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Celebrating the great work of Faribault students and staff

VIDEO: Congratulations to the Class of 2020!

Faribault High School Class of 2020 Virtual Commencement Program

FHS celebrates students safely with Drive Thru Graduation

Drive Thru Graduation at Faribault High School May 27 and 28 was a huge success, with over 200 members of the Class of 2020 and their families participating.

As "Pomp and Circumstance" played, students got to walk across the stage, receive their diploma case from Principal Jamie Bente, have a professional photo taken, and pose for additional photos with family. Thirty FHS staff members were on hand to welcome students, cheer them on, and offer congratulations. Faribault Transportation presented each student with a graduation card.

“We were very happy and excited to see the seniors’ faces again and be able to welcome them back to FHS one last time,” Bente said. “They are a wonderful group of kids and we wanted to do everything we could to give them the celebration they deserve while practicing social distancing and following other safety guidelines.”

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Meet our seven Valedictorians

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Music students solo with YouTube presence during quarantine

Story courtesy of the Faribault Daily News

Sixth-grader Brandon Petricka never performed a saxophone solo before a live audience before, but now, he’s among 25 Faribault Public Schools music students with a YouTube presence.

An online playlist called “Songs for Souls,” featuring the musical talents of Faribault Middle School and Faribault High School students, has been shared with local senior centers and nursing homes during the pandemic.

Said Brandon, “I feel good about that.”

For his solo, Brandon chose to play “The Pink Panther” and recorded a video of his performance from his home. It took a few takes to get it right, but he said he feels great about the finished video.

Brandon’s sister Stacie, an eighth-grader at Faribault Middle School, performed a cello solo as part of the community music project. She chose to record herself playing “Hallelujah,” a song she never before played for an audience. Although she’s performed duets in the past, she preferred playing alone because she didn’t need to coordinate practice times with anyone else.

“I’m pretty proud of [my solo], and I’m glad I’m brightening up someone’s day so they can enjoy it too,” said Stacie.

Elizabeth Barron, Faribault Middle School band director and chair of the middle school music department, collaborated with other music directors in the district to create “Songs for Souls” after schools closed in response to COVID-19.

“At the beginning of distance learning, we brainstormed what we want students to get out of this time,” said Barron. “… We want students to understand the power music can have in connecting people together, even from a distance.”

Band, choir and orchestra students selected songs of their own choosing to sing or play for their solo contributions and then rehearsed their performances on their own time. Students then sent their draft recordings to their music directors for evaluation, and the final recordings were added to the YouTube channel. About 25 solos are included in the playlist, among them pieces featuring clarinet, euphonium, violin, flute, piano and more.

Apart from allowing music students the chance to grow in their skills, Barron said “Songs for Souls” is a creative way to let community members know someone cares and wants to offer support for them. Students have expressed interest in performing more solos for the playlist through the remainder of the school year. Since band, choir and orchestra concerts have been cancelled, the project also gives students an another way to show what they’ve learned. The full playlist is accessible to anyone at

Stacie said she was thankful and excited about performing for the “Songs for Souls” playlist. Apart from this project, she’s continued practicing her cello by using apps like SmartMusic since schools closed.

Having a video on YouTube “feels great,” said Brandon, but he also misses being at band class.

“It’s very different to not see your friends around and not seeing the teacher,” he said.

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Peroutka wins Elks essay contest

Faribault Middle School eighth-grader Logan Peroutka was recently named a winner of the 2019-20 ELKS Americanism Essay Contest held through the Faribault Elks Lodge. He submitted an essay titled “What Does Freedom of Speech Mean to Me?”
The essay was again named a winner at the Minnesota Elks Metro level.

Borgerding wins $1,000 book grant for Roosevelt Elementary

In April, Roosevelt Elementary first-grade teacher Emily Borgerding applied and was selected for a $1,000 grant from the Inclusive Classroom Fund. The funds will go toward providing a library of diverse books that all Roosevelt staff can use for read alouds, mini lessons, writing mentor texts and other activities.

Borgerding became interested in the idea of providing students the opportunity to see themselves in books after attending a training session hosted by the Minnesota Department of Education. She decided to apply for the grant when she saw it posted by a friend on Facebook.

“One of the (MDE) speakers was speaking about Windows and Mirrors and how important that is for our students to see themselves in books and daily life in the classroom. That was very powerful to hear and with our diverse student population, I started following different educator blogs and Facebook groups who help showcase different books for teachers,” Borgerding said. “When I saw this grant come up, I applied on a whim and was surprised to see I won. This was before the recent events in Minnesota, so I am so glad we can have this resource to start moving forward with our staff and helping provide Windows and Mirrors for our students.”

