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News and Events

2011 Distinguished Alumni
Posted 06/19/2013 01:51PM

2011 Distinguished Alumni


CYNTHIA (TRUEHL) CROKER  - Class of 1977

Cynthia (Truehl) Croker is part of a team that created the Motus O Dance theatre in 1990, near Toronto, Canada. As part of this team, she has helped create fourteen productions that have toured across Canada, the United States, England and Australia. Motus O has received awards for its production of “Alice in Wonderland” from the Florida Fringe Festival, “Tour Performers Award” from Contact East Saint John’s Newfoundland, and “Artist of the Year: from Ontario, Canada. Cynthia worked for years for a program called Youth With A Mission. Her years with that organization led her to Dunham, Quebec to work in a school for the performing arts run by that same organization. During this time, Cynthia met her husband and they later became the principals of that school. Cynthia also runs workshops in schools, churches, businesses and homes for people with disabilities. She believes in creating opportunities for young and old to move and develop their sense of worth through their bodies. After high school, Cynthia attended Concordia College, Moorhead MN, Bemidji State for vocal music, and Discipleship Training School with Youth With A Mission, as well as The School of Creative Ministry with the same organization. She and her family currently reside in Stouffville, Ontario Canada.


DAVID DANIELS, M.D., PhD - Class of 1992

Dr. David Daniels is the Chief Neurosurgical Resident Associate at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. He spends most of his time as a neurosurgeon in the operating room, but he is also a researcher, developing novel drugs which target adult and pediatric brain tumors.   David has received many awards for his research and his distinction as a neurosurgeon, but one stands out among the others. In 2010 David was awarded the Karis (Greek for caring) Award from the Mayo Clinic. This award centers on excellent patient care and has only been given one other time to a neurosurgeon. This award epitomizes David’s goal, which is to give excellent and compassionate care to each and every patient and their family. As David says, “a brain surgeon encounters very complex problems. It is very easy to lose sight that each case represents a person and all their life lived.” David’s educational path was first toward drug design, then finally medicine. He received a BS in Chemistry from the University of Minnesota Institute of Technology; a PhD in Medicinal Chemistry from the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, and then an MD from the University of Minnesota Medical School. David currently resides in Rochester, MN.


RANDY EDINGER - Class of 1975

Randy Edinger is a teacher currently serving as an Instructional Technology Facilitator with the Anoka-Hennepin School District. Randy’s lifelong passion has been Music Education of children and adults. While teaching elementary music, Randy received certification in the Orff Schulwerk philosophy of music education. He quickly began to teach this philosophy at Hamline University where he became instrumental in developing the Graduate Program in Music Education—a progressive, forward thinking and practical Master’s Program. Eventually this program moved to the University of St. Thomas. Randy has served on the Board of the Minnesota Orff Chapter, and was elected twice to the National Board of Trustees of the American Orff-Schulwerk Association. He has been an adjunct faculty member of three universities. He has received certificates of commendation from the Governor of Minnesota, the Minnesota Department of Education, and the Minnesota Music Educators Association. Randy has organized and chaperoned youth mission trips, served on various church boards, and directed extra-curricular music groups. He has served as Director of the FHS Alumni Choir, this year’s Circle of Excellence Award winner, for seven years, as a church choir director for 20 years, and as an associate director of White Bear Area Choir Association. Randy holds a BA in Music from Hamline University, and a Masters from the University of St. Thomas, and Center for Contemporary Music Education from Hamline University. Randy currently resides with his family in Shoreview, MN.



Richard Engelhardt was a 30 year employee of the United Nations. His numerous positions have taken him all over the world, but he has spent most of his time in Asia. The last fifteen years of his career, he worked specifically for UNESCO (the U. N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). Most recently, Richard was the Director of the UNESCO’s Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, which made him responsible for programs in 54 countries from Turkey to Tahiti. Now, after his retirement, Richard still works for UNESCO, traveling around the globe as a roving ambassador. Richard is also serving as President of the Board of Governors of the International School attended by his children in northern Thailand. He was awarded Knight Commander, Royal Order of Cambodia in 1994; Order of Ciudad Ferninand de Vigan, Philippines 2000; People’s Cultural Hero, Viet Nam, 2001; Honorary Citizen of Lijiang, China 2001; Global Heritage Fund-Lifetime Achievement Award, USA, 2004; Key to the City of Qiangang Ancient Town, China 2006; INTBAU Committee of Nonour, India, 2007, and Key to the City of Manila, Philippines, 2008. After graduating from FHS, Richard attended Yale and Harvard Graduate School before joining the UN. He currently resides with his family in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand.


MICHAEL LESTER - Class of 1978

Michael Lester is currently the Vice-President of Delivery for Magenic Technologies (a company owned by Greg Frankenfield, 2010 Distinguished Alumni). Since 1996, he wrote software for a telecommunications firm, and then was a Project Manager for Magenic. While working as a Project Manager, Michael opened a new branch in Atlanta, eventually becoming the General Manager of that branch. Prior to 1996 Michael served as an officer in the U. S. Marine Corps flying CH-53E helicopters. He participated in Desert Storm, receiving a Flight Medal for distinguished service under fire; Desert Shield; and the Philippine Coup Attempt. After receiving a post graduate degree he served as an instructor at the Naval Academy. In 1996 he officially retired from the Marine Corps. Michael graduated first in his flight class at the Naval Flight School in Pensacola. He has received a Navy Commendation medal for dedication and service above and beyond the norm. He also received a Distinguished Citizen Award for community service in Monterey, California, and has received letters of appreciation from Senators Chambliss of Georgia, and Franken of Minnesota for service to their offices. Michael first attended Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana before preparing for and attending the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, where he graduated with a BS in History. Michael also received a BS and MS in Electrical Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California He received his MBA from Beneau University in Gainesville, Georgia. Michael currently resides in Plymouth, Minnesota.



