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Olivia Hillestad Receives 225th Riverview School District Bridge-Builder Award

Olivia Hillestad, a graduate from Cedarcrest High School in the Class of 2022, was recently named the 225th recipient of the Riverview School District’s Bridge-Builder Award. Periodically, throughout a school year, Bridge-Builder Awards are given to those who help further the mission and goals in Riverview.

Nominated by Cedarcrest High School Assistant Principal Mike Ruhland, Hillestad received the award and recognition at the June 14, 2022, School Board Meeting.

The Bridge-Builder Award consists of a lapel pin and poem, given in memory of Donna Polacek, the district’s long-time Personnel Director who always went the extra mile to give much more than was expected to the staff and students of


Each recipient’s pin is numbered and recorded commemoratively in a record book located in the Superintendent’s Office. Since the award’s inception in 1997, 225 individuals have been named Bridge-Builders by the Riverview School District.

Olivia’s nomination reads as follows:

“Olivia has navigated being student body executive officer and president at CHS during the most stressful and important times in our history. During Olivia’s junior year as a member of the executive board, Olivia was instrumental in helping the student body through remote learning and hybrid learning. She became the face and voice of calm and school spirit during that year. Because of this, she was an overwhelming selection by her peers to be student body president this year.

This year, Olivia has led our school through many stressful and traumatic events. (She) shared important information with the staff, students, and school board and was always a calming voice for everyone. She has led the student body through these times with clarity and voice that cannot be matched. The passage, ‘The Bridge-Builder’ perfectly encapsulates the environment and mindset that Olivia has followed on her path at CHS.

I do not take this nomination lightly. Over my many years I have had the privilege to work with amazing students who have made changes to CHS that live on. But I know in my heart and brain that Olivia has been some of ‘the glue’ that has helped hold CHS together during the past two years.”

On the heels of her graduation from Cedarcrest High School, we extend further congratulations to Olivia Hillestad on earning this prestigious honor in our district!


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