Dan Rafuse, a senior at Norton High School, was selected as the recipient of the MIAA Student-Athlete of the Month Award for December 2012.
A member of the Norton High School basketball and outdoor track teams, the 18-year-old serves as a captain of both squads. He is the leading scorer on the basketball team and top defensive player. As a starter during his junior year, Rafuse helped lead the Norton basketball team to its first ever Tri-Valley League Championship and first boys’ basketball league championship in 24 seasons. During his first year on the outdoor track team as a junior, Rafuse became the Tri-Valley League champion in the triple jump and helped lead the Lancers to an undefeated season and first ever Tri-Valley League championship as well.
“I feel honored to have been given such an exclusive award that includes a very small amount of students,” Rafuse said. “To be named something like that is a testament to my personal hard work but also the work of those individuals that helped me get to this point. Things like this aren't received very often so naturally I wasn't expecting it.”
Academically, Rafuse has earned a 3.75 GPA while taking a challenging course load of advanced placement and honors courses. He is known for his positive attitude and is very involved in student leadership activities within the school. As a member of the Norton Leadership Council, Rafuse assists the school administration in conducting programs for underclassmen while working with younger students as a role model and peer leader. In addition, Rafuse has been a leader for the DECA program in the school, helping to increase participation in the business program.
“He has superb organizational and communication skills and uses his unrivaled work ethic to be successful at everything he engages in,” said Norton High School teacher and coach Marc Liberatore. “His awesome interpersonal skills allow him to be a natural leader in the classroom for his fellow peers during group projects and activities. Simply put, Dan is the total package that every teacher, coach and advisor hope for and he truly epitomizes the word student-athlete. His leadership skills have garnered him two historic league championships, but more importantly, the total respect of the entire school community.”
Rafuse’s favorite sport is basketball and has been since he was a child.
“To see it leave my life in the next month will be very difficult,” he said.
The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) Student-Athlete of the Month Award is presented on a monthly basis to one male and one female student-athlete who display excellence in the areas of academics, athletics and community service. Students in grades 9 through 12 who attend MIAA member schools are eligible to receive the award. Monthly award winners will receive a certificate of recognition and be featured on MIAA.net. Nominations for the award may be submitted by principals, athletic directors, teachers, coaches, guidance counselors or other school administrators. A complete list of award recipients and finalists can be found under the Educational Athletics and Leadership sections at www.miaa.net.
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