SPOTLIGHT

    • MonMay27 NO SCHOOL - Memorial Day (Tiger Club CLOSED)
    • TueMay28 Early Childhood Screening 11:00 AM to 6:00 PMFCC
    • WedMay29 Last Day for Seniors
    • WedMay29 Early Childhood Screening 10:00 AM to 5:00 PMFCC
    • ThuMay30 Early Childhood Screening 9:00 AM to 4:00 PMFCC
Fridley High School (FHS) hosted the 61st Scholastic Achievement Banquet on May 16, 2019, celebrating the hard work and achievement of the class of 2019. The banquet, sponsored by the Fridley Lions Club, is held annually to honor FHS students who have earned high achievements. The Fridley Schools Foundation gave out more than 70 scholarships totaling over $120,000, thanks to generous donations from community members and organizations. This year’s event also included the following highlights:

IB Diploma Candidates, IB CP Candidates and IB Scholars

This year, 15 students completed all the requirements of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP), earning official designations as “IB DP Candidates” and are eligible to earn the internationally-recognized IB diploma. These requirements include: six DP courses and exams, Theory of Knowledge course and final essay, 4,000 word Extended Essay, and completion of community service requirements.

Through the high school’s IB Career-related Programme (CP), four students completed the requirements of the IB CP. These students have taken took part in the rigorous academics of DP and focused their learning specific to their career fields. They have explored skills for success in the workplace, studied an additional language and completed in community service requirements.

Earning an “IB Scholar” designation means that students completed at least four IB DP courses, including the completion of the final IB exams. This year, 36 students will graduate with the “IB Scholar” distinction.

Honors, Presidential Award, and Associate of Arts Degree

A total of 81 students earned honors designations, which requires a GPA of 3.25 or above. Nineteen students were awarded the Presidential Education Award, which requires a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above, as well as receiving a score at or above the 80th percentile on a nationally-recognized standard achievement test or nationally-standardized college admission examination. In addition, four students were recognized for earning an Associate of Arts degree – three who earned their degrees at Anoka-Ramsey Community College, and one student who earned her degree at Minneapolis Community and Technical College through the high school’s Post-Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) program.

Fridley-Columbia Heights Rotary Club STRIVE program

The STRIVE (Students Taking a Renewed Interest in the Value of Education) program recognized 19 seniors currently participating in the program. Sponsored through the Fridley-Columbia Heights Rotary Club, STRIVE is a scholarship program that recognizes and rewards students who show the greatest improvement in academic achievement during their senior year. The program challenges students to improve their work, gain self-confidence and discover the satisfaction of achievement.

Sterling Arts Award

The Fridley Alumni Choir awarded two students with the Sterling Arts Award. Each student was given a $2,000 scholarship to pursue the fine arts in post-secondary education.

Fridley Activities and Athletics

Fridley Athletics also gave out various awards, including the Tiger For Life, Fridley Activity Trifecta, Fridley Athletic Trifecta, Fridley Arts Trifecta, Triple A Award, Athena Award, Senior MVPs, Senior Athletic Hall of Fame, Marine Corps Semper Fidelis, Marine Corps Scholastic Excellence, and the Marine Corps Outstanding Athlete Award.

Thank you to the generous supporters of our Fridley Community Scholarship program:

Fridley American Legion Post 303 Auxiliary, American Red Cross, Bob’s Produce, John Crane Family, Flathmann Family, Fridley Class of 1967, Fridley Education Association, Fridley Hockey Salmon Derby, Fridley Schools Foundation, Fridley School Board, Friends of Fridley Education Foundation, Fridley/Columbia Heights Kiwanis Key Club, Kopp Family Foundation, Fridley Lions Club, Joseph and Irene Maertens, Massof Family, Mickman Brothers, Mondloh Family, Myhra Family, NE Kiwanis Club, Philip Osterlund, Renee Van Gorp, Vital, and Fridley/Columbia Heights Rotary STRIVE Program.

Congratulations Fridley High School Class of 2019! We wish you the best of luck in your post-secondary pursuits!


  

Congratulations to Fridley High School (FHS) juniors Yangchen Namgyal and Asanti Ahmed who earned the Harvard Prize Book Award and Yale Book Award, respectively. Both Yangchen and Asanti were chosen because they are the top-ranked students in the FHS junior class.

The Harvard prize is given through the Harvard Club of Minnesota to an outstanding member of a high school junior class who demonstrates excellence in scholarship, as well as high achievement in other areas such as community service. Yangchen was awarded the book, “Justice, What’s The Right Thing To Do?”

The Yale award recognizes juniors for outstanding character and intellectual promise. Asanti received the book, “A Little History of the United States” through the Yale Alumni Association of the Northwest.

Congratulations Yangchen and Asanti!

Pictured above: Asanti Ahmed, Fridley High School Principal Patty Hand, Yangchen Namgyal

Fridley Public Schools May 2019 Employee of the Month is Ronalie “Ronnie” Solz! Ronnie works as a media clerk at Hayes Elementary School.

“Ronnie demonstrates caring for students and staff through all that she does,” said Hayes Principal John Piotraschke. “She takes on tasks willingly and helps every student with kindness and full attention.” Piotraschke added that Ronnie is equally attentive to staff and assists whenever possible and frequently contributes to fundraising efforts and staff events.

