Highland Park Celebration of Excellence

 Nathaniel Alden

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Nathaniel Alden

College: Undecided
Major: Physics

  • National Merit Scholarship from State Farm
  • Nordic Skiing
  • Math Team
  • Minnesota Youth Symphonies

What words of advice would you give incoming freshman?
There are ways to make high school fun that don’t involve slacking off or messing around. And in the long run you’ll probably be a lot less stressed and a lot happier if you do what you have to do and then use the rest of your time to do what makes you happy.

 Ian Boylan

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Ian Boylan

College: Undecided
Major: Pre-Med

  • Captain of the Cross Country and Nordic Ski Teams
  • Volunteer at United Hospital
  • Clarinetist in Minnesota Youth Symphonies
  • AAA Award for Highland Park (Arts, Athletics, Academics)

What words of advice would you give incoming freshman?
Surround yourself with people who are better than you. By doing this, the people in my life have pushed me to further excel inside and outside of school. They have impacted my life in a way that keeps me striving for the next level for whatever that may be.

 Ruquiya Egal

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Ruquiya Egal

College: Brown University
Major: Architecture and Political Science

  • Questbridge Match Program
  • Senior Class Council President
  • Student Council Full House Member
  • Secretary of the Science Club

What words of advice would you give incoming freshman?
My advice for incoming freshmen would be to encourage them to get involved in their schools and communities. To be open to new opportunities and to learn from those that are willing to teach them.

 Isabel Harrelson

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Isabel Harrelson

College: University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
Major: Nursing and Piano Performance

  • National Merit Finalist
  • SPARKS Swim Team
  • Post Secondary Enrollment Option (PSEO)
  • Ordway Honors Concert

What words of advice would you give incoming freshman?
Take responsibility for your decisions and actions. Get enough sleep every night. Fill your mind with wholesome things so you are prepared to make mature decisions and deal with challenging circumstances when they come.

 Parker Johnson

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Parker Johnson

College: St. Olaf College or Carleton College
Major: Undecided

  • St. Olaf Bunktrock Scholarship
  • National Honor Society
  • STAR Swim Team
  • National History Day State Participant

What words of advice would you give incoming freshman?
Don’t be afraid to take risks, inside and outside of school! But don’t beat yourself up if the challenges you take up are too much to handle; health and at least attempting something are more important.

 Samantha Linssen

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Samantha Linssen

College: Undecided
Major: Undecided

  • Varsity Tennis Team Captain
  • Link Crew Captain
  • Youth in Government Executive Board
  • Jeanne Arth Award

What words of advice would you give incoming freshman?
The best experiences you will have in high school will come from the things that you do with your peers. Go to as many games, theater productions, and school events as you can because that’s where you’ll make all your great memories. Get involved and enjoy it because time flies!

 Alexis Lipstein

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Alexis Lipstein

College: University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
Major: Electrical Engineering

  • Presidential scholarship from U of M
  • Research Grant
  • National Merit Finalist
  • Dean's List Finalist for FIRST Robotics

What words of advice would you give incoming freshman?
Try your best but don't base your self worth on how well you do in school. What's important is the connections you make with other people. Build those relationships, find a support network, then even when you fail you will have someone there to pick you back up.

 Lucy Minner

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Lucy Minner

College: Undecided
Major: Biology and Spanish

  • Presidential Scholarship
  • Link Crew Leader
  • Triple “A” Award
  • High Honors

What words of advice would you give incoming freshman? 
It may seem like the years are going to go by slowly and you have so much time before graduation, but it goes by so incredibly fast so enjoy every day! Also, get involved! Athletics and/or clubs make the high school experience so fun and allow you to be a part of a community.

 Andrew Noecker

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Andrew Noecker

College: Undecided
Major: Statistics/Data Science

  • National Merit Letter of Commendation
  • Minnesota Youth Symphonies
  • Juventus Choir at Basílica of St. Mary
  • Boys Swim Team Captain

What words of advice would you give incoming freshman?
Come in with a positive attitude and be ready to try new things and meet new people. There will be ups and downs throughout high school, but there will always be people there who are willing to help. Also, stay organized and don’t brush things off- everything has a purpose.

 Leah Terry

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Leah Terry

College: University of Wisconsin - Madison
Major: Communications and Political Science

  • SPARKS Swim & Dive Team Captain
  • Student Council President
  • Angelica Cantanti Youth Choirs
  • National Honors Society

What words of advice would you give incoming freshman?
Try hard in school, but don’t forget that taking care of yourself is just as important. Learn how to prioritize and balance school with other activities, because finding that balance is the best way to set yourself up for success.

 Michael West-Hest

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Michael West-Hest

College: Undecided
Major: Mathematics

  • Math Team Captain
  • Varsity Track and Field Team
  • Varsity Soccer Team
  • National Honor Society

What words of advice would you give incoming freshman?
High school isn't just 7:30-2, Monday through Friday. Grades aren't the only important thing. You should take the opportunity to do something you enjoy, whether it be a sport, club or activity. They're also great opportunities to meet new people that share your interests.