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Minnesota Student All-Stars Celebrated for Academic Achievement

Minnesota’s Academic All-Stars received recognition for their academic success on Aug. 7 at the 24th annual Gathering of Champions. The event is sponsored by Synergy & Leadership Exchange (Synergy) 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 hour-long 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. More than 40 dignitaries, including Secretary of State Steve Simon, Representative Kim Norton, Minnesota Department of Education Chief of Staff Charlene Briner, along with other Minnesota Department of Education staff, educational leaders and business executives, 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 commemorative ribbon. As they exited 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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