The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) has recognized 46 schools, including Northland Pines, that met the criteria to be named recipients of the Award of Excellence in 2019-’20.

The award recognizes the efforts and achievements of schools 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 2020 and much of the credit goes to Pines Athletic Director Brian Margelofsky, but he was quick to give credit to others.

“It’s a testament to the great student-athletes we have at Northland Pines as well as the work from the coaches who put in a lot of time and energy for sports in our district,” said Margelofsky.

Schools and athletics administrators experienced unique and additional challenges this year with school closures and the cancelation of high school activities in the spring because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Those challenges continued into this fall as Margelofsky and others made recommendations and decisions on starting fall sports.

Northland Pines received the Award the Excellence for the second straight year. Three of the 46 schools are receiving the honor for the fourth time, including Baraboo, Racine Horlick and Stoughton. Seven of this year’s recipients are being presented with the award for the third time, including Brookwood, Fort Atkinson, Kimberly, Racine Lutheran, The Prairie School, University School of Milwaukee and Watertown. 

Recipients will be presented the Award of Excellence at the fall area meetings, which will be conducted virtually, and will be recognized for the achievement on the WIAA website, in the WIAA Bulletin and at the 2021 Annual Meeting. 

Some of the criteria involving the athletes and coaches applied toward the Award of Excellence included:

• Athletic director conducts regular occurring meetings with a Captain’s Club/Team Leadership Council where sportsmanship, ethics and/or integrity is on the agenda and is discussed.

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

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

• Athletic program has no coach or player assault of an official at any level. 

• Athletic director nominates and submits 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 p WIAA oversees interscholastic athletic programs for 513 senior high schools and 49 junior high/middle level schools in its membership.