Five Exceptional Edina Students Who Love their Community

Five Edina students share what they love most about the city they call home.
William enjoys the outdoors on the banks of Minnehaha Creek at Arden Park in Edina.

Success comes in many different forms, as demonstrated by these five Edina-based students. Not only do they participate in a diverse array of activities, they attend different schools and have unique academic interests. But while their interests vary, these outstanding students share a love for their hometown and make a positive impact in our community, each in their own way.

William Rundquist
Edina High School

Success begins in athletics well before the varsity level. William Rundquist embraced his time playing junior varsity soccer for the Hornets, where he has also been team captain. He helped the Hornets go 15-1 and win their division last season. “It was very fun playing on a team with a wide variety of players including freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors,” William says. “My brother, Peter, also played on the JV squad, which was a fun experience because we had great chemistry and made many plays together.”

William also competes with the Hornets’ Nordic ski team and will serve as a team captain next season. During the spring season, he runs track. And with an extra-cold winter and back-to-back frigid springs, his enthusiasm for being outdoors works well in both sports. “[The weather] can be a negative thing, but also a positive thing, because getting fresh air and experiencing the outdoors, no matter the weather, is something I’ve always enjoyed,” William says.

Besides sports, William has played trumpet in the Edina High School concert band and also plays piano. He works on his musical skills for both instruments through private lessons. “I like to work on one piano piece at a time because I can focus on making it the best it can be technically and musically,” William says.

Academically, he always focuses on putting forth his best effort. William says, “At this point in my academic career I really don’t have any favorite subjects, but I like classes with great teachers who are interested in their subjects.”

In his free time, William enjoys music, biking, long-boarding and camping in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. He says, “I love making music with my friends, hanging out and taking vacations with my family.”

Favorite Edina eats: Dairy Queen and Raku

On William

  • Luchino Visconti shirt: $115
  • Citizens of Humanity Sid Nigel denim: $209
  • Ben Sherman bag: $195

Kate revisits the place where many memories were made, on the ice rink at Arden Park.

Kate Hallett

Kate Hallett, an Edina native and student at Visitation in Mendota Heights, gives back to the community in many ways, excels academically and can play a solid game of hockey. “I would describe my approach to hockey with one word – passion,” Kate says. “I don’t play hockey because I feel as though I have to; rather, I play hockey because I simply love the game.”

As a defender, Kate helped the St. Paul United girls’ hockey team reach their first-ever state hockey tournament this past winter. The team took fourth place. “The second I step into the locker room, I feel a sense of community and sincere love for teammates, coaches, and the game,” she says. “There is nothing like standing next to all those wonderful girls on the blue line, especially in a state tournament.”

For Kate, hockey has been a way to become a better person through hard work, discipline and working toward goals. She will take that drive to Harvard, where she will play hockey after graduating from high school. “I recognize how blessed I am for an opportunity to play at such an outstanding school and for truly remarkable coaches,” Kate says.

She also enjoys math for its challenge of problem solving. Beyond academics and hockey, Kate serves with the leadership committee and Life Club at Visitation. She volunteers, tutoring children at Sharing and Caring Hands, and helps distribute communion at Visitation and Our Lady of Grace in Edina. Kate credits her family with helping her grow in her faith. She says, “My faith empowers me to do great things. It is something I will never take for granted.”

Memorable moment: Playing pond hockey at Arden Park

On Kate

  • 525 Linen shirt: $65
  • Adjustable cami: $41
  • Joe’s denim jeans: $175

Peter is a biking enthusiast, shown here at 50th and France in Edina.

Peter Kiesel

Peter Kiesel is an enterprising individual in the Breck School community. Whether with the school’s business club or athletic teams, Kiesel helps make successful ventures happen. He’s played for Breck’s football team as a kicker and has been part of the soccer team for two seasons. The football team made it to section semifinals during Peter’s tenure, and he’s helped the soccer team reach section finals twice. “It was a juggling act and exhausting doing both [sports] while trying to balance schoolwork at the same time,” Peter says.

So he decided to play only soccer during his junior year and focus more on schoolwork. Peter enjoys math classes but also has an interest in Chinese, which he’s studied since freshman year.

