Forty-four students from 22 Region 5 high schools will be honored Wednesday at the 27th annual Student Recognition Banquet put on by the National Joint Powers Alliance at Madden’s Resort in Brainerd.

The event celebrates area students as Rising Stars. Each is selected by his or her respective school staff, with the criteria that they are “unsung heroes” of their district—the behind-the-scenes students with little, if any, recognition. Perhaps they’ve overcome a huge adversity in their high school careers, and/or strive to do what’s right despite significant challenges in their lives.

Donations from local businesses, organizations, and individuals make it possible for each student to receive a scholarship, plus a chance to win door prizes. For more information, visit

 Area students who will be honored include:

WHA School

Maria Francisco and Virginia Stewart

Northland School

Madison Shepard and Taylor Shepard

Cass Lake-Bena School

Jennalee Fairbanks and Mark Reyes

Pine River-Backus School

Dylan Malz and Taylor Vredenburg


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