Kylen Running Hawk, senior at Morris Area High School, was recently selected as the Minnesota State High School League nominee for a national award. The MSHSL belongs to a national organization of other state associations, the National Federation of State High Schools. The NFHS offers an annual award called the “Heart of the Arts.”
Each state is allowed one nominee. State winners are now considered at the national level of competition. The National High School Heart of the Arts Award is annually conferred to eight section recipients as well as one national recipient.
Kylen Michael Running Hawk is a 19 year old Hunkpapa Lakota from the Standing Rock Nation in North and South Dakota and the Winnebago tribe of Nebraska. His Lakota name is Wica Kawitaya, He Gathers the People/Nation. Kylen is the son of Laurie Lussier and Charles Lasley, Sr and Percy Lussier. He is the grandson of Tim Krahler, Joan Snider Krahler, Joseph Running Hawk, Patty DeCora, James and Jeanette Condon. Kylen has 4 siblings, Zavier, Kruz, Kodi and Leah; their cousin Mercedes also lives with the family and attends MAHS.
Kylen graduated from 6th grade at St. Mary’s school in Morris, MN. He currently attends Morris Area High School; he was accepted at Perpich Performing Arts in Golden Valley, MN for his senior year but respectfully declined due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Kylen has been accepted at the University of MN, Morris campus for the Fall 2021 semester.
Running Hawk was nominated by Seth Kelly, English teacher, Drama advisor and musical Tech director at MAHS. The criteria for the nomination is any student, adult or group associated with the school’s performing arts program. The award covers a plethora of performing arts disciplines: Music, Speech, Debate, Theatre, Visual Arts and other performing arts activities that state associations may sponsor.
The award seeks to recognize individuals or groups who exemplify the ideals of the positive heart of the arts that represent the core mission of education-based activities. The award may be given in recognition of a specific act or for an activity of longer duration. The recipient would also need to be from an MSHSL member school.
The NFHS is the national leader and advocate for high school athletics as well as fine and performing arts programs. Within the 51 member state associations (including Washington, D.C.), they serve 19,500 high schools and more than 12 million young people.