Justin Hyytinen and Natalie Pellin are the 2013 Farmington High School nominees for the Minnesota State High School League-sponsored ExCel Award.
In order to qualify, nominees must be in their junior year making satisfactory progress toward graduation, participate in a fine arts or athletic activity, hold a student leadership position and volunteer in the community.
Pellin has been a member of the Fall Community Education Dance Team as well as the winter varsity dance squad. In addition, she has served as a statistician for the football team and manager and announcer for the Tiger softball team.
In the area of fine arts, she has experience in public speaking and video production and is a member of the Nordstrom Fashion Board.
Pellin is an A Honor Roll student who currently ranks second in her class of 466 students. She is the class vice-president and active in Youth Government, Youth Development, the National Honor Society, Link Crew, and the Yearbook staff.
Pellin is also serves as a student representative on the Farmington School Board and a member of both the We Day and Homecoming committees.
Farmington's female ExCel Award nominee's volunteer resume' is a long one, featuring such projects as Secret Holiday Shopper, Feed My Starving Children, Soles for Shoes Drive, the Special Olympic Polar Plunge and the City of Farmington Toys for Town.
Hyytinen is a cross country and track state meet participant who has won Academic All-State honors in both his sophomore and junior years. He has also been active in fine arts activities such as ceramics and Photoshop.
An A Honor Roll student and member of the National Honor Society, Hyytinen has also been an active participant in Mock Trial, The Tiger Leadership Club. Math and Spanish tutoring, the Sober Squad, The Link Crew, Youth Development, the We Day Committee and the Captain's Council.
In addition to his work as a tutor, Hyytinen has donated time as a youth track coach and track meet volunteer, a running club leader and a volunteer for the Feed My Starving Children charitable organization.
An independent panel of judges from across the state will select the ExCel Award winners in January. They will be recognized on KSTC-TV (Channel 45) during the telecasts of the 2014 winter state tournaments.