Maple Grove's Prep Elite
High school is a platform, not only for learning, but for self-discovery and a jumpstart to a future goal. Creating the spark that ignites one’s future is exciting, but finding and developing the tools to do so is no easy task. That’s why these five student-athletes make up a special group. Approaching their senior year, they’ve already sketched the blueprint to success on and off the field and in and outside of the classroom. Now they just have to ignite the flame and discover what lies ahead.
Ryan Killion: ExCELing at Everything
Well-rounded is an adjective Providence Academy High School principal Kevin Ferdinandt refuses to throw around. “I think it’s overused,” he says. But in the case of Providence junior Ryan (Killion), the administrator admits it’s a rare fit. “He’s got priorities in all different kinds of arenas, and he balances them well,” says Ferdinandt, who nominated Killion for the ExCEL Award, which stands Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership.
The nomination form was no match for Killion, who had multiple honors and accomplishments to boast in categories such as athletic activities, fine arts activities, general contributions to the school and volunteer community service. So although it wasn’t a huge surprise to Ferdinandt when Killion was chosen as one of 32 juniors from across the state to win the 2011 award, it still took time to sink in for the former class president. “It was huge for me,” Killion says. “I’m not really the type of person to gloat about the things I’ve done, but when I won, I felt pretty proud of what I’ve accomplished over the last couple years.”
Those accomplishments are many. The honors student played varsity football, was all conference in three different track events as a sophomore and two as a junior, was first chair trombone in band, and went to state as a member of the debate team—which may have the most influence on Killion’s future. “That’s a big reason why I want to go into law,” says the upcoming senior co-captain of the Varsity debate team. “I really like the feel of being able to make your own case, being able to defend it and just completely taking down other people’s cases.”
But Killion doesn’t fit the negative, slimy image some people associate with lawyers. Not with a resume that includes over 1,000 volunteer hours, spread through everything from Feed my Starving Children, Eagle Scouts and the Breast Cancer Foundation to serving as an altar server mentor and redoing the landscape for his church. “I think he’s a shining example of what represents our school in the best sense of it,” says Ferdinandt. “We want our kids to be involved in a lot. We want them to be active in the community. We want them to be active in their faith. We want them to be active in the sports fields and in the arts classrooms. And that’s what (Ryan) represents.”
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