Click here to learn more about Windows and Mirrors:

VIDEO: Celebrating the senior members of the FHS music department (video by student Nya Anter)

Faribault HS Music Department Class of 2020

Three students receive MMEA honors

Three Faribault High School students recently received honors from the Minnesota Music Educators Association. Junior Kylie Petricka was named all-state in orchestra and sophomore Henry Schonebaum and freshman Abbe Brien were each named alternates.

“This is great news and demonstrates the talents here in our community,” said orchestra teacher Michael Sloane, who noted that the MMEA’s all-state program is considered one of the top programs in the nation.

Students in high school choir, bands and orchestras auditioned for all-state spots in March. Judges listened to the students, evaluating them on their overall musicianship and technique. In mid-April, the MMEA All-State committee chose the final rosters considering scores and MMEA’s placement policies. 565 students are selected for the seven all-state groups.

Petricka has been playing the upright bass since sixth grade. She said she was shocked and extremely happy to learn she had been named all-state.

“I honestly hadn’t expected to make it. Sometimes I still can’t believe I’m going to have my picture on the wall at the high school next to so many other talented people and I get the opportunity to work with some of the best musicians and conductors in the state next year,” Petricka said. “I know I couldn’t have done it without the support, help, and encouragement from Mr. Sloane, my parents, and my friends.”

Students typically attend camp in August where they meet their guest conductor and attend long hours of rehearsals and sectionals. Although the major focus during the summer camp is developing advanced technique and making music, a full schedule of recreation and social activities gives the students an opportunity to relax and develop new friendships. The camp has been moved to February of 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The all-state musicians will meet again to perform at Orchestra Hall as part of the MMEA Midwinter Clinic.

Students graduate from adult education, GED programs

On May 29th, 10 adult education students graduated with an adult diploma and three students graduated from our GED program. Students arrived at the Faribault Education Center for an open house from 3-6 p.m. Each student received their diploma and completion certificate, as well as a gift. Students arrived with their families in caps and gowns and took pictures outside in front of the FEC and in the grassy area. Most students will be attending South Central College (SCC) in the fall through our Pathways to Prosperity Grant Partnership with SSC.

Boys hockey team pitches in at SageGlass

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Team provides over 118,000 meals during pandemic

At the May school board meeting, food services director Brenda Boehm received recognition for her leadership in distributing meals to Faribault kids during the Covid-19 pandemic. The food services staff, FPS staff, Faribault Transportation and community volunteers worked together to provide over 118,000 meals over the last three months!

VIDEO: Class of 2020 Senior Awards Program

FHS Senior Awards 2020

Hanson, Skjeveland, Tuma, Williamson win athletic awards

Story courtesy of the Faribault Daily News

Faribault High School announced its annual athletic award winners in late May, and runners distanced themselves from the pack in three of the four awards.

The Male Athlete of the Year was announced as Mitchell Hanson, while the Female Athlete of the Year was awarded to Madelyn Skjeveland.

Both competed at the Class AA state cross country meet this season for the Falcons.

Hanson also competed at state this winter as part of the boys swimming and diving team, and will run cross country next year at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

“I think the biggest thing I have to tell, and I’ve told many people, is he started off as a young man, a boy liking to run,” Faribault boys cross country coach Mark Bongers said in November. “Over the years he’s been able to take his passion and fun-lovingness and he’s built it into one of my better captains I’ve ever head on the cross country team. And that says a lot, because I’ve had a lot of great captains.”

Skjeveland was also a state qualifier last spring with the girls track and field team, and will move on to run track and cross country at Minnesota State, Mankato next year.

“(She) and her classmates changed the culture and built this team,” Faribault girls cross country coach Willie Clapp said in November. “After they move on, they’ll leave a team that’s still hungry for more. That has a lot to say to what type of kids they were and they want their teammates to keep succeeding after they’re gone. Just a great kid. Great student. Great teammate. A hard worker.”

Rounding out the runners to receive accolades was Will Tuma, who was named the Bruce Smith Sportsman of the Year for his athletic, academic and personal accomplishments.

Tuma was a member of the boys cross country, boys swimming and diving and boys track and field teams during his time at Faribault. He also competed on the same relay as Hanson at this year’s swimming and diving state championships.

“It’s a good group,” Faribault boys swimming and diving coach Charlie Fuller said of the relay before the state meet in February. “They’re a bunch of goofballs, and that’s part of what makes them as good as they are. They’ll work hard, but they’ll have fun doing it and are still as goofy as can be right now. That’s a good sign for me.”

