Kocher receives MAAP STARS Student of the Year award

Danae Milbrandt
Tori Kocher

Victoria Kocher of Montevideo was one of three students statewide to receive the Minnesota Association of Alternative Programs Success, Teamwork, Achievement, Recog­nition, Self-esteem (MAAP STARS) Student of the Year Award. This marks the first time a student from Montevideo’s Area Learning Center has ever received this honor.

“Victoria Kocher was nominated for this honor because she embodies all of the characteristics listed in the criteria for this award,” said Emily Dirksen MAAP STARS Advisor. “She has been an active member of MN Valley ALC MAAP STARS program for three years, and during that time has competed in various events, including Entrepreneurship, Com­munity Service Project, Career Portfolio and LifeSmarts.”

Dirksen added that Kocher was awarded plaques during the competitions to represent her superior work on projects and presentations.

“Tori is also a great student,” Dirksen continued. “She took PSEO classes during this last semester of her senior year, and even with all of the obstacles thrown at her during the COVID pandemic, she was able to be very successful in these classes.”

According Dirksen, nominations for Student of the Year can be made by any MAAP member, and are open for any alternative school student who demonstrates outstanding dedication, service, and commitment to the impact, values and mission of learning options education, as well as make significant individual progress to their program, to MAAP, MAAP STARS, and/or their community.

Winning nominations are selected based upon the nominee’s embodiment of MAAP’s vision and their mission, specifically the value of innovation or service that will highlight their impact on the larger learning community.

Kocher plans to attend Ridgewater College in Willmar next fall, where she will pursue a career as a vet tech.

Dirksen nominated Kocher for this award.

She said, “I’m so excited for Tori, as she is very deserving of this recognition. I have no doubt that she will be successful in any endeavor she pursues in the future!”