. State winners have the chance at receiving $1,000 college scholarships.

Excellence in Academics, Athletics and Arts

From the musical, band, choir and orchestra, Meyer and Moore have earned much success and recognition in the fine arts thanks to a combination of hard work and natural musical talents.

A soprano in the choir, Meyer was selected to sing in the Minnesota Music Education Association All-State Choir last summer and again in February.

“Arts is where I find my passions,” Meyer said, who also plays violin in the WHS orchestra.

Moore, who plays string bass in the Minnesota All-State orchestra, will also perform at the February concert in the Twin Cities.

Moore has also competed in other MSHSL music competitions. He earned a perfect score on a string bass solo during an orchestra competition last year. The bass vocalist has also competed in vocal solos, jazz band and orchestra ensembles, where he’s earned superior ratings.

As drum major, Moore has also led the WHS Spirit of Worthington Trojan Marching Band for the past two years.

“That’s been a big honor — to help represent the community in that leadership position,” he said.

In addition to music, Moore said his participation in the school’s knowledge bowl team has also been one of his favorite activities. The team placed 16th out of 24 teams at the AA Minnesota State Knowledge Bowl meet.

While the duo have identified music and fine arts as their forte, they have both been actively involved in a variety of athletics over the years.

Moore and Meyer both compete in the 300-meter hurdles. Meyer also runs the 100-meter hurdles and Moore the 800-meter dash during the spring track and field season.

Moore has also run cross country and played hockey, but isn’t playing this year due to previous injuries. Moore has been recognized as a letter winner for two years in all three sports.

An outside hitter on the Trojan volleyball team the last four years, Meyer has received recognition for her commitment both on the court and in the classroom by earning a Minnesota Academic All-State award for volleyball, which recognizes athletes who achieve a 3.8 or higher cumulative GPA.

Meyer has also participated in basketball, but gave that up last year for the school musical.

In addition to their multitude of school-sanctioned activities, Meyer and Moore are also active participants in community organizations and volunteer efforts.

Meyer has been a 15-year Dance Academy student. She’s also taken a mission trip to Rwanda with the local nonprofit All Day Fore Africa, and she’s helped with Worthington Area YMCA cruise fundraising dinners. She’s even opened the Worthington Windsurfing Regatta and Music Festival by singing the National Anthem — once as a sixth-grader and again last summer.

Both active participants in the school’s National Honor Society, Meyer and Moore — the organization’s vice president — volunteer in the community with their fellow NHS peers.

Moore says he has been actively involved in his church, First United Methodist Church. He’s also volunteered for various nonprofits missioned to feed populations in need.

Moore has also offered his musical talents to the Worthington Area Symphony and the “Amazing” Worthington City Band since 2016.

Moore and Meyer have known one another for quite some time. As third-graders, the two performed a duet to Elton John’s “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” at the Worthington International Festival.

The duo have successfully been able to find the balance between participating in activities and maintaining a quality grade-point average.

By the time he graduates, Moore — who is also secretary of student council and the class of 2019 — will have taken eight advanced placement classes. Following completion of his junior year, Moore received the AP Scholar Award, a high honor given by the College Board recognizing his completion of a three or higher on three or more AP exams.

Meyer’s tenacity to waste no time completing graduation requirements allowed her to dedicate her senior year to full time Postsecondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) coursework.

After high school Meyer plans to study elementary education with English as a new language endorsements at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, S.D. She plans to minor in Spanish.

As someone who has long desired to become a teacher, Meyer said taking a new hybrid introduction to education course last spring and spending many hours in various classrooms helped solidify the direction she’d take after high school.

“I think Worthington has really great programming and I think I’d like to end up back here,” she said. “Being in ESL classrooms, I see how eager they are all to learn, and being able to watch the growth they made in just one quarter was amazing. It’s very inspiring to me and it drew me in and made me want to do that, too.”

Moore is undecided, but is narrowing his options down.

Further studying music, history, environmental studies or a combination of them during his planned four-year collegiate experience has piqued his interest. St. Olaf College and Carleton College in Northfield, Macalester College in St. Paul and Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vt. are currently at the top of his prospective colleges list.

“I’d like to experience a broad range of different academic subjects in college while focusing on one thing,” Moore said.

While the two are elated to be selected as WHS’ Triple “A” nominees, the two don’t dispute that it has required hard work and sacrifices.

“Balancing many activities while striving academically has been a sacrifice with less social time and ability to pursue more informal activities,” Moore said. “But I recognize that through what I’ve achieved it has all been worth it.”

Meyer agreed.

“Sometimes it’s stressful, but when you get the opportunity to be involved in a lot of things it makes it all worth it,” she said. “The experiences you gain from all the activities you’re in is really important and helps you to be well-rounded.”

The MSHSL Triple “A” award has been awarded annually since 1989. Past Worthington students who received the Region 2AA nomination to the state-level competition include: Chad Vaske, 2006; Quentin Dudley, 2007; Gordy Moore, 2013; William Dudley, 2014; and Betsey Thompson and Oliver Wolyniec, 2015.  Both Dudley men and Wolyniec have won the statewide award.