Friedell Middle School in Rochester receives national recognition
Students, teachers and staff at Friedell Middle School in Rochester deserve some extra credit for this one.
The school was recognized for academic excellence on Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Education. Friedell was one of 335 schools across the country and seven in Minnesota to be designated as a Blue Ribbon school for 2015.
“This honor recognizes your students’ accomplishments and the hard work and dedication that went into their success,” Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a video message to the awardees.
Since 1982, more than 7,500 public and private schools have been designated National Blue Ribbon Schools. The department will honor this year's recipients during a Nov. 9-10 ceremony in Washington, D.C.
The following is an excerpt from Friedell's nomination form.
Friedell Middle School is nestled snugly between Denny’s and the Super 8 at the intersection of two busy highways in an old furniture store in the shadow of a giant corncob-shaped water tower. Many people drive by and do not notice that there is a school here. Friedell was born in 1997 out of necessity, as a means of reducing the crowding at the other middle schools. We are a small district-wide school with approximately 450 students.
Friedell’s appeal is not physical. It is something else. When people walk in for the first time or visit years later they remark that they feel a sense of warmth and caring. Historically, Friedell has enjoyed one of the highest percentages of racial diversity among the district middle schools. Students are diverse in many other ways as well: language, socioeconomic status, interests, beliefs, and family structure. Some students are twice exceptional; they are gifted and have a disability. Friedell is a place where students can be themselves and where parents can be assured that their children will be watched over carefully and loved.
Friedell’s staff strives each day to fulfill the district mission: to inspire, challenge, and empower all students with the knowledge and skills required to reach their full potential, to contribute to future generations, and to become involved members of a global community. We work hard to provide students with a rich school experience that prepares them not only for high school, but for life.
(Cover photo: Principal Oscar Uribe Mardones & students / RPS)