• FriFeb12 ALC Celebration of Excellence 10:00 AM to 11:15 AMFridley Community Center
    • MonFeb15 NO SCHOOL - Tiger Club closed Presidents' Day
    • TueFeb16 School Board Meeting 7:30 PM to 9:00 PMFridley City Hall
    • WedFeb17 Hayes Conferences 4:00 PM to 8:00 PMHayes Elementary School
    • ThuFeb18 High School Registration Conferences 4:00 PM to 7:30 PMFridley High School

Fridley High School student artists in photo, from left to right: (front row): Julia Swendsrud, Nut Puy, and Sanela Karic. (Back row): Christen Doe, Amir Khadar, Amy Walus, Olivia Rossi, and Emily Birchem.


Fridley High School Diploma Programme Visual Art and Photography 2 students were awarded an impressive 16 Minnesota Scholastic Art Awards (1 Silver Key Portfolio, 4 Gold Key, 6 Silver Key, and 5 Honorable Mentions). All Gold Key works will continue on to the National Scholastic Art Competition in New York City with a reception at Carnegie Hall on June 2, 2016. National winners will be announced in May.

The Minnesota Scholastic Art Awards is the highest art recognition for students in grades 7-12. This year the contest received nearly 3,327 individual artworks and portfolios, with judges viewing a total of 4,293 works of art. Only 311 works of art and portfolios were awarded a Gold Key, making 2016 one of the most competitive years.

Students who received a Gold Key award will have their winning pieces exhibited at the Regis Center for the Arts West Gallery at the University of Minnesota. Awards Ceremonies will be held February 20 at the University’s Weisman Art Museum.

Gold Key Awards winners:
Amy Walus (Digital Art), “Over the River”; Julia Swendsrud (Photography), “Recharge”; Christen Doe (Photography), “Solitude”; Sanela Karic (Photography), “Ask Yourself.”

Silver Key Awards winners:
Olivia Rossi (Photography Portfolio), “Banal is beautiful”; Olivia Rossi (Photography), “Stairway to Heaven”; Olivia Rossi (Photography), “Plants in Window”; Emily Birchem (Photography), “A Love Story”; Nut Puy (Digital Art), “Offering”; Amy Walus (Digital Art), “Lightning Ride”; Julia Swendsrud (Photography), “Submerged.”

Honorable Mentions:
Amir Khadar (Digital Art), “As Human As You”; Amir Khadar (Digital Art), “You don’t know Me”; Olivia Rossi (Photography), “First and Central”; Olivia Rossi (Photography), “Me First”; Olivia Rossi (Photography), “Car Troubles.”


With their advisors standing behind them, the 2016 IB Diploma candidates, from left to right are:
Amy Walus, Amanda Marquardt, Katherine Stevenson, Annika Paulson, Erin Larson, Katherine Barrett,
Praise Hall, Margaret Bergman, Sara Johnson, Joseph Herder, Parker Brady and Keanan Allen.


The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme at Fridley High School held its 6th annual Extended Essay Silver Platter Celebration on December 21. Included in the event was the awarding of IB Diplomas to those from the graduating class of 2015.

In her speech, Jessica Baker, Diploma Programme Coordinator, acknowledged that committing to the curriculum is strenuous.

“The IB journey is a challenging one. I have yet to meet a Fridley student who goes through the Diploma Programme without facing challenges, but the learning and character building will serve you well for a lifetime,” she said.

The extended essay is an in-depth study of a focused topic, chosen within a subject group, intended to promote high-level research and writing skills, intellectual discovery and creativity. The product is a piece of formally presented, structured writing in which ideas and findings are communicated in a reasoned and coherent manner, appropriate to the subject chosen. The 4,000-word essay encourages students to develop the independent research skills expected at colleges and universities.

“I go to Boston University, which is a large, private research institution,” said Drew Bergman, keynote speaker from the Class of 2013 and a junior at Boston University. “Most of my classmates went to really expensive, prestigious and private high schools. The other ones are international, coming from all over the world. Naturally, as a freshman, I was intimidated by this. I thought, ‘How could my education from Fridley compare?’

“It was meeting the international students that gave me confidence, because 80% of them came from IB schools. And not only did it give me some common ground, it gave me the confidence and reassurance the education I received at Fridley – though I was coming from Minnesota and wasn’t paying $60,000 a year to go to high school – put me on a level playing field with my classmates,” he shared.

Bergman congratulated this year’s seniors on their work, and urged juniors to work hard and trust in their advisors. This year’s candidate pool, consisting of 14 students, then introduced their respective subjects and discussed their essays with attendees.


Fridley Public Schools January 2016 Employee of the Month is Ronnie Solz, a paraprofessional at Hayes Elementary School.  Ronnie is an asset to Hayes and the Fridley School District.  She is very knowledgeable in the media center and is always willing to help both staff and students as they are looking for books or accessing software in the media center. 

“She does an excellent job staying current when it comes to teacher’s expectations for students in the media center,” said John Piotraschke, principal of Hayes Elementary School.  “She also keeps up with what they are learning in the classroom, so she can better help teachers and students find materials that are associated with the topic they are learning.”

Solz works closely with teacher Amy Rouzer.   “She compliments Amy’s teaching style by communicating with Amy on lesson plans so that she is able to help students as Amy is teaching,” said Piotraschke.  Since Solz also helps in the lab, she has learned things as Amy is teaching so she can help students as they proceed through their lessons.  

Solz colleagues describe her as kind and caring to staff and students.  She is willing to learn anything that might help in her job and she performs her duties with a smile and a happy disposition.


Fridley Public Schools’ individual choirs converged upon the high school auditorium on January 12, 2016 to present American Folk Favorites. Hayes Early Bird, Stevenson Early Bird, 6th and 7th Grade, 8th Grade, Bel Canto and Concert Choirs all performed to a packed house before combining for one big closing number, “Bile ‘Em Cabbage Down.”   The choir concert was provided free of charge to the Fridley community.


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