2023 SPHS ExCEL Award winner

Saint Peter High School junior Rhyan Holmgren was recently announced as the school’s 2021-22 ExCEL  Award– Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership – winner for girls. There were no junior boy applicants this year for the award. 

“We had a lot of amazing girl candidates this year, and Rhyan is an amazing person to represent Saint Peter and be our nominee for the ExCEL award,” SPHS Activities Director Shea Roehrkasse said. “Rhyan is a student that is involved in the community, is a three-sport athlete, helps with youth associations, and works hard in the classroom. She is a leader to her peers and our younger students as well. Rhyan is humble, polite, works hard and a positive influence on our student-body. It is because of these traits that makes Rhyan very deserving to be our ExCEL Award nominee.”

Established in 1988, the Minnesota State High School League’s ExCEL Award is a unique recognition program designed exclusively for Minnesota high school juniors who are active in school activities, leaders in their schools, and who demonstrate a strong commitment to community service. This award is sponsored by the League's corporate partner Wells Fargo. 

Saint Peter High School’s ExCEL winners for the previous five years include:

  • 2021-22 – Adrianna Bixby & Ian Gerstbauer
  • 2020-21 – Josie Wiebusch & Shea Hildebrandt
  • 2019-20 -- Vanessa Krueger & Zach Taylor
  • 2018-19 -- Sarah Conlon & Ethan Niemeyer
  • 2017-18 -- Signe Alger & Isaac Peterson
The following is brief profile of this year’s ExCEL Award winner:

Rhyan Holmgren
The daughter of Staci and Kyle Holmgren, Rhyan has a 4.03 GPA and is a member of the National Honor Society. She also has been a regular on the A honor roll.

“Winning the ExCEL award is something that I am very proud to be recognized with because it highlights how passionate I am about my education, giving back to the community and being a leader,” Holmgren said. “These traits are so important and highly needed in today's world and I am very fortunate to have grown up with parents, teachers and coaches that helped me learn these values since I was a kid.”

Holmgren, who participated in choir earlier in her high school years, has a stellar academic record at SPHS as she has been on the A Honor Roll each year during her time here and has a weighted GPA of 4.06. She is a two-year member of the SPHS National Honor Society as well as a Junior Class officer. Other activities she is involved with includes Project for Teens, Sports Medicine Club, Mental Warriors Club, FCA, and the Saints Captains Council.

Athletically, Holmgren is a standout three-sport athlete who has been on the varsity basketball and tennis teams since her eighth grade year, earning varsity letters each of those seasons and serves as a captain for the basketball team this year and the tennis squad next fall. She earned All-Big South Conference honors in both sports the past two years and honorable mention All-State honors in basketball after the 2021-22 season. She also competed in softball her freshman year and, after a one-year hiatus, will return to the diamond this spring for the Saints.

Her future plans are to attend Minnesota State University-Mankato to play basketball. Rhyan is undecided on her major at this time.