Owatonna High School juniors Sarah Kingland and Nolan Burmeister are the Huskies nominations for the Minnesota State High School league's ExCEL Award. The program honors Minnesota juniors who are active in their community, who show leadership qualities, and are involved in athletics and/or fine arts. Each school can nominate a boy and a girl for the award.

Kingland is involved in Student Council, National Honor Society, homecoming and prom committees, and peer tutoring. She is in band and choir, and plays soccer and basketball, and competes in track and field. In the community. Kingland works with Adopt-A-Highway and Wildcat Pantry, plus is a basketball mentor and coach at youth soccer camp.

Burmeister is involved in DECA and RYLA Rotary Leadership through the high school. He plays soccer and basketball. Burmeister is a Vacation Bible School and Sunday School teacher. He volunteers at the food shelf, the Clothesline, Lily Sparrow House, and Feed My Starving Children. He is also a basketball coach at summer camp.

The Excellence in Community, Education, and Leadership Award is in its 24th year. Owatonna has had several nominees advance to, and win, the state level judging.

In another note from the MSHSL, Owatonna High School was recognized as the top school in the state in the Sack Hunger promotion. At their recent meeting, the league reported the top three schools as Owatonna (3,108 pounds of food for Second Harvest), Blooming Prairie (2,171), and Dassel-Cokato (2,169).

The Huskies football Twitter account proclaimed, "Thanks to all who donated and to Sandra Justice and the Student Council kids for all their work." The service project wrapped up in November.