• ThuSep27 FMS Lifetouch Picture Day Fridley Middle School
    • ThuSep27 Stevenson Lifetouch Picture Day Stevenson Elementary
    • ThuSep27 Hayes Open House 6:00 PM to 7:30 PMHayes Elementary
    • FriSep28 Stevenson Box Tops due Stevenson Elementary
    • FriSep28 Hayes Color Run 1:30 PM to 3:45 PMHayes Elementary


Fridley Community Education hosted its Fridley Senior Program Fall Kickoff Event on September 20, 2018. An annual tradition of over 20 years, all seniors enjoyed a piece of pie served by the Fridley Public Schools superintendent, and staff and administrators from Fridley Community Education and the City of Fridley. The event was an opportunity for many seniors in the community to meet new Fridley Public Schools superintendent Dr. Kim Hiel.

The Fall Kickoff marks the beginning of another year of senior programming and serves as an opportunity for seniors to learn about upcoming events.

Fridley Community Education officially took over the Fridley Senior Program in spring 2018. Previously, the program was run by the City of Fridley under the administration of Senior Program Coordinator Connie Thompson. Thompson retired earlier this year after almost 40 years of service.

As the program is now officially part of the school district, Fridley Community Education has added a Social Worker and an Aging Services Advocate to support seniors in the community. Additionally, renovations completed in the Fridley Community Center include relocation of a centralized office space to house the senior program office, additional bathrooms on the senior side, and updated technology infrastructure.

Another new addition is Maggie Chandler, who now serves as the Adult Enrichment, Senior Programs and Facilities Coordinator. Chandler is thrilled to be taking over the Fridley Senior Program and is excited for the year ahead.

“Our Fall Kickoff was so well-attended by seniors in our community, as well as sponsors of the Friends of Fridley Senior Program,” said Chandler. “Thank you to everyone who came out and who make our community great!”

Chandler added that she is honored to follow in Thompson’s footsteps. “I am so looking forward to getting to know our seniors and continuing to build on that legacy.”

According to Fridley Community Education Director Toni Craft, Thompson is excited to see the program taken over by Community Ed. and the school district.

“Connie is so happy for Maggie to take the reins as the coordinator and looks forward to seeing how her youthful energy and fresh ideas make an impact on the continued development of the Senior Program,” said Craft.



Pictured top left: Adult Enrichment, Senior Programs and Facilities Coordinator Maggie Chandler visits with seniors at the Fridley Senior Program Fall Kickoff. Pictured top right: (From left to right): Maggie Chandler; Fridley Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Kim Hiel; Community Education Coordinator Stephen Keeler; Director of Community Education Toni Craft. Pictured bottom left: Director of Community Education Toni Craft, Fridley Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Kim Hiel; Fridley City Manager Wally Wysopal; City of Fridley Director of Community Services and Employee Resources Deb Dahl. Pictured bottom right: Fridley Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Kim Hiel visits with and offers napkins to seniors as they line up to grab a piece of pie at the Fridley Senior Program Fall Kickoff.



The rain couldn’t stop the community from coming out to support our students at the second annual “Get Your Paws Moving” Walk fundraiser on September 19, 2018. Over 70 staff, students and community members participated in the walk, as well as 30 students in the district’s Community Education Tiger Club Childcare program. Additionally, 20 student volunteers from the Fridley High School cheerleading team, National Honor Society and Fridley Key Club came out to cheer on the crowd as they walked.

“Even though the weather was less than perfect, everyone that came out was positive and had a great time,” said Fridley Schools Foundation Vice President Carrie Wrona.

The Fridley Schools Foundation’s mission is to open doors to enhance educational opportunities of students within the Fridley Schools community. Thanks to generous donations, the Foundation is able to provide scholarships to graduating seniors, as well as teacher innovation grants for field trips, school supplies, technology items and other classroom opportunities.

At this year’s event, Fridley Lions Club and over 120 people contributed to the Foundation walk, raising over $4,500.

“We want the Foundation to continue to give back to our students and staff, and this walk helps with that goal,” said Wrona. “We appreciate the walkers and positivity from everyone. This support means everything.”

“It was great to see the community and schools come together to support the efforts of the Fridley Schools Foundation,” said Fridley Schools Foundation President Renee VanGorp. “We are grateful for our partnership with the Fridley Lions Club, our community and school staff for donating to this great cause. Thank you to everyone who made this possible - Go Tigers!”

The Fridley Schools Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation Independent of the Fridley Public Schools. To learn more about the Foundation and upcoming events, visit

Click here to view the event photo album!






This summer, one of Fridley High School’s own rose to the most prominent position of an international service group.

Senior Emily Rice was chosen as International President of Key Club International at the program’s annual convention in Chicago on July 7, 2018.  The role oversees more than 264,000 members from 5008 clubs in 38 countries around the world.

Key Club is a student-led community service organization focusing on servant leadership and building leadership skills.  It is sponsored by Kiwanis International through local districts and international entities. 

Rice found out she was one of two finalists for International President after a day of caucusing and attending a morning nominating conference, giving numerous speeches throughout.  On the afternoon of July 7th, Rice won the election.

“It was very overwhelming and surreal,” Rice said.  “To serve this many people on such a large scope is an opportunity I haven’t had before.”

Rice added that in Key Club, being the president is not a figurehead position.  “I’m here to serve everybody else.  It’s an inverted pyramid.  Our members – the largest part, the base – is actually at the top, and the international board is at the bottom.  Being the International President exemplifies that, embodying servant leadership and showing we truly are the bottom of the pyramid and here to serve others.”

