On Monday, February 5, the Minnesota State High School League announced the 40 recipients of the 2024 ExCEL Award, and we are proud to say that Waconia High School junior Ella Schluck is one of the students to earn the honor.

The ExCEL Award – Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership – is a unique recognition program designed exclusively for Minnesota high school juniors who are active in school activities, leaders in their schools, and who demonstrate a strong commitment to community service. Every high school in the state of Minnesota can nominate two individuals for the award each year.

Schluck is in the middle of her third year on the varsity girls hockey team, where she is a captain and one of the team’s leading scorers. During her high school career she has also participated in soccer, track and field, and softball. She is an accomplished pianist and teaches lessons at the Waconia Music Studios. She played percussion in the Waconia Middle School Band and also plays the ukulele and harmonica. Schluck is a member of the National Honor Society, the WHS Student Council, and the Conservation Club. In the community, Schluck has volunteered for the Waconia Hockey Association, at the Ridgeview Pediatric Clinic and at New Perspectives Assisted Living/Memory Care. In the classroom, Ella takes a full slate of advanced placement and concurrent enrollment classes and currently has a 4.0 GPA.

“Ella portrays her positivity and leadership qualities by allowing others to feel heard,” said Waconia High School teacher and assistant girls hockey coach Colleen Stanley. “She not only leads by example but also allows others to demonstrate their abilities. Ella is well-loved and admired by her peers. In the classroom, this is shown through collaboration with classmates. As a teammate, Ella encourages others to do their best and is selfless with her actions.”

Ella Schluck