• MonJan27 ECFE classes, Creative Play Center closed
    • MonJan27 NO SCHOOL
    • TueJan28 ECFE classes, Creative Play Center closed
    • TueJan28 NO SCHOOL
    • TueJan28 Tiger Club closed

The Fridley High School Minnesota Honor Society (MHS) is hosting a Shoe Drive, collecting donations of gently worn, used and new shoes from January 16 to February 28. 

“We are raising funds for our MHS organization by collecting shoes, but one of the reasons we wanted to host this shoe drive was to help global communities,” said MHS member Baobai Xiong.

The MHS students have partnered with micro-enterprise vendor organization Funds2Org. Shoes collected during the drive will be used to start and maintain micro-enterprises in developing nations. Funds2Orgs helps individuals to create, maintain and grow small businesses in developing countries where economic opportunity and jobs are limited. Proceeds from the sales of the shoes collected in shoe drive fundraisers are used to feed, clothe and house their families. 

“One of the entrepreneurs in Haiti earned enough money to send her son to law school,” said Baobai. “We are inspired by that story and hope that we can help other families and make a global impact.”

The students’ fundraiser aims to collect a total of 2,500 pairs of shoes. Shoes can be donated in the Fridley High School main office or placed in the blue bin in the high school cafeteria.

The 2019-20 International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma candidates. Back row, left to right: Adam Johnson, Joshua Brandt, Eli Paton, Kane Hoff, Mykell Engle, Ridwan Ghedi. Front row: Connor McCoy, Devin Hanson, Chloe Cantlon, Asanti Ahmed, Baobai Xiong, Isabelle Olivera. Not pictured: Yangchen Namgyal.

Fridley High School, an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, hosted its ninth annual Silver Platter Breakfast Celebration on December 19, 2019. During the event, seniors who are enrolled in the full IB Diploma Programme (DP) presented their Extended Essays, a culminating research project for those pursuing the diploma. This year, the celebration recognized 13 seniors who submitted their essays. 

To earn an IB Diploma, students must complete DP core classes, and assessments and exams during their junior and/or senior years of high school. The Extended Essay is a 4,000-word, in-depth study of a focused topic intended to promote high-level research and writing skills, intellectual discovery and creativity. The process encourages students to develop college-level independent research skills.

A tradition of the celebration is to have an FHS alum who has earned the IB Diploma return as the keynote speaker. This year’s speaker was Class of 2016 graduate Praise Hall, who is currently a senior at prestigious Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. Hall, a sociology and education major, is a 2019 Truman Scholar, which is a highly-competitive graduate scholarship for aspiring public service leaders in the United States. 

Hall, who was not able to attend the event, sent a video message commending the students on the work they have completed thus far in the DP.

“I don’t think you realize how much you are setting yourself up for success by completing the IB Diploma Programme,” said Hall. “I know that this program is extensive and thorough, and can be incredibly challenging. But when I arrived at college, I was used to balancing all aspects of my life and time management. The transition to the academic side of Bowdoin was also easier, because Fridley gave me an excellent foundation.” 

Presentation of the IB Diploma

In addition to the presentation of the Extended Essays, two FHS Class of 2019 graduates, Hailee Schalwig and Audrey Zeleny, returned to receive their IB Diplomas. Schalwig is currently attending Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Fla. and Zeleny attends Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn. 

Congratulations to Fridley Public Schools December 2019 Employee of the Month, Matthew Webber! Matthew is in his third year as the Technology Assistant at Fridley Middle School.

According to Principal Amy Cochran, Matthew is helpful, dedicated and consistently goes above and beyond for all students and staff. 

“Matthew is incredibly kind, responsive, supportive, knowledgeable and hardworking,” said Cochran. “He has scheduled time to specifically work with students to get them logged into school networks, figuring out Campus Portal (the district’s intranet system), and teaching them skills to navigate their computers.”

She added that Matthew readily assists all teachers and staff, ensuring all technology issues are handled in a timely and effective manner.

“Matthew is very deserving of this Employee of the Month award, and we are honored to have him here at Fridley Middle School!”

The district’s Director of Technology Yvonne Anderson said Matthew has been an incredible addition to the technology team. 

“His education and experience have proven to be valuable assets in supporting the staff and students at the middle school and also district-wide,” said Anderson. “Matthew is always willing to assist with additional assignments where he applies his inquiry skills and knowledge to achieve the best possible outcome for every project.”

Congratulations, Matthew, and keep up the great work!

Pictured above (from left to right): Director of Technology Yvonne Anderson, Technology Assistant Matthew Webber, and FMS Principal Amy Cochran

The 24th annual Fridley Alumni Choir concert ushered in the holiday season on December 8, 2019 in the Fridley District Auditorium. The Alumni Choir, which consists of members beginning from the Fridley High School (FHS) Class of 1967, returned to the school to fill the venue with a variety of stylistic vocal pieces.  Randy Edinger, a Fridley High School Class of 1975 graduate, is the director of the group.

One special song performed by the group, “Unclouded Day,” was dedicated to choir member Doug Olson, who passed away in April 2019. Classmate and friend Laren Metcalf noted that, for years, Olson flew from his home in Redmond, Washington every Monday during choir season for rehearsals, demonstrating his commitment to supporting the students of his alma mater.

The FHS Concert Choir also performed at the concert, singing “In the Stillness of Winter,” by Victor Johnson. They also joined the Alumni Choir for the song, “Wild Mountain Thyme”

For the concert’s last number, retired FHS choir director Dave Ryan took over the baton to conduct the choir’s performance of Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus.”  All FHS alumni in attendance were invited to the stage to join in.

Over the years, the choir has raised over $78,500 in scholarships that has been awarded to 54 graduating seniors to pursue fine arts degrees in college. The choir was also the recipient of the district’s Distinguished Alumni 2011 Circle of Excellence Award, in recognition of its work to inspire and support the students of Fridley Public Schools.

Left photo: Jo Mikolich Young, Class of 1975, sang The Beatles’ "I Will," accompanied by Fridley recording artist Mark Schirmacher and retired FHS teacher Jeff Bullard on piano. Right photo: Carolyn Sampson, Class of 1977, performed an original song entitled "Minnesota Winter Night Song."

Longtime Fridley High School choir teacher Dave Ryan returned to direct Handel’s "Hallelujah Chorus."

The FHS Concert Choir, under the direction of Jeffrey Johnson, represented the current students of the district with "In the Stillness of Winter."


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