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WDC students selected as Academics, Arts and Athletics Award nominees

Photo by Dana Pavek/WDC Schools Wadena-Deer Creek High School seniors, Avery Jackson, left, and Austin Korkowski were nominated for the Triple A Award for their academics, athletics and fine-arts achievements at WDC.

Avery Jackson and Austin Korkowski, Wadena-Deer Creek High School seniors, have been selected to represent their school at the Region 6A Academics, Arts, and Athletics Award program.

Established in 1988, the Academics, Arts and Athletics Award -- or what is referred to as the Triple A Award -- is sponsored by the Minnesota State High School League. The award goes to high school seniors who have a B or better grade-point average and who participate in high school league-sponsored athletic and fine-arts activities.

During their high school careers, both Avery and Austin have been successful in academics, athletics and fine arts.

Avery Jackson has been involved in choir, volleyball, basketball and softball. She has also participated in the Big Buddy/Little Buddy and peer mentor programs. Jackson is a member of SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) and Friends of Rachel Club (anti-bullying program). Outside of school, Jackson is active in her church and community. She plans on attending the University of Minnesota-Crookston on a basketball scholarship where she will major in Elementary Education. Avery is the daughter of Jay and Junelle Jackson of Wadena.

Brian Maki, WDC social studies teacher, said Avery is a student who works hard at doing well in school.

"She has challenged herself by taking upper-division classes. She has successfully completed a college psychology course and is currently enrolled in my college American government class," said Maki, adding, "I have had the privilege of having Avery in my classes for three years now, and in every situation, she has done her very best. Her personality is infectious. She loves to laugh and is very willing to participate in class discussion. It is students like Ms. Jackson who help make teaching such a rewarding experience."

Austin Korkowski has been involved in speech, drama (One-Act and Fall Play), and tennis. He has also participated in band and choir. He has performed with the jazz band and drum line, and has been selected to be part of multiple honor bands and choirs. Korkowski plans on attending the University of Minnesota-Duluth. He is undecided about his major at this time, but would like to minor in music. Austin is the son of Mark Korkowski and Jennifer Korkowski, both of Wadena.

WDC English teacher Jay Patterson has had the privilege of working with Korkowski as drama director.

"He has an incredible stage presence. His poise under pressure is amazing. He has been my go-to-guy for male leads the last three productions. I can count on him. He possesses those intangible skills of oral interpretation and expression. Sensitivity with words is a strength he has learned. He has confidence, charisma and drive. I am pleased to learn that he has earned the Triple A Award nomination. He deserves it," said Patterson.

Triple A Award recipients are selected by a multi-level process involving the MSHSL's member schools and administrative regions. League officials will announce the four award recipients from both Class A and Class AA at an on-court recognition ceremony held in March. Each award recipient will receive a four-year $1,000 scholarship.