Wildcats News · WHS Athena Award Winner, Kaleesa Houston

Congratulations to Kaleesa Houston on being chosen to represent Waconia High School as our 2019 Athena Award winner! Kaleesa’s excellence and leadership in Wildcat athletics, as well as in the classroom and the community, has distinguished her as an outstanding recipient for this award.

Sponsored by the Minneapolis Athena Awards Committee, the Athena Award is a unique recognition program designed exclusively for female high school seniors. The Athena Awards program honors the athletic achievements of 55 high school seniors from Minneapolis and suburban area public and private high schools. Selection of the outstanding female athlete from each school is based on excellence in individual sports or for participation and accomplishments in team sports. Students who excel in athletic activities, who show leadership qualities, and who are model citizens are eligible for the award. On Friday, May 3rd, all 55 Athena Award winners were announced and recognized by the Minneapolis Athena Awards Committee at the luncheon in Bloomington, MN.


Kaleesa Houston, daughter of Louise and Jason, has been an outstanding member of our Cross Country team and continues to be an exceptional leader in Track and Field. To date, Kaleesa’s efforts have earned her seven varsity letters, 12 All Conference awards, six section awards and a captaincy in Cross Country and Track and Field. Kaleesa holds the school record for the 5k and shares that going to state in Cross Country her sophomore year in high school was one of her career highlights! Kaleesa is a three-time State Cross Country Running qualifier and as a Senior earned the Section 2AA Championship title with a stellar time of 18:25 in the 5k race!

Academically, Kaleesa has maintained a 3.88 GPA making the A-Honor Roll four consecutive years and has been named a four-time academic All-State winner. In addition, Kaleesa has earned three WHS Academic Letters and a Spotlight on Scholarship award in each of her athletic seasons since 2015! Kaleesa has also been very active in school and community activities participating in a variety of program offerings including: Peer Mentor, International Club, served as a graduation usher, Carver County Library volunteer and served in a leadership role as a member of the WHS Students Against Destructive Decisions organization.

This extremely humble student athlete, as a 9th grader, also earned a Black Belt in Karate! Kaleesa plans on majoring in Exercise Science at North Dakota State University with the goal of becoming a Physical Therapist while participating on their Cross Country and Track and Field teams!

Congratulations and Best Wishes Kaleesa!