BSM senior wins national Heart of the Arts Award


Ashley Ortizcazarin

Ross was given the announcement of her win by MSHSL representative Amy Doherty.

Andrew Plouff, News Editor

Senior Josie Ross recently won the “National High School Heart of the Arts Award.” Ross was nominated for the award by the Minnesota State High School League after winning the ExCEl Award last year. After being selected by the MSHSL, Ross was selected for the award over every other state representative in the country, making her the first representative from Minnesota to win the award.

The “National High School Heart of the Arts Award” focuses on rewarding students who demonstrate excellence in the performing arts, both inside and outside of school. At BSM, Ross has participated in numerous activities, including the One Act Play that competes in the MSHSL competition. “I really like the One Act because, along with it being competitive, it’s a smaller group and it’s never a musical, which means it focuses on the art of acting itself,” Ross said.

Ross has also been a member of the Speech and Debate teams since the seventh grade, both of which she became a captain for her senior year. Although she was a member of the team for six years, Ross found debate to be her most rigorous activity. “Debate is probably the activity that I find the most challenging because it doesn’t come naturally. Debate has helped me the most academically, but it definitely was a challenge,” Ross said.

Along with being involved in the theater department, Ross has participated in NHS, the BSM acapella group, Swimming, Choir, and the Knight Errant. Although she is involved in many different activities, Ross cites organization as a way to keep her schedule on track. “Organization is the key, or keeping stuff in a planner. My dad taught me from a very young age to keep my day organized,” Ross said.

Outside of BSM, Ross has worked numerous internships at different theater companies, such as the Jungle Theatre and the Other Tiger Productions. Ross has also directed and student directed multiple shows, one of which was “Shrek the Musical” at the Chaska Valley Family Theatre. “That was my first time as the artistic director and not the student director, and it was also the largest show that I’ve ever worked on for a directing team; it was a 100 person cast, plus a 30-person crew and orchestra. It was interesting to work with people that I had worked in shows with as an actor, and learn how to work with them as a leader,” Ross said.

In June, Ross will go to Providence, Rhode Island to accept her award in person, and she is excited to receive it. “It’s truly an honor [to win the award]. I was not expecting it by any means. I’ve done a lot of stuff outside of school that people don’t necessarily know about, and so I think it’s cool to bring awareness to those things so that people can go participate in them,” Ross said.