Ben Ertl, senior, was selected as Academy of Holy Angels' 2023 Triple ‘A’ Award winner. According to the Minnesota State High School League, “The Academics, Arts, and Athletics Award, commonly known as the Triple 'A' Award, honors high school seniors throughout the state who have an outstanding grade point average and who participate in League-sponsored athletic and fine arts activities.” The Region 3AA selection committee also chose Ertl to represent the region at the state awards banquet coming up on Saturday, March 25. Of the award, Principal Foley said, "In my 20+ years here, this is the first AHA student to be selected as the regional representive. Ben is deserving of this wonderful accolade, and his work has made a big impression on many."
Ertl’s involvement at Academy of Holy Angels (AHA) spans a wide variety of interests and activities. Academically, Ben has taken ten advanced placement courses; he was recognized as an AP Scholar of Distinction by the College Board, acknowledging his highest possible scores on five AP exams in different areas of study. In Spanish, a major part of his academic experience, he has earned bronze, silver, and gold medals in the National Spanish Exams and was awarded an MN Platinum Bilingual Seal, the highest level of proficiency. In 2022, he received the prestigious Harvard Book Award in recognition of his academic excellence. He is also pursuing the STEM Diploma, a rigorous course of study offered by Holy Angels.
Ertl’s focus in the arts activities has been speech. Following in his father’s footsteps, he joined speech and specifically the discussion category which takes current events and asks critical questions needing resolution. Ertl said, “This category requires immense interpersonal skills, organization, quick thinking, and persuasive performance.” As captain of the AHA speech team, he won a Tri-Metro Conference Championship, earned All-Conference honors twice, and advanced to the 2022 State Tournament participant. In addition to speech, Ben also participates in Knowledge Bowl and Math STARS.
Ben has participated in a wide variety of sports throughout his life, yet he found the most passion for soccer and track and field. He began to specialize in track and field during his junior year and became an all-conference pole vaulter, competed at sections, and was named varsity captain.
When asked how his involvement in so many different programs has developed him as a person, Ben reflected, “Long have I aspired to the image of a Renaissance man with expertise in all areas. I believe that becoming a well-rounded individual is essential in preparing for interactions in life after school, and this philosophy has driven my love for academics, athletics, and the arts. My dedication to academics has instilled in me a love for learning and an endless curiosity that challenges me to seek new knowledge every day. Speech, which introduced me to a new world of critical thinking and problem-solving, developed my public speaking, interpersonal, and creative skills and, in addition, allowed me to think of problems in broader contexts like solving inequalities. Finally, athletics has built my character and developed my leadership. As part of a team, I learned to rely on and support others so that we may be collectively stronger. Taking advantage of every experience at Academy of Holy Angels has been a foundational part of my development into a whole person capable of achieving excellence, taking risks, dreaming big, and serving others.”
Athletic Director Carolyn Arnebeck added, “Ben is such an amazing young man. He is not only outstanding in all of his activities, athletics, and academics, he's a really good person. Ben has very high standards and goals for himself, and it shows. I'm excited to see all of the great things that he will do in his future. Congratulations to Ben!”