Nikolaevsk student wins Wendy’s Heisman

Nikolaevsk High School student Blake Klaich has been named one of two students in the state to be awarded the Wendy’s High School Heisman.
Begun in 1994, the Wendy’s High School Heisman Program, in partnership with the Heisman Memorial Trophy Committee, has recognized more than 250,000 of the country’s “most esteemed high school seniors,” according to information provided on the program website. The award winners are well-rounded young men and women who excel in learning performing and leading in the classroom, on the field and in their communities.
Klaich’s application for the award included documentation of his grades, awards he has received as an athlete, his community service involvement and a personal essay. Nikolaevsk teacher Heather Pancratz reviewed the entire packet for content, before being submitted online.
The awards are given at several levels, beginning within the school and working up to national finalists. State winners are determined by ACT, Inc., with a panel of program judges selecting national winners.
Progressing beyond Alaska’s 40 state finalists — 20 boys and 20 girls — Klaich and Karissa Carroll of Nenana High School were named the two state winners.
They will each receive a silver medal, a Heisman patch and a $50 Wendy’s gift card.
“You don’t get a scholarship, but this is an award that’s very good to put on applications,” said Klaich.
— McKibben Jackinsky