Florness, Schultz named WSHS Triple ‘A’ Award Winners

Florness, Schultz named WSHS Triple ‘A’ Award Winners
Xavier Schultz and anna Florness pose for a picture

The WSHS Triple 'A' Winners for 2023 are Xavier Schultz, left, and Anna Florness.

Three-sport athletes. A challenging course load. A love for music. And big plans for the future. 

Winona Senior High School students Anna Florness and Xavier Schultz share many of the same qualities and interests. They also now share a sought-after honor. 

Triple ‘A’ Award Winner.

Florness and Schultz were named as the Winona Senior High School winners of the MSHSL Academics, Arts and Athletics Award, commonly known as the Triple ‘A’ Award. The award honors high school seniors throughout the state who have better than a 3.0 grade point average and who participate in MSHSL-sponsored athletic and fine arts activities. 

Florness takes PSEO classes at Winona State University in the morning and AP classes in the afternoon at the high school. If her house was on fire, the first thing she would grab is her tenor sax, she said in her award application. 

“I am blessed to have found the Winona bands early on,” Florness said. “It has afforded me the advantages of performing all over the country. My band directors are always encouraging me to perform and to mentor others.”

She still finds time to participate in three sports — cross country, basketball and track and field. She admits that while she may not have the best times or make the game-winning shot, she will have the funniest jokes and the best playlist. 

“There is so much value in developing the ability to compete,” Florness says, “but what is most rewarding is competing with my amazing teammates.”

Florness plans to attend Penn State to major in statistics and mathematics — and she may be bringing her tenor sax along with her to play in the marching band and jazz band. 

Schultz also takes PSEO and AP classes, and he also participates in academic-related activities like the Knowledge Bowl, Model Legislature and National Honor Society. 

He started as a cello player in the orchestra in middle school, and later switched to saxophone in high school. 

“I try not to take playing music for granted, because it always makes me a happier person,” he said. 

He has expanded his artistic pursuits over the past few years, taking Advanced Painting, Advanced Studio Art and film production classes that sparked an interest. 

He says that playing three sports at a competitive level has been the best part of his high school career. Schultz plays soccer and is on the Nordic skiing and track and field teams. 

“Sports have pushed me to be disciplined, accept disappointments and enjoy the team aspect with a wide variety of people,” Schultz said. 

Schultz plans to attend UW-Milwaukee next fall to pursue a film production major.