Westside Student Receives Believers & Achievers Award

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Westside Student Receives Believers & Achievers Award

Senior Ella Wedergren was one of the 48 students chosen to receive this award.

Senior Ella Wedergren was one of the 48 students chosen to receive this award.

Image courtesy of Westside Community Schools's Twitter

Senior Ella Wedergren was one of the 48 students chosen to receive this award.

Image courtesy of Westside Community Schools's Twitter

Image courtesy of Westside Community Schools's Twitter

Senior Ella Wedergren was one of the 48 students chosen to receive this award.

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Each year the Nebraska School Athletic Association, known as the NSAA, selects 48 students from different schools across Nebraska to represent their school as a candidate for the Believers & Achievers award. This award honors student athletes who have high GPAs and who give back to their school and community. Each year, Counselor Vicki Londer along with Assistant Principal and Athletic Director Tom Kerkman nominate one boy and one girl student to apply. Seniors Ella Wedergren and Cal Weidemann were the two candidates nominated to represent Westside High School. Wedergren was one of the 48 students chosen out of 380 student applicants across the state of Nebraska to receive this award.

“I got nominated for being a student athlete, having a high GPA and being on multiple varsity teams,” Wedergren said. “I’ve been on varsity track, and varsity basketball since freshman year. Most importantly, [I’ve been involved with] community service.”

Wedergren said she was surprised when she found out she was one of 48 students that was chosen to represent Westside. 

“I thought it was a good opportunity, and it could help me with college,” Wedergren said. “I truly submitted my application but I never imagined I’d actually get recognized. I was really happy [and] so was my mom” 

Kerkman said that there are several prerequisites to be nominated. 

“The criteria [for the award] is involvement [with the] school and having good grades,” Kerkman said. “We try to nominate a boy and a girl to fill out the application. [Wedergren] is a [trainer] for football and a star in basketball. She also has tons of community service hours.” 

Londer said that the decision for determining who will be nominated for the award is difficult to make.

“We [try to] think about those students that on an everyday basis are good kids,” Londer said. “They have to be good to peers, family, teachers, the school, and they have to community service. It’s a very tough decision for us to make, [so] we don’t take it lightly.” 

Wedergren said she had the opportunity to attend the Class B State Football game as a prize for her accomplishment. 

“I ended up going to the Class B State Final Football Game,” Wedergren said. “I also received a little glass plaque, [and] there’s a dinner where I will get recognized.” 

Kerkman said they nominate two students every year and in the past ten years, they have only had two students recognized. 

“It’s a whole state award,” Kerkman said. “So a lot of times we’ve had so many good candidates that just don’t get recognized for ‘Believers and Achievers.’” 

Londer said that Wedergren is very deserving of the award.

“It’s something really exciting for [Wedergren] because she doesn’t [just] do the things she does to get recognition,” Londer said. “If you didn’t know [about] all of the things she’s done, you wouldn’t know because she’s so humble. [Wedergren is] just one of those kids that all kids wish they had in class. [She’s a] great teammate, great daughter and someone a lot of other students can look up to.”