In winter, Peter competes with Breck’s alpine ski team and has participated in the state meet at Giants Ridge in Biwabik. “We have high hopes for next season, and have the chance at being one of the top teams in the state,” he says.

Peter also competes with the Mustang tennis team in the spring. “It’s a really nice sport because it’s a break from really intense competition,” he says. “A lot of people play tennis, so it’s also a time to socialize with friends.”

Besides sports, Peter takes part in the business club at Breck. The club’s main project has been to start a coffee shop in the school. “A lot of students stop at Starbucks or Caribou before school. If we had a coffee shop in the school, it would be really convenient,” he says.

In his free time, Peter enjoys listening to country music and going to Skyzone indoor trampoline park. He says, “I love trampolines. They provide a way to exercise when I am not in a sport, but without really knowing that I am exercising.”

On Peter:

  • Grey Luchiano Visconti shirt: $105
  • Citizens of Humanity SID midnight
  • denim pants: $209

Annie, a Hornets soccer team captain, and her dog Dempsey, named after Clint Dempsey, a U.S. soccer player.

Annie Engen
Edina High School

Annie Engen competes for Edina High School’s soccer and basketball teams in two contrasting roles. She’s been a starter for the Hornets soccer team and will serve as a team captain this fall. During the 2013 soccer season, Annie helped the Hornets win the Lake Conference title. She won’t forget the moment before their last game when Hornets coach Simon Whitehead received a call from the Wayzata coach to say his team had tied with Minnetonka. That tie sealed the Hornets’ title. “Simon held his phone up to our team and we all screamed ‘Thank you’ into the phone,” Annie says.

She plays a different role on the basketball team. At 5 feet 3 inches in a conference where many players are nearly 6 feet tall, Annie says, “I see my role as a spirit lifter and the kid who motivates others through hard work and hustle.”

Annie also volunteers with the high school DECA program, a group for emerging leaders and entrepreneurs. Her paper and presentation at the DECA state conference won first place; she went on to compete at the DECA national competition in Atlanta. “For the first time, I feel like I am using my writing, math and speaking skills and applying them to real-life situations,” Annie says. As a DECA officer, she garnered some hands-on experience through helping run the school’s coffee shop, DECAfe. Once a week, before school, Annie stocks up on doughnuts for the coffee shop.

Academically, Annie most enjoys studying French; she attended Normandale French Immersion Elementary School in Edina. “My classmates are the same people I went to kindergarten with, so we are all super-close,” Annie says. “I love all of the projects we do in French class and my teacher, Madame Caster, is great.”

Favorite Edina Restaurant: Tavern on France

On Annie

  • Union of Angels dress: $125
  • French Kande earrings: $69
  • Avant Garde of Paris bracelet: $115

Tori on the set of Fiddler on the Roof at Edina High School’s Performing Arts Center.

Tori Adams
Edina High School

Anyone who has attended a musical or theatrical performance at Edina High School in the past few years has witnessed Tori Adams’ talent and enthusiasm for the arts. Tori has appeared in several theatrical productions and also participates in choir and Current Jam. She started in theater at an early age, which led to her involvement in shows all around the metro area. “I got involved with theater when I was around 10, primarily because my older sister had a passion for it before me,” Tori says. “I was inspired and in love with how [my sister] lit up the stage.”

Her sister also inspired her to get involved in opera about three years ago. Tori started learning more about opera with her voice teacher, Dale Kruse. “He has taught me more in three years than I ever knew I could learn,” she says. “And most importantly, he makes it fun.”

Tori wants to balance music and theater as she moves on from high school. She hopes to find a college that will allow her to participate in musical theater and opera.

Tori attributes much of her success and inspiration to her parents, both gifted musicians. Her father is a violist for the Minnesota Orchestra, and her mother plays violin for the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. “During times of desire to be in shows, struggles with difficult music and even during some meltdowns, my parents have always been there to help me progress and teach me valuable skills,” Tori says.

Besides the arts, Tori enjoys studying English and psychology. Whether studying a character in literature or an actual person, she likes learning about how people work.

Favorite Place in Edina: Edina Performing Arts Center

On Tori

  • SKY Turquoise leather trimmed maxi dress: $195
  • French Kande Necklace: $150
  • Avant Garde of Paris bracelet: $145