AUDUBON — Braden Wessel will be walking down the aisle to receive his diploma during Audubon High School’s Graduation on Sunday, May 15, but he’s already had to make a walk on stage to receive an award. On May 1 he was among 419 Iowa students who were presented with the 2022 Governor’s Scholar Program award.
Wessel said he was surprised when he found out he was among the honorees. “I thought it was very cool to get that award.”
He admitted, “I hadn’t really heard of the Governor’s Scholar award,” but then found out he wasn’t the first in his family to get it. “I found out my sister (Keaton) got it a couple years ago.”
On May 1 he went down to the Iowa Events Center for the award ceremony, and said there were many other students there, along with their parents. He received a certificate and will get a plaque with a photo later.
Wessel grew up in the Audubon area, and attends Audubon High School. After graduation he plans to attend Iowa State University for business.
His four years in high school have been different than for students in the past: his graduating class had a two year interruption thanks to COVID 19.
He thought it was a weird four years with COVID, “It kind of threw a wrench in everything,” he said, “In sports, in school and a lot of other stuff.”
Despite the interruptions, Wessel has been busy over those four years with sports like baseball, basketball, track and football, and also participates in Student Senate, National Honor Society, Audubon FFA and 4-H.
And while he’s excited to be finally getting out of school, he said his favorite part of being in school wasn’t a class or activity he participated in.
“I would just say (my favorite part) was being around my friends and spending time with them,” he said.
He also wanted to say thank you “to all of the teachers and other people who have affected me in sports and academics throughout (my years in) school.”
Braden is the son of Troy and Mandy Wessel.
The 2022 Governor’s Scholar Program began in 2003, and the Governor’s Office is presenting the award along with the Iowa High School Athletic Association and the Iowa Farm Bureau, the title sponsor.
Iowa seniors are chosen by their schools as their highest academic achievers for their first seven semesters. The largest 64 schools in Iowa are invited to select two students while all other schools may select one senior. Students being honored receive a photo plaque and certificate commemorating their achievement.