Mingus Union seniors Ben Kramer and Sara Riley have been nominated for the seventh-annual Wendy’s High School Heisman Award, Principal John Christensen announced.
The national awards program was created by Wendy’s, the National Association of Secondary School Principals and the Downtown Athletic Club of New York City. The awards recognize and honor high school senior men and women who demonstrate excellence in three areas: academics, community service and athletics.
Civic Activities: acolyte at St. Thomas Episcopal Church (traveled to Honduras in 1999 to help Hurricane Mitch victims, construct a church and run a health clinic), Adopt-A-Highway member, Mingus Union High blood drive chairman, second annual senior citizen’s prom host and volunteer at Rio Verde Health Care, Children’s Environmental Workshop Rainforest and Operation School Supplies.
Sports: Member of Mingus varsity wrestling and football teams (lettered in both sports), junior varsity wrestling MVP, varsity stuntman for spirit line.
Other awards and honors: academic letterman, National Physical Fitness Award, Working Scholar Award, Arizona State University Award for Outstanding Achievement, National Science Merit Scholar, University of Arizona President’s Award for Excellence scholarship and Arizona Boys State delegate.
Clubs: Future Business Leaders of America, Leadership/Student Council member, National Honor Society, Physics Club.
Leadership Positions: freshman class Leadership representative, junior class vice president and senior class president.
Civic Activities: Old Town Haunted House, Halloween Avenger Hunt (canned food drive), Habitat for Humanity, Thanksgiving Feed-A-Family, Christmas for Children, Clothe-A-Child, Veterans’ Dinner Banquet server, Verde Valley Concert Association usher, Kiwanis Club softball tournament volunteer, community Easter egg hunt.
Sports: member of varsity volleyball, soccer and tennis teams (lettered in all three sports), captain of varsity volleyball, varsity basketball statistics reporter, member of freshman basketball team.
Other awards and honors: academic letterman, leadership letterman, athletic letterman, Mingus Union High School Athletic Award, volleyball Most Consistent Player Award, basketball Best Free Throw Shooting Percentage, tennis Rookie of the Year, President’s Award for Academic Excellence, Who’s Who Among American High School Students, second place in mixed media in Verde Valley Art Show, honorable mention in mixed media El Valle Artist’s Association, honorable mention in sculpture El Valle Artist’s Association and special judges award in mixed media in Sedona Fine Arts Festival.
Clubs: Future Business Leaders of America, Leadership/Student Council member, Key Club and Environmental Club.
Leadership Positions: sophomore class vice president, student body (leadership) publicity officer, Environmental Club president, and senior class vice president.
Principals at the nation’s 23,000-plus high schools were each encouraged to nominate one male and one female student for the Heisman awards. The field will be narrowed to 1,020 state award finalists and then 102 state award winners.
After a review of the 102 state winners, 12 finalists will be named — one male and one female from six geographic regions across the country. Two national finalists, one male and one female, will be named on Dec. 9.
State winners will earn $500 for their school. National finalists will earn $1,000 for their schools, with the national winners earning $2,500 for their schools.