Seniors Dan Huset and Payton West have been announced as the recipients of the 2014-2015 AAA Award. This award is given each year to a pair of seniors in order to commend them for their achievements in the arts, athletics and academics.
Payton has been actively involved in the arts for all four years at Fridley High School. A member of the Concert Band, she was recently chosen to attend the All-Conference Festival to play clarinet in the Honors band. This fall, Payton was a lead in the Drama Department’s production of Aida. Her stunning work as Amneris earned her an Outstanding Performance in a Lead Role award from the Hennepin Theater Trust’s Spotlight program. This is one of the most prestigious honors that can be given to a high school actor. It was coupled with an Outstanding Overall Performance award for the entire cast, which proves Payton’s dedication to not only her own role, but to the talents and hard work of her fellow cast and crew members as well. Last year, she was also honored with an Honorable Mention in a Supporting Role Award for her role as a Doo-wop Girl in Little Shop of Horrors. Payton’s continued commitment to make the arts a part of her life shines through in the excellence she has achieved.
Dan has also made a commitment to his artistic pursuits during his time here at Fridley High School. He has been involved in both the Varsity and Concerts bands, and also attended the All-Conference Honors Festival as a percussionist. He’s a part of Pep Band, Marching Band, Jazz Band and even plays in the Pit Band for the musicals. His most recent accomplishment was a duet played at the district-wide band concert, Band-O-Rama. Dueling Xylos was accompanied by the band and allowed Dan to show off his defined technical skills and musicality.
Payton inspires excellence in all of her athletic events. Besides making an extended commitment to each of her sports, she has also achieved high honors in recognition of her dedicated work. A member of the Cross Country team for five years, Payton was a captain as a junior and inspired her team daily through her times and training. She has been a part of the Fridley Dance Team for six years, during which time she was a captain three times, received an All-Conference Award and went to State five times. She is also on the track team, running the mile.
Dan is also a devoted participant on his sports teams. He’s been a swimmer for five years, is currently a captain and has been a part of five state-going teams. He is a member of the Track and Field Team as well, competing in the shot put and discus events. He’s been a Varsity member since starting as a sophomore, and helped grow the program from two throwers to over ten, showing his dedication to a new generation of athletes.
Finally, Payton is an outstanding achiever in academics and extra-curriculars. She currently holds an unweighted GPA of 3.69, and takes four International Baccalaureate classes, qualifying her as a Diploma Programme Scholar candidate. She is involved in National Honors Society and Performing Arts Club, putting in many hours of work for the betterment of her community and theatre.
Dan is a member of the Full Diploma Programme, taking six rigorous college-level courses while staying actively involved in National Honors Society, Chinese Club (where he has been Vice President and President) and Youth in Government Model Assembly, where he was recently the Lobbyist Director. He maintains an unweighted 3.75 GPA and has also been a part of Key Club and Science Club, which further demonstrates his commitment to a better world and a brighter future.
Both Dan and Payton are outstanding students who remain dedicated to their school and community. Through their academic success, they have prepared themselves for a shining future beyond high school, becoming critical thinkers who will challenge themselves to improve the world. Through their commitment to the arts, they have made themselves into more skillful learners, allowing their creativity and passion to touch the lives of those around them. Through their athletic achievement, they have helped Fridley succeed on the playing field and developed their leadership skills through the team atmosphere they encouraged. Dan Huset and Payton West have demonstrated Fridley’s values to the highest level, and are most deserving to be named the 2014-2015 AAA Award recipients.