“Her generosity of spirit is demonstrated in every interaction,” said Piotraschke. “It is a pleasure to work with Ronnie and proud to have her as a part of the Hayes team.”

Congratulations Ronnie and keep up the good work!

 

 

For Coach Mac, teaching and coaching goes hand in hand. Longtime Fridley High School teacher and varsity boys basketball head coach Jim MacDonald has dedicated his life to supporting the students of Fridley Public Schools - both in the classroom and on the court. This fall, MacDonald will officially be inducted into the Minnesota Basketball Coaches Association (MBCA) Hall of Fame. This prestigious honor is given to only a handful of coaches each year. Honorees are individuals who have made significant lifetime contributions to coaching basketball.

“This induction isn’t just for me,” said MacDonald. “It’s for every student that’s put on that Fridley uniform - I’m glad that they are recognizing all the success that we’ve shared. This is a part of them and the parents who have allowed me to coach.”

MacDonald has been head coach of the Fridley boys basketball team since 1988, coaching more than 30 basketball teams. He has also served as head and assistant coach to the Fridley boys and girls track and field teams, totaling over 15 years, and Fridley football team assistant coach for four years.

MacDonald first started student-teaching at Fridley High School in 1987. Over the years, he’s taught physical education and health classes at every building in the district, but has remained at Fridley High School since 2004. In addition to Phy. Ed., MacDonald teaches a character education leadership class, which focuses on nationally-recognized character education called “Top 20 Training.” The curriculum surrounds social-emotional training to empower students to make a positive difference - life lessons that are important to students.

MacDonald takes pride in teaching these life lessons to Fridley students and athletes. Teaching students how to lead by example, even when no one is looking, are lessons that are integrated into his coaching style.

“I really want every student I teach, every player I coach, to be the best they can be,” said MacDonald. “We teach resilience, achieving goals, I want to help students as a whole person. Our students are here for a reason and I want all our kids to take something positive away.”

Assistant basketball coach Bryce Richter has taken those lessons to heart. Richter grew up in the Fridley school system and has known MacDonald since he was five years old.

“He was my gym teacher in elementary, middle and high school, and he also ran all the youth camps,” said Richter. A 2006 alum, Richter played varsity basketball and remembers MacDonald as a big motivator and excellent mentor.

“He was a huge piece to our success – he called us the Golden Boys, we were a big senior group,” he said. Richter later returned to Fridley after college, where he began to pursue his interest in coaching and reconnected with MacDonald.

“We formed that niche and friendship right away. It’s been a really fun ride and he is extremely deserving of this Hall of Fame honor,” said Richter. “Overall, he’s done a great job at keeping our basketball program stable and he always forms great bonds with the kids. We have so many alumni who return for games, summer events, helping with camps – it speaks a lot about his character and the kind of person he is.”

McDonald grew up in Two Harbors, Minnesota and credits his teachers and coaches for inspiring him to pursue his career in education and coaching.

“I will always remember how patient and kind my teachers were. They played such an important role in helping shape who I am,” said MacDonald. “I idolized my high school coaches so much - I wanted to be like them.”

After graduating from University of Minnesota-Duluth, MacDonald began working in sales, but soon decided he wanted to contribute more. Making a career change, he returned to school to earn his master’s degree in education. 

When he was hired at Fridley, he said he knew it was the perfect fit. He first began assistant coaching the boys basketball team during his first year in 1987. Coincidentally, the varsity basketball coach at the time, Steve George, retired a year later in 1988, and MacDonald officially took on the role.

“I’ve lived through a lot of changes in this district, but one thing is for certain, we always stay true to who we are,” said MacDonald. “We know who we are and there is something to be said about that.”

When looking back at his coaching career, it’s not the championship games that mean the most. It’s the smaller moments and the irreplaceable lifetime connections he’s made. It’s the behind the scenes, above and beyond actions that make Coach Mac the person that he is. He still remains close with many of his former players, a special bond that began on the basketball court.

“I have so many memorable moments and so many memorable players,” said MacDonald. “Even though the state and conference championships are fun, it’s all about the relationships that you share. To me, it’s just really neat to have been a part of these student’s lives, even to this day.”

According to Activities and Athletics Director Dan Roff, he is proud of MacDonald’s legacy, “old school” coaching style, and positive impact that he’s had on many Fridley students.

“You don’t find that kind of longevity in one school district anymore,” said Roff. “You can come here on a Friday morning at 6 a.m., and you’ll find Mac with nearly 30 grads, community members, staff – playing in a pickup basketball league – that’s his legacy and influence. He’s character-strong, leads with integrity and determination to teach students to be the best they can be. This honor is well-deserved.”

As part of the MBCA Hall of Fame Class of 2019, MacDonald joins a list of legendary high school basketball coaches that dates back to 1984. He is the first Fridley boys basketball coach to be awarded this honor. Additional Fridley coaches who have been inducted into the Minnesota Coaches Association Hall of Fames include: girls basketball coaches Pat Barrett (2003) and Dave Morgan (2018), and wrestling coaches Don Meyers (1970) and Joe Frank (1994). Congratulations, Coach Mac!

 


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