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ST. PAUL, Minn. - First, there was shock, which was quickly replaced by raw emotion. Tears come quickly for Cretin-Derham Hall senior Alexa Klaus and when the surprise of realizing she had been deceived wore-off, one emotion quickly gave way to another.

Lexi had been led to believe that she was going to be interviewed about Equine Allies, an organization where Lexi Volunteers that offers foster care for horses. Instead, a TV news anchor and reporter, who Lexi recognized, had surprised her with an over-sized check with her name on it for $111 dollars.

"It sounds like a wonderful organization," said the newsman. "And we really do want to hear about it, but we're actually here from KARE 11 and you were nominated and have been accepted as a KARE 11 Academic All-Star and so we kind of lied to you a little bit, is that OK?"

Lexi's one word response, before the tears started to flow was simply, "Yeah!"

With a weighted GPA of 4.5, Alexa Klaus is one sharp cookie. She's captain of the math team and a member of the National Honor Society, she plays the oboe, she's a member of the color guard and she also turned-up in the KARE 11 Backyard last spring when she helped her CDH physics class demonstrate an experiment on KARE 11 Sunrise.

"I love just everything about this school," says Lexi. "From the academics to the atmosphere, I have so many friends and everybody's close. It's just an amazing environment to be in."

Lexi has something of an amazing environment at home, too. Her dad is a horse trainer and Lexi's been riding and showing horses since she was two. It's a love affair that only deepened through her involvement with Equine Allies, where she's fostering a pony named Pumpkin.

"Basically, what we do is we're taking care of her and we hope to find her a home for life, sometime soon," Lexi said.

Lexi scored a 33 on her ACT test, opening college doors. But, right now she's content to enjoy her senior year and the people who've helped her become an Academic All-Star.

"There are so many amazing people, especially that go here," says Lexi. "It feels so incredible to be picked out of everyone."

So incredible it just might bring tears to the eyes.

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