Nearly a hundred Schreiber High School student-athletes filed into the auditorium Thursday afternoon with no idea why they were there.
The surprise was for two student-athletes, who were recognized in front of their peers, teachers, coaches and families for a national leadership award.
Schreiber High School senior Ally Carillo, 17, and junior Sam Mills, 16, received the GREEN13 award from LEAD ‘EM UP, an award granted to just 13 student-athletes nationwide for their exceptional leadership and character.
LEAD ‘EM UP is an organization that promotes leadership in athletic programs nationwide and provides leadership workshops and exercises.
The GREEN13 award is part of the organization’s Green Team program that recognizes student-athletes for their leadership.
Students are awarded the recognition for exhibiting “green” leadership and character, and are nominated by their coaches and teachers.
Schreiber High School previously had a student-athlete, Christian Schwirzbin, win the award in 2021.
Nick Schratwieser, director of health, physical education and athletics for the Port Washington School District, said he feels very proud of the hard work that Mills and Carillo, the coaches and all the school’s student-athletes have put in this year.
He said it’s an honor to receive the national award because it is a selective honor.
“For us to be able to get two of those award winners is a true, true honor and just a testament to all of the work that they’re putting in on a day to day basis,” Schratwieser said.
Carillo, who has participated on the high school’s varsity volleyball, softball and track and field teams, said she was absolutely shocked when her name was called to receive the award but was overcome with happiness.
Carillo’s three coaches spoke about her character, all sharing how impactful her leadership she has been on every team she’s joined.
“Most players join a team and the hope is when they graduate that the team influences them to grow and become a better player and a better person,” varsity softball coach Eric Sutz said. “A true few, the truly special, join the team and elevate that team to a higher level, not just through their physical skills, but more importantly with passion, energy and grit. Ally is a unique person who immediately elevates anything she becomes a part of.”
Carillo’s varsity volleyball coach said “her personality just is bigger than any gymnasium [they have] ever played in.”
She thanked her coaches and teammates for the award, attributing her success to them as well.
“I definitely would have not become the leader and teammate that I am without them,” Carillo said. “Team is not just me, it’s everybody and everybody on my team is amazing and always helped me become the person that I am.”
Mills, who has played on the varsity volleyball and basketball teams, said that he too was surprised to receive the award but is grateful that his coaches recognized him as deserving of the it.
“It was just a great feeling to be noticed for doing stuff that I do everyday,” Mills said.
Varsity boys basketball head coach Sean Dooley said that the award is designated for a special person.
“If you know Sam, special is the word that describes him,” Dooley said. “He is an amazing teammate, he is selfless beyond belief, he cares more about his teammates than he does himself and that’s rare in the high school space.”
While both students received national recognition for their leadership, they also were awarded with free Chick-fil-A for a year.
“Getting Chick-fil-A for being myself is cool,” Mills said.