Staples, Minn.,
15:28 PM

Area High School Students Honored as Rising Stars

Event celebrates students' tenacity and quiet leadership

27th Annual Student Recognition Banquet - April 11, 2018

Forty-four students from 23 central Minnesota high schools were honored by National Joint Powers Alliance® at its 27th annual Student Recognition Banquet, Wednesday, April 11 at Madden's Resort in Brainerd.

The annual event celebrates area students as Rising Stars. Each was selected by his or her respective school staff, with the criteria they are “unsung heroes” of their district—the behind-the-scenes students with little, if any, recognition.

“It is an honor to recognize our area's Rising Stars; students who exemplify what it is to make a difference by providing quiet leadership,” says NJPA Executive Director/CEO Dr. Chad Coauette. “It is our hope that those honored tonight take away great memories from this event and feel supported by their school and community, knowing that they have what it takes to overcome future challenges and obstacles in their lives.”

Each student received a $215 scholarship funded by donations from area businesses and individuals, plus had a chance to win door prizes. Sixteen students received $500 scholarships from Central Lakes College, Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Wadena, and a variety of other businesses and organizations.

Honored students are from school districts within Region 5, an area served by NJPA, including Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison, Todd and Wadena counties.


Download the Program




Aitkin Madilyn Amundson 
 Caine Owens
Bertha-Hewitt Charles Bakken <
 Adam Bauch
Brainerd Anthony Baylor >
Browerville Jacob Polovick
 Kylie Crowe-Mantanez 
Cass Lake-Bena Jennalee Fairbanks /
 Mark Reyes
 Crosby-Ironton  Alison Lenz *
  Andrew Louks *
 Freshwater Derek Stalberger ^
 Jacqueline Anderson
 Little Falls Andrew DeYonge
 Asia Mohamed
 Long Prairie-Grey Eagle Abbey Grabowski !
 Guadalupe Orozco
 Menahga Nicholas McNeely
 Samantha Jewel &
 Northland Community Madison Shepard
 Taylor Shepard
 Pequot Lakes Austin Young
 Colette Vavpotic*
 Pierz-Healy  Samantha Winscher
 Zaida Nieken
 Pillager Jordan Hines #
 Sabrina Otto
 Pine River-Backus Dylan Malz
 Taylor Vredenburg*
 Royalton Marshall Meehl
 Martin Solland
 Sebeka Briannah Nolan %
 Ryan Oakland +
 Staples-Motley Alyssa Vanderhoof
 Swanville Crystal Kaun
 Katelyn Nohner
 Upsala Alexandra Wuebker
 Eric Staricka
 Verndale Hunter Seefeldt
 Maya Wellnitz &
 Wadena-Deer Creek Mitchel Haman
 Ryan Anderson
 Walker-Hackensack-Akeley  Maria Francisco =
 Ginny Stewart

< NJPA Board Members past & present
> NJPA Sunshine Committee (employee fund)
/ NJPA Senior Leadership Team
* CLC scholarship recipient
& MState scholarship recipient
^ Elite Title & Escrow Corp
! Health Partners
~ Initiative Foundation
#  Investment Center Advisor Group
% Nor-son Construction
+  ORB
=  Staples Ace Hardware

Thank you to the 2018 sponsors. This event and the experience for our Rising Stars and their families is greatly enhanced by your generosity.


Staples Ace Hardware

Central Lakes College

Elite Title & Escrow Corp.

Health Partners

Initiative Foundation

Investment Centers of America, Inc.

MState College

NJPA Board Members past & present

NJPA Sunshine Fund (employee donations)

NJPA Senior Leadership Team




Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation

Greg & Becky Grunig

Leah & Bart Graves

Pemberton, Sorlie, Rufer & Keshner, PLLP

Philip & Kami Berg


Campfire Bay Resort

CTC - Consolidated Telephone Company

Contegrity Group, Inc.

Integrity Employee Benefits

Long Prairie Chamber of Commerce

Mid Minnesota Federal Credit Union

Unity Bank

Wadena State Bank

Jim & Mary Klamm

Chris & Kristin Lindholm

Machelle Marshall

Michael & Holly Brandt

Michael & Holly Brandt

Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union

Scott & Jackie Bruns

Unity Bank

Wadena State Bank

Warren & Julie Mertens


Andy & Vicky Buscher

Bev Hoemberg

Bill Otto and Kim Rumsey

Brenda Sprenger

Colby-Mueller Orthodontics

Kassidy & Jeremiah Rice

Marshik Insurance Agency

Prairie Bay Grill and Catering

Rodney & Monica Klimek

Ted & Gen's BBQ Steakhouse

Tom & Jenny Hoppe


About NJPA

Sourcewell (formerly National Joint Powers Alliance) is a self-supporting government organization, partnering with education, government, and nonprofits to boost student and community success. Created in 1978 as one of Minnesota's nine service cooperatives, we offer training and shared services to our central-Minnesota members. Throughout North America, we offer a cooperative purchasing program with over 200 awarded vendors on contract. Sourcewell is driven by service and the ability to strategically reinvest in member communities.