Earning the honor of AAUW Sportswoman of the Year was Olivia Williamson. The award which is handed with the same considerations and qualifications as the Bruce Smith Sportsman of the Year award.

Williamson starred on both the girls hockey and girls soccer teams during her time at Faribault High School, and will move on next year to play hockey at Brown University.

“I’m used to working with boys at Shattuck that are very coachable and want to learn the nuances of their position,” Faribault girls hockey Mike Dietsch said of Williamson early this winter. “She really fits that mold well. She has a thirst and desire to learn more about how to play her position.”

Little Distance Learners

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School board member named Citizen of the Year

“If somebody has need, I don’t know how people ignore somebody else’s pain and need,” she said. “It takes more than just one person to be able to do anything. I look at it as all of us have a responsibility toward everybody in the community.”

Carolyn Treadway's love for her community and her tireless efforts on behalf of others has earned her the honor of Faribault’s 2020 Citizen of the Year.

“I was very surprised,” she said. “I know I do a fair amount of stuff but, man, I’m around people all the time that are doing as much as I am. I’m honored, I truly am.”

The Citizen of the Year award, bestowed by Faribault Daily News, recognizes local residents who are making a difference in the community. Th is chosen by a group of former Citizens of the Year.

Congratulations, Carolyn!

VIDEO: Roosevelt Elementary virtual parade

Roosevelt Virtual Parade

FMS Outstanding Student-Athlete Award winners

The outstanding athlete award is presented each year to a female and male eighth grader and is based on athletic participation, with demonstrated outstanding ability in the area, and academic achievement. The recipients of this year’s awards receive a plaque with their name on it. Another with their name will be permanently displayed in the middle school trophy case.

2019-20 Co-Outstanding Male Student-Athletes:

Cristian Escobar Pearson — Son of Nicole Pearson and Ivan Rosillo. He participates in JV soccer, basketball, track and student council. Escobar Pearson has been on the honor roll and FMS All Star.

“Cristian was an outstanding Track Athlete, who constantly worked on finding ways to improve his strength and speed. His teammates look up to him and follow his lead.”

“Cristian has an outstanding work ethic and demeanor on the court. Be it drills, competition situations, or actual games Cristian has one approach, “go all out and give it his best.”

“He is one of the rare athletes that challenges himself internally to become better and never stop working. He competes hard and enjoys doing it.”

Isaac Yetzer — Son of Joe and Gina Yetzer. He participates in football, wrestling, baseball, WEB and band. Yetzer has earned his Wrestling Varsity Letter going 22-15, was all-conference honor mention and on the honor roll.

“To many, Isaac’s successes on the mat may have come as a surprise, but not to Isaac. He worked for it. Isaac had a great season because he made it a goal to challenge himself each day with the best. As an 8th grader he regularly challenged the states top ranked seniors in our room...and Isaac held his own! Great character, heart, and confidence will continue to carry Ike all the way to state in the near future.”

“Isaac was a valuable part of the 8th grade football team on offense and defense as well as part of a very successful 7-8 grade club wrestling team. He has a very bright future.”

2019-2020 Co-Outstanding Female Student Athletes:

Aubrey Filan — Daughter of Emily Dressel and Kevin Filan. She participates in volleyball, basketball, WEB and orchestra. Filan has been on the honor roll, FMS All Star and Student of the Month.

“Aubrey’s teammates look to her for guidance and confidence during times of struggle, but is also the first one to celebrate with them during even the smallest of their personal victories. Aubrey’s leadership ability, humbleness and captivating drive for success makes her the perfect candidate for FMS’s Outstanding Female Athlete. I look forward to seeing this Faribault Falcon soar.”

“Aubrey is the kind of student athlete you want on your team. She was voted by her peers as one of my captains on the 9th grade volleyball team. Besides her incredible work ethic on the court, she has an amazing personality and is someone people enjoy spending their time with. Aubrey is the definition of an Outstanding Student Athlete!”

Hailey Reuvers — Daughter of Dominic and Tiffany Reuvers. She participates in tennis, basketball, boys tennis manager, WEB, student council and band. Reuvers has been a 2x Varsity Tennis Letterwinner, on the honor roll, Student of the Month, FMS All Star and volunteers with Little Falcons.

“Hailey is awesome in to have in class and on the court. She is known for her calming and quiet leadership.”

“Hailey works very hard to improve her game and be the best she can be. She also is a wonderful student and will be missed at FMS. She also is very selfless and looks to do things for others. She epitomizes this award and will go on to do great things at Faribault High School.”

Adopt A Highway outing June 12

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...and thank you to our retirees for your years of dedication to Faribault Public Schools!

Faribault Retirement 2020