Sibley Senior Spotlight: Michelle Friedmann
Sibley Senior Spotlight: Michelle Friedmann
Posted on 05/01/2015

The Senior Spotlight series features interviews with Sibley seniors who have shown a commitment to academic excellence and personal achievement. The series will highlight two seniors each week until graduation.

 Michelle Friedmann

Senior Michelle Friedmann

Daughter of Mona and Frank Friedmann, from Mendota Heights

 In addition to her nine Advanced Placement courses – Biology, Chemistry, U.S. History, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Physics Mechanics C, Language and Composition, Macroeconomics, and Microeconomics – Michelle Friedmann has also taken a pair of College-in-the-Schools French courses and four Project Lead the Way (PLTW) classes during her four years at Henry Sibley High School.

While in the PLTW classes, Michelle noticed she was one of just two female students enrolled. Seeking a way to address this underrepresentation of girls – as well as complete her Girl Scout Gold Award – Michelle crafted a hands-on engineering curriculum for middle school students. Through four, after-school sessions at Friendly Hills Middle School, Michelle feels she was able to help young girls connect with engineering.

“I know that engineering is a male dominated field and I want to encourage younger girls to pursue engineering classes,” Michelle said about working with students at Friendly Hills. “At the first session I had each girl fill out a survey where they ranked their interest in engineering. Then, at the last session I had them retake the survey and each girls’ interest in engineering had increased.”

Along with her Gold Award from Girl Scouts of America, Michelle has been named an AP Scholar. She is also the recipient of multiple college scholarships. In the fall, Michelle will enroll at Iowa State University to pursue a degree in Chemical Engineering.

Michelle has kept herself busy away from the classroom as a member of LINK Crew, National Honors Society, Girls Learn International, Book Club and Math Team. Likewise, Michelle accumulated six athletic letters in three sports for the Warriors. Michelle was a member of the girls’ soccer, Nordic skiing and track and field teams. During her senior season, she served as captain of the Nordic skiing team, which went on to claim their first conference championship in 10 years.

Previously, Michelle attended Mendota Elementary School and Friendly Hills Middle School.

District 197: How has Sibley prepared you to succeed after graduation?
Michelle: Sibley has prepared me in many ways for success after graduation. I feel very supported in the environment that Sibley has provided for me. I feel that our teachers genuinely care about our success after high school and are there to support us. The academic rigor I have faced at Sibley has made me confident that I can handle the course load of college.

Who is your favorite teacher or what is your favorite subject at Sibley?
I can honestly say that I have liked every teacher I have had at Sibley. If I had to choose a favorite teacher I would say that mine is my French teacher Mr. (Jason) Laux. He always seems to make class fun and enjoyable, but also educational. His energy and excitement always brightens my day.

What’s a memory from your time at Sibley that will always stay with you?
My favorite memory from Sibley was beating Saint Thomas Academy in football for the section title in 2013 in order to make it to state. There was such a feeling of pride for Sibley in the community. It was awesome to see everyone come together to support our school and our team.

What advice do you have for younger students about high school?
My advice for younger students about high school is to try as many new things as you can. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to get involved. Getting involved allows you to meet so many new people and learn new things. Getting involved can really enrich the high school experience. I would also like to tell younger students not to worry too much about the workload. The workload is manageable no matter how challenging you make your schedule.

Anything else you’d like to share about your time at Sibley?
My time at Sibley has been an unforgettable experience. I am sad to have to say goodbye, but I am also excited to see what the future has in store for me. I will definitely be back to say hello to the wonderful Sibley staff.

Read about other achievements by students in the class of 2015:

-Sibley Senior Spotlight: Jeyca Maldonado-Medina
-Kania Johnson named Henry Sibley's 2015 Athena Award Winner
-Four Henry Sibley students recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Program
-Eighty-four Sibley students earn AP Scholar honors 
-Courtney Dean named Naitonal Achievement Scholarship semifinalist
-Meet the School Board's new Student Representative, Adrian Rocke