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Fridley Public Schools

Congratulations to Fridley Moore Lake Area Learning Center (ALC) students who were honored at the school’s annual Celebration of Excellence! The ceremony was held twice to honor both morning and afternoon students at the ALC on February 15. Award winners were recognized by teachers and staff, as students celebrated alongside their families. 

Nicole Mousette

“This celebration was started to recognize the accomplishments of our students during the school year as well as the students who have already graduated this year,” said Nicole Moussette, who is a teacher on special assignment at the ALC. 

“My hope and wish for all of you is that you achieve the ultimate goal of a high school diploma,” Moussette said addressing the students. “What you need to do is put in the effort or persist even when it’s hard and there are roadblocks in your way. Put yourself and your future-self first. You are worth it.”

In each ceremony, ALC students were picked to speak on a chosen theme. The morning theme was “effort” and the afternoon was “persistence.” Junior Rayvet Gono reflected on her journey to put more effort into her schoolwork while at the ALC. Realizing that she was doing the bare minimum, she asked herself, “What am I doing wrong? What am I not doing enough of?” Putting in effort was her answer. Gono made changes to help bring her more success through focusing on her work. She said, “I felt lighter and happy about my accomplishments because I know I put myself out there.”

Afternoon students, seniors Marcellou Allen and Darieus Burks, spoke about persistence. “The word ‘persistence’ to me means to simply not give up when it gets hard,” Burks said. He mentioned how he has a new mindset on school because of his future plans to go into the military. “With my new mindset I have achieved a lot: overgrown certain fears, overcome obstacles and overall it made me a better person,” Burks said. “When it gets tough, there’s always going to be a positive outcome if you continue to be persistent and keep going.” Allen concurred and added that you should “be persistent with everything you do and have the best attitude you can have.”

Certificates of achievement were awarded to a student in every subject area, as well as for attendance, emotional growth and overall achievement in all areas. Things teachers looked for were students who worked hard, put in effort and persisted to make significant progress in their academic career. 

The first graduates of the school year were also acknowledged for their determination and hard work to graduate. The graduates are: Ruby Gomez Vergara, Jhournei Chalmers, Selajdin Sahiti, Kai Love and Jabril Samatar.

Principal Kelly McConville closed the ceremony talking about how the ALC is a unique educational opportunity. Students are able to earn twice as many credits as the high school and are able to go at their own pace. “We are here for you every step of the way. Nothing makes us prouder to see our graduates,” McConville said. “Whatever it takes, whatever you need, we are here to support you.”

Congratulations to all students who won Celebration of Excellence awards and the newest graduates of the ALC!

This year’s Celebration of Excellence honorees are:

Excellence in science: Abdisalan Mohamed - AM 

“Abdisalan Mohamed completed three science courses in the first half of the school year. He earned elective credit for exceeding course requirements. He has great participation and obvious goal setting as his work was handed in on a consistent basis.”

Donna Wood, science teacher

Excellence in science: Kevin Juarez Guzman - PM 

“Kevin Juarez Guzman was one of the first students to receive credit this school year in September. He completed two science courses. His understanding of material was just as important as completion. He does 'A' work and all-around is a great student.”

Donna Wood, science teacher

Excellence in math: Talos Vazquez - AM

“Talos is a diligent student who puts in genuine effort in his mathematics courses both in school and at home. He asks relevant and thoughtful questions that demonstrate his solid understanding of math knowledge and skills. His commitment has led to him already completing three math courses in the first semester of this school year.”

Jennifer Pearson, math teacher

Excellence in math: Muna Said - PM

“Muna is a very intelligent and hardworking student. She makes an effort, not just to get her work done, but to understand the mathematics as well, consistently scoring near perfect scores on her math assessments. Her dedication has paid off as she has only one trigonometry unit until she completes all her required math courses for graduation.”

Jennifer Pearson, math teacher

Excellence in social studies: Rayvet Gono - AM

“Rayvet Gono is committed to completing her humanities/social studies work. Her work is of high quality, and she demonstrates strong critical thinking skills. In direct instruction she is an engaged class participant.”

Greg Miller, social studies teacher

Excellence in social studies: Darieus Burks - PM

“Darieus Burks has completed four humanities/social studies courses since November. He works hard in class, and also uses Google Classroom to access and complete many assignments at home.” 

Greg Miller, social studies teacher

Excellence in English: Kayden Tamura - AM

“I chose Kayden Tamura for language arts because he goes above and beyond on assignments and poses thoughtful ideas and questions during class and in his writing.”

Jenny DeMars, English teacher

Excellence in English: Jocelyn Spaulding - PM

“I chose Jocelyn Spaulding for language arts because she has worked steadily day in and day out. She asks for help if needed and puts in a great effort.” 

Jenny DeMars, English teacher

Excellence in art: Kailey Brown - AM

"Kailey radiated with determination and artistic skill in art. Everyday she came to class with the mindset of being better than the day before. Her artwork hangs on the wall at the ALC proudly!"

Brooke Hoiseth, art teacher

Excellence in work seminar: Zoe Ellefson - AM

“I chose Zoe Ellefson for work seminar because she participated in class daily, did all assignments on time, and works two jobs.”

Jenny DeMars, English teacher

Excellence in MAAP: Farooq Al Karkhi - PM

“We nominated Farooq Al Karkhi because he had great attendance, wonderful class participation, and 100% assignment completion. He worked well alone, with a partner and in small groups.”

Jenny DeMars, English teacher and Jennifer Pearson, math teacher

Attendance award: Suhaib Yusuf - AM

“Suhaib attends school on a regular basis close to perfect attendance! Clearly, Suhaib is motivated, and his work is focused on completing his high school diploma.”

Jean Hanson, social worker

Attendance award: Jove Vaj - PM 

“You can always count on seeing Jove arriving at school every day, even on the worst winter days! Jove has perfect attendance and is a great student at the ALC.”  

Jean Hanson, social worker

Social emotional growth award: Dakota Sailor - AM

“Dakota was chosen for this award because of her increased attendance and participation in school. Some strengths I have observed of Dakota during the school day include her great interactions with teachers and the voicing of her opinions and knowledge.”  

Jean Hanson, social worker

Social emotional growth award: Mgtba Algezi - PM

“Mgtba has greatly increased his attendance and has shown elevated and positive motivation in his participation during the school day. Mgtba is such a polite person! He always takes a moment to ask me, ‘How are you doing, Jean?’”

Jean Hanson, social worker

3D (Desire, Dedication and Determination) award: Hawa Ali - AM

“Hawa has done a tremendous job this year as a student at the ALC. She works hard, comes in every day with a smile and is willing to help out with whatever is needed. Hawa was chosen as one of four students who represented Fridley Public Schools over two days giving input on the direction of our school district in strategic planning.”

Kelly McConville, principal

3D (Desire, Dedication and Determination) award: Mario Ybarra - PM

“Mario has done a tremendous job this year at the ALC. He works hard, he’s quiet but he’s all business. He comes and works really hard every day and has a positive attitude and does all of the things he needs to do to graduate.”

Kelly McConville, principal