The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) saluted 27 schools — including Northland Pines — that met the criteria to be named recipients of the Award of Excellence in 2018-’19.

The award recognizes member schools for their efforts and achievements in the areas of sportsmanship, ethics, integrity, leadership and character. 

Northland Pines was the only school in the Great Northern Conference to receive the Award of Excellence in 2019 and much of the credit goes to Pines Athletic Director Brian Margelofsky.

Five of the 27 schools received the honor for the third time, including Baraboo, Hudson, Racine Horlick, Stoughton and Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln. Ten of this year’s recipients are being presented with the award for the second time, including Brookwood, Cambridge, Fort Atkinson, Kimberly, Middleton, Northwestern, Racine Lutheran, The Prairie School, University School of Milwaukee and Watertown.

Recipients will be presented the Award of Excellence at the WIAA?all area meetings and will be recognized for the achievement on the WIAA website, in the WIAA Bulletin and at the WIAA annual meeting.

The criteria applied toward the Award of Excellence included:

• Athletic director conducted regular occurring meetings with coaches and a captain’s club or team leadership council to discuss sportsmanship, ethics and/or integrity.

• Athletic director conducted at least one informational meeting with student-athletes and their parents on sportsmanship, ethics and/or integrity and attended conference meetings on sportsmanship, ethics and/or integrity.

• Coaches and student-athletes attended a sportsmanship summit/leadership conference.

• There was school representation at one of the seven WIAA Fall Area Meetings and there was school representation at the WIAA annual meeting in April.

• Athletic director made the student body aware of sportsmanship initiatives through school assemblies, announcements, posters, etc.

• Three or more athletic teams gave back to their school or community through volunteerism. 

• Athletic director has taken the free National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Sportsmanship course and three or more head coaches have taken the same free NFHS course.

• Athletic program had no coach ejections at any level and the athletic program had no coach or player assault of an official at any level.

• Athletic director nominated a boy and/or a girl for WIAA Scholar Athlete recognition (either for local or state level recognition).

Hats off to Brian Margelofsky and Northland Pines for receiving the Award of Excellence. It’s a great honor considering the membership of the WIAA oversees interscholastic athletic programs for 511 senior high schools and only 27 schools were honored.