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Gary Adkisson: Outstanding students and nurses take center stage
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Gary Adkisson: Outstanding students and nurses take center stage

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Within the space of one week we host two fantastic events: Teen of the Year and our Celebration of Nurses.

The MDU Resources-sponsored Teen of the Year event was held Thursday afternoon.

If you have already seen our front page you know that the winner was Laura Muggli, a senior at Elgin/New Leipzig Public School, also known as Grant County High School.

Laura is our first rural school winner in the three years the program has been running. And what a fantastic representative she is of the Class B schools, having been named to the All State Gold team.

Boasting a 34 composite ACT score (out of 36) and 36s on both the science and math portions, Laura is in the top 1% of all test takers in the U.S.

A couple of our teens, Bridger Anderson from Century High School and Megha Bharadwaj from St. Mary's High School, scored a 35 composite on the ACT, and many others scored 33 or 32, all well above the national and state averages in the low 20s.

Most all of the teens took advanced placement classes. Mackenzie Swenson from Bismarck High took nine and Isabella Ternes from Legacy High took eight. Jenae Weigel from Napoleon High took eight dual credit classes.

Micah Schlittenhardt, a Legacy High senior, is a gifted student with a 33 ACT and five AP classes, but nothing grabs your attention more than her community service that topped 400 hours.

We had our share of standout athletes too, led by Wilfried Tanefeu of Bismarck High who won a state wrestling title, and along with twin brother Christian carried the Demons to a team title.

I could go on and on bragging about the quality of high school seniors honored by this program, but you can read more elsewhere in today’s edition.

Next week our focus shifts to celebrating local nurses who have made an incredible contribution to our communities in the past year.

Our annual celebration of nurses will be held next Wednesday at Bismarck State College and livestreamed so that those who are unable to attend may join us.

Along with honoring 10 nurses, we will present each of our local nursing schools a check for their scholarship programs.

This program is made possible by the support of several sponsors including presenting sponsors Sanford Health, CHI St. Alexius and Dakota Travel Nurse.

New this year is the Healthcare Hero award, which is sponsored by Mid Dakota Clinic.

Gov. Doug Burgum will be on hand to congratulate the honorees and to speak specifically about their incredible contributions during the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing vaccination effort.

I hope you will read about and/or watch these events and feel the gratitude we feel for a new generation of leaders and a health care community that has sacrificed much to keep us healthy in the midst of an unprecedented health crisis.

Gary Adkisson is publisher of The Bismarck Tribune.

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