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      Annual Gathering of Champions Recognizes Academic Achievement in Minnesota’s Students

Minnesota’s Academic All-Stars received recognition for their success on Aug. 2 at the 22nd Annual Gathering of Champions.. The event is sponsored by Synergy & Leadership Exchange and was held at the Mall of America. The recognition ceremony honored students who were nominated by their educators and academic coaches. 
 
Nearly 4,000 students, friends and family attended one of 10 45-minute shows where All-Stars and their guests enjoyed entertainment by Peter Bloedel of Perpetual Vaudeville, followed by Minnesota trivia questions where students had the chance to win exciting prizes donated by universities, companies and organizations throughout the state. Each ceremony included VIPs from education, government, business and industry. More than 30 dignitaries, including Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, congratulated the All-Stars while Ameriprise Financial retirees served as volunteers for the event. 
 
The ceremonies closed with the All-Stars walking across the stage, shaking hands with the dignitaries and receiving their certificates of achievement. As they exited The Great Room, All-Stars signed their names on the giant roster of All-Stars and returning All-Stars searched for their signatures on the banners from previous years. Before and after attending their recognition ceremony, All-Stars and their guests enjoyed discounts at stores throughout the mall and rides in Nickelodeon Universe®.
 
Founded in 1990, the annual Gathering of Champions event recognizes and celebrates the academic excellence of K-12 students statewide. Students are selected as Minnesota’s Academic All-Stars by their schools, with the recommended selection criteria including: top academic achievers, as measured by school policy or practice; students who have made a dramatic, positive turnaround in their academic work and achievement; or students who have finished first in a regional, state, national or international academic competition endorsed by the Minnesota Academic League. 

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