Pequot Lakes juniors Sonja Palmer and Nic Kotaska have been announced as ExCEL award winners. ExCEL – Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership is a unique recognition program designed exclusively for Minnesota high school juniors who are active in school activities, who show leadership qualities and who volunteer in their community.

Students must be a high school junior, maintain a 3.0 or higher GPA, participate in MSHSL sponsored athletic and fine art activities, hold leadership positions and work voluntarily in their community.

Palmer is the daughter of Ike and Chris Palmer. She participates in volleyball, track, band, Spanish club, leadership team, student council. She also volunteers with 4-H, her church, PAC concession stand and various student council activities.

Kotaska is the son of Jon and Jen Kotaksa. He is in football, basketball, leadership team and baseball. He also volunteers with his church, youth baseball and football camps.