By Jennifer Kotila
DASSEL-COKATO, MN The 2014 Arts, Academics, and Athletics award winners for Dassel-Cokato High School were announced recently. They are seniors Michael Chvojicek and Kianna Goldsberry.
Chvojicek is the son of David and Lori Chvojicek of Cokato, and Goldsberry is the daughter of Jonathan and Manda Goldsberry, also of Cokato.
For Chvojicek, winning the award was not something he has been striving for, but it is an added bonus for doing the things he enjoys doing. “It’s icing on top of the cake; I really appreciate it,” he said.
Goldsberry noted she is very excited to win the award, but also noted it is not necessarily something for which she strived. “The activities I am in, I love them; I’m not in them to get an award,” she said. “I am surprised, honored, and really appreciative.”
Chvojicek participates in the athletics of football and basketball. He has participated in baseball in the past, but is not sure if he will this spring.
Goldsberry is a swimmer, and participates in track and field.
Both students are members of the school’s bands, Goldsberry plays the alto saxophone, and Chvojicek the trumpet.
While Chvojicek is at DC High School taking as many college-level courses as he can, Goldsberry is attending Ridgewater College through the post-secondary education program.
Goldsberry has attended Ridgewater for two years with a full course load, and takes an independent study in order to stay involved with the band at DC.
Both students are members of the National Honor Society and the DC Leadership Academy. Chvojicek is also a member of Future Lies in You (FLY).
Goldsberry is a member of the farm management team for FFA, which has taken first and second at regions the past three years.
“It’s very exciting,” Goldsberry said, noting the team is heading to state competition again this year.
Chvojicek also participates in strength and conditioning in the summer, works at Dairy Queen, and runs a window washing business in the summer.
Goldsberry is a life guard at the high school and at the Cokato City pool.
Chvojicek has been accepted to two colleges already, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the School of Mines and Technology in South Dakota but has not yet made a decision where to attend.
He plans to become an engineer, but is not sure in what field. “I kind of like problem solving, so I’ll be making money doing what I like to do,” he said.
Goldsberry has three colleges picked she would like to attend Yale, Stanford, or University of Wisconsin-Madison, with Yale being her top choice.
In fact, she had an interview with a Yale alumnus. “I’m very hopeful; my fingers are crossed,” she said.
She plans to go into the field of molecular or cellular biology, and expects to do research in a medical lab on sickle cell trait. However, she also notes she may go into sports medicine.
She would like to go into that field of study because she has the sickle cell trait, and would like to help other athletes with it.
Sickle cell trait causes the cells of the body to attack itself when low oxygen levels are reached.
For instance, as a swimmer, Goldsberry’s body reaches low oxygen levels when she participates in her sport and her body has attacked itself in the past.
She has had three surgeries and physical therapy for her shoulder mechanism, which dropped because her small tissue broke down.
A lack of research and case studies is what prompts Goldsberry in the direction she is heading. She notes there have been seven fatalities, mostly in college athletes, attributed to sickle cell trait.
The Triple ‘A’ winners are selected by a committee of coaches, fine arts advisors, and teachers at DC.