The International Board focuses on strategies, making decisions for the organization as a whole, and providing grants and fundraising opportunities.  The board also looks for ways to improve the member experience and create a sense of community within the organization.

Rice was an international trustee last year, so she was familiar with how the board operates.  A personal goal of hers is to boost the international focus instead of local club level support.  “My campaign was based on the tagline ‘let’s focus on who makes this organization as great as it is: our members, our supporters and our communities,” she said.

Her new role involves a fair amount of travel for a high school senior.  “I just got back from Indianapolis – I was there for nine days for training and a board meeting.  I’ll be returning there in November, and Baltimore for another board meeting.  Beyond that, it’s on a request basis, with the international president averaging one trip per month, and one international trip,” Rice said.

Kiwanis sponsor and Key Club advisor Mary Bowen has watched Rice’s ambition over the years, and felt she was destined for great things.

“Sometimes people get so focused they lose track of their own club,” Bowen said when asked about Rice as a role model for Key Club members.  “It’s so easy to say you’re overloaded with your own job.  You don’t hear that from Emily.  She’s always there to say ‘what can I do to help?’”


Club wins 16th Distinguished Club – Diamond Level Award

For the 16th straight year, Fridley’s Key Club has achieved the rank of Distinguished Club - Diamond Level, the only club in the Minnesota-Dakotas District to achieve the designation and an achievement that puts them in the top one percent of clubs.  To attain this honor, Key Club partners with the Fridley Kiwanis group to raise awareness and donations for such organizations as UNICEF, Children’s Miracle Network, and the March of Dimes. 

Fridley’s Key Club ventured into service projects, such a cleaning the football field after home games, taking May baskets to nursing homes, teacher appreciation tokens, and making pillow case dresses and dolls for 15 orphanages in Africa.  The group also held its annual 72-hour teeter totter marathon at Bowen’s home to raise money for Eliminate, a Kiwanis project group that funds neonatal and maternal tetanus vaccines in third world countries.  One of its most visible campaigns is its annual Socktober Sleepout, a month-long effort to collect socks for homeless people and includes club members sleeping in cardboard boxes on the football field for a night.

Bowen figures the Fridley Key Club has raised between $20-22,000 over the years through its fundraising efforts.

Greg Stowers, the Director of Key Club International, made a visit to Fridley High School on September 12, 2018, to meet the club that has won the prestigious Diamond Level for a record 16-years in a row.  In addition, he joined Rice in presenting a banner to Activities Director Dan Roff, proclaiming the high school as the home club of the International President.

“It’s easy for us as adults to look at students as up and coming leaders,” Stowers told the students.  “I see every day that you all are not just future leaders, but that you’re leaders now.  You are doing awesome things and I’m happy to play a role in that process.”

Though Stowers has only been at his post for three months, he is well aware of new president Rice’s contributions.  “She keeps me on my toes – lots of emails, lots of questions – but it comes from a place of passion,” Stowers said.  “I really appreciate her abilities to navigate the realities and scope of what she can do, and also be open to new ideas of what we can do in the future.”

Pictured above is Emily Rice with Mary Bowen, Kiwanis Sponsor of the Fridley Key Club. Pictured below is Dan Roff (Activities Director for Fridley Public Schools), Mary Bowen (Key Club Advisor), Emily Rice (Key Club International President and Fridley High School senior), Katie Sneider (Key Club Advisor), and Greg Stowers (Key Club International Director)


Fridley Public Schools welcomed more than 3,000 students back when schools opened across the district for the 2018-19 school year. 

On September 4, classes began for grades K-4 at Hayes and R.L. Stevenson Elementary Schools. Fridley Middle School, Fridley High School and the Fridley Moore Lake Area Learning Center held Orientation Day for all new students in their schools, which included middle school 5th grade students and high school 9th grade students. Orientation Day allows students to acclimate to their new school environment while getting support from other students and staff. Students toured the schools, participated in activities, and learned about International Baccalaureate Programme offerings, credit requirements, support services and more. All students throughout the district were back in school on September 5.

Students weren’t the only ones who enjoyed a first-day experience, this was also Fridley Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Kim Hiel’s first chance to see students in action. Dr. Hiel began her role as Superintendent on July 1 and was eager to visit all buildings to welcome and connect with students as they returned to their classrooms on their first day of school.

“It was fantastic to see all the excitement among our students, teachers and staff,” Dr. Hiel said of the first days of school at Fridley. “It’s all so exciting and new when we come back, there is such an energy about it. That’s one of the beautiful things about education.”

Dr. Hiel popped into elementary classrooms where she was able to interact with excited students who were participating in the first-day activities and getting to know their classmates. In Mrs. Erichshrud’s 4th grade class at Stevenson Elementary, Dr. Hiel was bombarded with curious questions as students wondered about what a Superintendent does.

“My job is to ensure that you have the best education possible,” Dr. Hiel shared with the 4th graders. “I work closely with our staff, administrators, and community members to make sure that we give you what you need to be successful in the world.” 

Dr. Hiel said that seeing students back in action was a wonderful reminder of why she, and all Fridley teachers and staff, come to work every day.

She added that it was great to see Fridley staff on the ball - getting things done, knowing what to do and how to do it. "There nothing we can’t address or problem-solve when we do it together. It was great to see this great community connection firsthand- a family connection,” said Dr. Hiel.

Click to view photos from the First Days of School






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