Two members of the Saint Peter High School junior class, Signe Alger and Isaac Peterson, were recently announced as the winners of the school’s 2017-18 ExCEL Award.
The ExCEL (Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership) Award program recognizes Minnesota high school juniors who are active in school activities, who show leadership qualities, and who work voluntarily in their community. The award is sponsored by the Minnesota State High School League and Wells Fargo.
“Signe and Isaac are outstanding students to have been chosen as Saint Peter High School's ExCEL Award winners,” Saint Peter High School Principal Annette Engeldinger said. “ Both are dedicated, hard-working students who take their academics seriously and represent us well in their co-curricular activities. I have watched Signe battle her way back from injury to be able to compete at incredibly high levels. And I love that I can watch Isaac perform in the musical, play in the band, play piano, and compete on the fields and the court as a three-season athlete.”
Here are brief profiles of the two SPHS ExCEL winners:
Alger, the daughter of Chelsea and Steve Alger, has balanced her schedule at SPHS with a wide range of academic, fine arts and athletic activities.
“Winning the Excel award was a big accomplishment for me,” Alger said. “Being in sports, keeping grades up, and being active in other school activities isn’t easy. It gets to be really busy, and stressful. But with a little hard work, it will pay off.
“To me, this award means that all the hard work I put in is worth it. I am very thankful for the great teachers and coaches that helped me achieve this award.”
A member of the National Honor Society since her sophomore year, Alger has also been involved with Project For Teens, served as an SPHS Ambassador, as well as serving an active member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ Leadership Team.
Alger has also been very active in the arts earning multiple letters and awards for her participation in Concert Band, Jazz Band, Pep Band playing the saxophone, as well as in ensembles, where she has earned superior awards.
The junior standout has lettered five times in swimming, where she surpassed the 1,000-career point mark this past fall, as well as earning varsity letters in track and basketball.
Among her volunteer activities include serving as an usher, acolyte, reader, and communion server at her church as well as participating with elderly visits, food drive, blood drive and assisting with moving church members. Her other volunteer activities include working at youth basketball events.
Her future plans include attending college after her days at SPHS are complete and majoring in physical therapy. She also has an interest in swimming at the collegiate level.
Peterson, the son of Kari and Paul Peterson, has kept busy during his time at SPHS with a variety of academic, athletic and arts activities as well as maintaining a strong sense of giving back to his community.
“Winning the ExCEL award means a lot to me,” Peterson said. “I know that it is a step to becoming a great leader and a better person overall. I hope I can represent SPHS well.”
Academically, Peterson has also been a member of the National Honor Society since his sophomore year and has been involved with the SPHS Student Council for three years. He also has been a participant in the SPHS Project For Teens and served as a Saints Ambassador.
The versatile junior has taken part in a wide variety of fine arts activities at SPHS including speech, playing percussion in the band (Concert Band, Marching Band and Pep Band), choir (Concert Choir, Men’s Choir, and Chamber Singers), fall musical (Footloose), and playing the piano throughout the years including earning state honors recital honors three straight years. He was a State Speech Tournament participant this past season and has also earned solo and ensemble superior ratings in choir.
Athletically, Peterson is a three-sport athlete who has earned two varsity letters in football and was on the Saints varsity baseball playoff roster this past spring. He also is on the varsity basketball team this winter.
His volunteer activities outside of school include serving with the city of St. Peter’s Volunteer in the Park (VIP) program, fundraising activities with the Autism Society of Minnesota’s Steps for Hope, playing with the community theatre pit orchestra and working with his church youth group and the youth mission trip.
Peterson plans on going to a four-year college after graduation from SPHS, but he is undecided on which school to attend at this time and he is undecided on a major.