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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                         

Contact: John Gillis

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (March 12, 2019) — Kayla Bolnick, a student-athlete at Wilsonville (Oregon) High School, has been selected as the Section 8 recipient of the “National High School Spirit of Sport Award” by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).

The National High School Spirit of Sport Award was created by the NFHS to recognize those individuals who exemplify the ideals of the spirit of sport that represent the core mission of education-based athletics.

As Wilsonville High School’s first para-athlete, Bolnick has guided the way for all future para-athletes within the school district, league and the state of Oregon. Bound to a wheelchair, Bolnick has not allowed that to define her as an athlete or as a person.

Among the many sports in which she has competed at Wilsonville High School are cross country, swimming and track. She has lettered three times each in track and cross country and twice in swimming. In addition, she received five all-league awards, was named Sports and Spokes National Athlete of the Year in 2016 and received the 2018 All-American High School Courage Award.

Exhibiting tremendous selflessness and a burning desire to help others, Bolnick has volunteered within Special Olympics at Wilsonville High School and has helped with the Unified Basketball Team. She has also volunteered many years with Adaptive Sports Northwest, which is a non-profit designed to enable para-athletes and to allow them to participate in activities such as swimming, track, running, rugby and glowball.

Bolnick mentored elementary school students, including a female wheelchair-bound first-grade student who recently moved into the school district from China. She has also provided help within the Special Education Department, where she organizes reading groups and helps them in their daily routines and activities. She plans to attend either San Diego (California) State University of Oregon State University to pursue a career as a special education teacher.

About the Award

The NFHS divides the nation into eight geographical sections. The states in Section 8 are Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.

Nominations for this award were generated through NFHS member state associations and reviewed by the NFHS Spirit of Sport Award Selection Committee composed of state association staff members.

While the national winner will be recognized June 29 at the NFHS Summer Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, the section winners will be recognized within their respective states and will receive awards before the end of the current school year.

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About the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS)

The NFHS, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is the national leadership organization for high school sports and fine arts activities. Since 1920, the NFHS has led the development of education-based interscholastic sports and fine arts activities that help students succeed in their lives. The NFHS sets direction for the future by building awareness and support, improving the participation experience, establishing consistent standards and rules for competition, and helping those who oversee high school sports and activities. The NFHS writes playing rules for 17 sports for boys and girls at the high school level. Through its 50 member state associations and the District of Columbia, the NFHS reaches more than 19,000 high schools and 11 million participants in high school activity programs, including more than 7.9 million in high school sports. As the recognized national authority on interscholastic activity programs, the NFHS conducts national meetings; sanctions interstate events; produces publications for high school coaches, officials and athletic directors; sponsors professional organizations for high school coaches, officials, spirit coaches, speech and debate coaches and music adjudicators; serves as the national source for interscholastic coach training; and serves as a national information resource of interscholastic athletics and activities. For more information, visit the NFHS website at

MEDIA CONTACT:                  John Gillis, 317-972-6900

                                                National Federation of State High School Associations

                                                PO Box 690, Indianapolis, Indiana 46206

                                                [email protected]