Holly (Lindquist) Thomas joined the U. S. Department of State in 2002. As a diplomat, her first assignment took her to Kathmandu, Nepal where she served as a humor Resource Officer. Recently she was assigned to be a political/economic officer in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. There she championed the cause of child labor with regard to the cotton harvest, and secured the release of an opposition leader, Sanjar Umarov. She has also worked in Istanbul, Turkey as a Consular Officer, conducting thousands of visa interviews, helping Americans in need of assistance, and assisting with official visits for many who came to Istanbul. In 2010 Holly received an award for Outstanding Achievement in Human Rights, Democracy and Labor from the State Department Recipients of this award demonstrate integrity and innovation in their work to protect and defend universal freedoms of assembly, expression, association and freedom of religion. Holly often speaks to high school and university students about her service. She received a degree in International Relations from Mankato State University, and graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Law. Holly and her family reside in Arlington, Virginia.


DAVID LUBINSKI - Class of 1975

David Lubinski is currently Director, Health Management Information Systems, for the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH). He has spent most of the last five years working in Africa directly assisting ministries of health to build stronger management information systems and develop their capacity to plan and manage their national health services. David began his career in public service working in Duluth, MN and in Colorado focusing on vocational development for people with disabilities. While in Minnesota he successfully resolved a class action lawsuit against the state for under funding services for people with disabilities. David has also worked for McDonnell Douglas Technical Services Co; Digital Equipment Corporation; and Microsoft, receiving the company’s Global Leadership Award. David and his wife have worked within their communities to see that people who are poor have access to health services. They have also made the choice to live in ethnically and economically diverse areas. After high school, David received a degree in Family Social Science from the University of Minnesota, an MA in Public Policy Analysis from Vermont College, an MBA from the University of Phoenix, and a Certificate in International Business from INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France. David currently resides in Seattle, WA with his family.


LISA NEE - Class of 1977

Lisa Nee is the owner of Allen/Nee Productions, which specializes in lifestyle and parenting programming. Lisa’s career in broadcasting began in college, while she was an intern for WCCO television. She was hired by the station before she graduated, which led to working for CBS-TV in Washington DC. Lisa was Executive Producer at KYW-TV in Philadelphia, and the Director of Original Programming for Lifetime Television. She co-founded Allen/Nee productions in 1999. Lisa has won a News Emmy for the documentary, “Street Shadows”, an ACE Award for the documentary “Ms Smith Goes to Washington”, a BAFTA (England’s equivalent of the Oscar) for the documentary, “Birth of a Vampire: The Anne Rice Story” and two Telly Awards for the documentary “7 Days That Changed New Orleans”. Lisa is an active member of Buddy Athletics, an organization that pairs differently-abled kids with Buddies so they can participate in sports. She co-founded an organization called Getsomeone2vote.com to encourage people to vote no matter their affiliation. Upon completion of high school Lisa attended the University of Minnesota and received a BA in Communications. Lisa resides in Madison, Connecticut with her family.


DAVID STAHL - Class of 1977

David Stahl works for the company he started, Crowd Magnet; a specialty marketing company focused on trade show exhibitions. He is also co-owner of Eagle Magic Store, the oldest retail magic store in the country located in downtown Minneapolis. David has performed as a magician throughout the United States and around the world. David has published two books—one on magic and one on marketing. He has won many awards as an entertainer; these include Best in Show twice in Las Vegas for Networld+Interop and Comex; in San Jose for Streaming Media West and Orlando for Storage Networking World. He has been a featured keynote speaker at the prestigious Los Angeles Magic History Conference, the Magic Castle in Hollywood, and the World Premier Magic Organization—The Magic Circle in London. He has performed for U. S. presidents, the Prime Minister of England, the Queen of Jordan, and many movie, television and sports celebrities. David frequently performs for the Fridley High School Senior All Night graduation party and has donated many shows for local school and hospital fundraisers. After high school, he attended Anoka Ramsey and Anoka Hennepin Community colleges and received a degree in Marketing from the University of Minnesota. David currently resides in Mound, Minnesota.





The Fridley Alumni Choir was started in 1996 after an event in 1995 called “A Sterling Performance” to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Fridley School District auditorium, located in Fridley High School.  While the Choir was conceived for the purpose of bringing alumni from the Fridley High School Concert Choirs together for the joy of singing, it soon developed into a fundraising vehicle to provide fine arts scholarships for Fridley graduates.  During its 16 years, over 100 Fridley graduates have participated in the Alumni Choir at one time or another. The Choir rehearses 10 times each fall and performs two concerts. Members have come from as far away as St Cloud, Monticello, and Mora to participate.  Dave Ryan was the original director of the choir for the first 10 years. Randy Edinger from the class of 1975, and one of this year’s Distinguished Alumni, is beginning his 7th year as leader.  Over the years, the choir has raised over $50,000 for the Duane Georgius scholarship and the Kay Bonner Nee scholarship.








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