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Fridley Public Schools is proud to announce the 2018-2019 Teachers of Excellence. Five teachers, who represent each of the district's schools (including an Area Learning Center/Fridley Community Center group), were recognized at the annual staff Opening Workshop held Monday, August 26, 2019. Each of the teachers selected are representative of all excellent teachers who work hard every day to deliver high quality education to all students enrolled at Fridley Public Schools.

MacKenzie Diessner - Fridley Area Learning Center

According to her colleagues and students, MacKenzie Diessner is an immeasurable asset to the Fridley Moore Lake Area Learning Center (ALC) team. As the ALC social worker, she provides our high school scholars and their families with a compassionate and judgement-free space. MacKenzie coordinates and helps families access services that support growth and development so students can get on track to graduate. 

She has also organized many student groups at the ALC, including Tiger Streak, a student leadership group that provides a platform for fellow students to give feedback on key school related issues to the ALC administration. MacKenzie even reaches beyond the walls of the ALC high school. Last year, she organized and ran a boys group to support our younger students in the Phoenix program at the middle school.

MacKenzie connects with students at a personal and caring level. Her co-workers share that she consistently goes the extra mile to help students and families, as she is compassionate when needed but also holds students accountable for their actions.

“I’ve personally watched her skillfully work with so many of our scholars when they are struggling with something in their lives,” said ALC Principal Jason Bodey. “Yet through her magic, somehow she finds a way to improve and better the experience for that individual. She does all these things with a smile, great care, and compassion for all.”

Congratulations MacKenzie, we thank you for your service to Fridley Public Schools! Keep up the great work!

Mary Quiring - Hayes Elementary

Mary Quiring is an outstanding educator at Hayes Elementary School. Over the years, she has served as a lead title teacher, an instructional leader, and a reading coach. As the new student universal screening, skills analysis and progress monitoring system FAST (Formative Assessment System for Teachers) arrived, Quiring helped to usher in this new era of assessment. She has also been an advocate for literacy and has organized countless Hayes Family Literacy Nights.

According to fellow staff members, Mary has a tireless work ethic, is extremely helpful, has a contagious passion for literacy, advocates for children in every situation, and cares about each and every student and staff member.

According to former Hayes Principal John Piotraschke, Mary is an incredible asset to Hayes Elementary. 

“Mary has her fingerprint all over Hayes Elementary from the relentless planning she does to organizing a one-of-a-kind family literacy night, to finding ways to motivate kids to read throughout the summer, to teaching staff members and helping them to become better teachers, to helping all of us to understand data in new ways,” said Piotraschke.

Keep up the great work, Mary! Congratulations and thank you for all that you do!

Erik Redepenning - Fridley High School

According to many colleagues and students, Erik Redepenning is a talented and thoughtful staff member at Fridley High School. He serves as a Behavior Specialist at Fridley High School, helping support students in making positive choices that would increase their chances of being successful at school. 

According to Fridley High School Principal Patty Hand, he has worked hard in his leadership role over the years to support the entire Fridley High School community through his dedication to students and support of his colleagues.

“Erik consistently demonstrates excellence by going above and beyond expectations,” said Hand. “He is quick to respond when there is a need, and considers all the needs of stakeholders involved, including students, staff and family members.”

She added that he cares deeply for all students, colleagues and families, which shows through his positive attitude and interactions with everyone on a daily basis. 

“Erik has a strong, well-rounded perspective as he looks at educational situations through multiple lenses through his experiences in his career as an educator,” said Hand.  

A fellow staff member shared that he does amazing work in the classroom and has worked with the whole student body to find equitable solutions for all our learners to help them be successful in and out of the classroom.

Congratulations Erik, keep up the great work! We thank you for your service!

Debbie Rein - Stevenson Elementary School

Kindergarten teacher Debbie Rein is dedicated to her work, ensuring that all students receive the best possible start in their education. She helps all students learn and understand lessons, and has a gift to turn all instances into teachable moments. She began with the district as a Title One teacher, serving students at both Hayes and Stevenson elementary schools.

Stevenson Elementary School Principal Daryl Vossler said Debbie is well-known around the school for her kindness, patience and nurturing teaching style.

“She is always willing to step in, and help anyone who needs it,” said Vossler.  “She is a wonderful asset to our Stevenson family.”

Her fellow staff members shared that she is a hardworker, as well as an incredibly supportive friend.

A parent shared that Debbie is a terrific teacher and enthusiastic about teaching and learning. “We were fortunate enough to have two of our kids in Debbie Rein’s kindergarten classroom. She has done an excellent job at nurturing our kids as they start their school careers. She is skilled in giving each child what they need.”

Congratulations Debbie, we thank you for your service to Fridley Public Schools! Keep up the great work!

Suzanne Schlichte - Fridley Middle School

Suzanne Schlichte is a valuable member of the Fridley Middle School community. According to Fridley Middle School Principal Amy Cochran, Suzanne demonstrates the ideals of the International Baccalaureate Learner Profile.

“Suzanne is always looking at educating the whole child, while valuing each student’s identity and story, and works hard to ensure that all unique needs are being met,” said Cochran.  “Suzanne is caring, and she has a positive impact on all students, staff and families at Fridley Middle School.”

Cochran added that Suzanne is knowledgeable and a thinker through her work as a Special Education teacher. Suzanne serves as a case manager and behavior specialist for all Special Education students, and heads Tier 2 and Tier 3 intervention development. “She is able to meet student needs, implement their interventions with fidelity, and use data to adapt them when necessary,” said Cochran. “She will help colleague implement interventions that help meet student’s needs.”

Suzanne is highly trusted by both colleagues and students, and brings a positive attitude to work everyday. She is an advocate for all students, who absolutely love her and know that she is the person who is always in their corner. 

Congratulations Suzanne, we thank you for your service to Fridley Public Schools! Keep up the great work!


Fridley Public Schools Teachers of Excellence (1986 - 2019)



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