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IB Diploma candidates submit Extended Essays
Posted 12/28/2017 03:07PM

Fridley High School International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Candidates.
Back row: Andrew Wagner, Caleb Brandt, Curtis Hanson, Wyatte Chaffee, Chad Haugstad, Christen Doe
Center row: Nic Fite, Frank Valtierrez, Jennifer Ollila, Cassandra Corraya, Benjamin Stevenson, Tristan Herder, Even Nelsen
Front row: Daegia Vang, Petra Owusu, Jasmine Pierce, Saralynn Ness, Andrew Buirge

Extended Essay Silver Platter Breakfast

Eighteen Fridley High School juniors and seniors submitted their International Baccalaureate (IB) Extended Essays at the eighth annual Silver Platter Breakfast Celebration on December 19, 2017.

These students are enrolled in the full IB Diploma Programme (DP) at Fridley High School, an IB World School. Students have the opportunity to earn an IB Diploma by completing DP core classes, assessments and exams during their junior and/or senior years of high school. The Extended Essay is a culminating project for those pursuing the IB Diploma. It is an in-depth study of a focused topic, chosen within a subject group, intended to promote high-level research and writing skills, intellectual discovery and creativity. This 4,000-word essay encourages students to develop college-level independent research skills.

The Silver Platter Breakfast Celebration is an opportunity for students enrolled in the full DP to be recognized by their parents, teachers and peers for the high degree of academic rigor they have embarked on.

“The journey to an IB diploma is a challenging one," said IB Diploma Programme Coordinator Jessica Baker. "It’s important to stop and take the time to reflect and celebrate what our students have accomplished, as well as look forward and remember the reason for all this hard work.”

Although the DP track is challenging, Baker assured that the "learning that takes place and the character built will serve the students well for a lifetime."

This sentiment was echoed by guest speaker and class of 2011 Fridley High School graduate Chinyere Okwulehie, who was in the first Fridley High School graduating class to include IB Diploma candidates. From Fridley High School, Okwulehie attended North Dakota State University where she graduated in May 2015 with a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and Government. She is now pursuing a Doctor of Law Degree at Mitchell Hamline School of Law.

Okwulehie shared how her experience in the IB Diploma Programme helped her prepare for her postsecondary success. She focused on two main points: the importance of learning a second language and learning college-level writing skills.

"Knowing a second language is extremely important in our society because you’re constantly coming into contact with people who may not speak English," Okwulehie said. "It is beneficial to include a second language as part of the curriculum starting at a young age."

She added that through the experience of writing the Extended Essay and her time in DP classes, she learned invaluable writing skills and the importance of including different perspectives.

"I really learned how to challenge myself. Many times, you write what you believe, but what could you write if you interpret the subject in a different way? It is important to know how to change your perspective and know how to explain it in an essay," Okwulehie said.

Presentation of the IB Diplomas

In addition to the presentation of the Extended Essays, class of 2017 Fridley High School graduates and IB Diploma Programme candidates returned to receive their IB Diplomas. As final examinations and assessments of earning the IB Diploma extends into June, the candidates learn that they are official recipients after high school graduation. The following five students who are now college freshmen, earned the IB Diploma: Sumaya Alfath, Jennie Harris, Emma Helmer, Abigail Ladwig, and Maureen Zeleny.

Fridley High School Class of 2017 graduates returned to their Alma Mater to accept their International Baccalaureate (IB) Diplomas. From left to right, Maureen Zeleny, Jennie Harris, Sumaya Alfath, Emma Helmer and Abigail Ladwig

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