North Lakes Academy students win awards

This spring has been a series of highlights for North Lakes Academy Upper School, a charter high school of 170 students located in Forest Lake.

In the last six weeks the school has accumulated a series of awards and accommodations that belies its small size.

NLA students have recently won scholarships, art prizes, music competitions, history awards and essay contests.

Juniors Cody Miller and Shylo Stevens will be attending Boys and Girls State, respectively, this summer.

Boys State and Girls State are summer leadership/citizenship programs sponsored by the American Legion and the American Legion Auxiliary for high school students between their junior and senior years.

Students are selected by their local Legion and Auxiliary Units to spend one week with other students from around Minnesota in an intensive and  active study of government through mock city, county and state legislative sessions.

Miller will be one of two young men from the lakes region to attend Boys State; Stevens is her region’s sole representative to Girls State.

Other Awards

Ninth-grader Liza Anderson won a second place award and a $25 gift certificate for an essay she submitted to the 2012 MN Statewide Charter Essay Contest.

Anderson took part in a May 9 ceremony on the steps of the Minnesota Capitol Building to celebrate with other essay contest winners from charter schools throughout the state.

Eight NLA Upper School students advanced from the regional History Day Competition to state competition. These students competed for statewide honors at the University of Minnesota on April 29th in the following three categories where sophomore Samantha Bergum earned an honorable mention.

Sophomore Laura Stolz received the Kurtzman History Day Summer Internship.


Samantha Bergum (10) “The Revolutionary DC-3 Airplane: Flying High in the Sky”

Erin Daly (10) “You Could Not Tell the Difference: Women Soldiers in the American Civil War”

Exhibit Category

Margret Krueger (10) “Miracle at Midway: Revolution and Reaction in the Pacific”

Laura Stolz  (10) “The Lowell Mill Girls: Wild Women in the Workforce” (Honorable Mention)

Website Category

Katala Anderson (11) Japan’s Meiji Era

Branden Flasch  (10) Steve Jobs

Elizabeth Henrich (10) Prohibition

Spencer Stanley  (10)The Bassoon

Art Display

NLA students from the area also displayed artwork at the 2012 Forest Lake Area Home and Business Show this spring.

North Lakes Academy students won eight of the 13 ribbons awarded. They are:

Erin Daly (10), third place high school

Matt Bielejeski (9), first place middle school

Courtney Finch (9), first place high school

Maddie Reinsch (1), first place high school

Rylee Staffaroni (9), Best of Show

Lauren Gray (12), second place high school

Spencer Stanley (10), second place high school and the People’s Choice award- and its prize, a $50 gift card

Music Awards

North Lakes music students are also receiving recognition this spring.

Ten groups/soloists earned a superior rating at the North Lakes Academy Music Festival held April 12 at the Upper School.

Students recently performed at the regional festival at Bethel University where ninth-grader Dan Johnson earned a Superior Rating medal.

Others who performed were:

Saxophone: Ryan Gay (11)

Violin: Natasha Montzka (9)

Trumpet Duo: Brigitte Matiatos (12) and  Zach Rippel (11)

Percussion Ensemble: Mackenzie Hale (10), Kaylee Krogstad (10), Noah Branum (11) and Lee Pickett (11)

Woodwind Ensemble: Courtney Finch (12), Nick Harrington (12), Alic Humble (11), Erin Kettler (11), Breanna Knutson (10), Hannah Lau (12), Ashley Loomis (11), Miranda McGlade (10), Tasha Montzka (9), Maddie Reinsch (12), Jordan Riehm (10), Evan Svenkenson (10), Colton Thiell (10)

9th Grade Trumpet Duo: Robert Werlein and Jackson Newbauer (9)

Euphonium: Dan Johnson (9)

Percussion/Hambone Solo: Noah Branum (11)

Flute Duo: Adriana Perkins (9) and Madeline Leonard (9)

Saxophone Solo: Grant Christopherson (9)

Sports Honors

As the winter sports season concluded, NLA junior Kirsten Thiele was named to the all conference basketball team, and the NLA girls basketball Huskies earned the Conference Sportsmanship Award.

Senior Brian Kisini has been awarded the following scholarships and grants to attend St. John’s University: Dean’s Scholarship, $9500 per year; Morton Katz Scholarship, $3,000 per year; Saint John’s Abbey Grant, $9,300 per year.