Superintendent Friddle is celebrated after first year with Stockbridge Schools

by Jennifer Hammerberg

Left to right: Deanna Kruger, Carolyn Malinski, Jennifer Goble, and Kristie Knieper are among those who celebrated with Brian Friddle (center) on his first anniversary as school superintendent. Photo credit: Jennifer Hammerberg

A celebratory lunch was recently sponsored by the Stockbridge Area Educational Foundation to mark the one-year anniversary of Brian Friddle as Superintendent of Stockbridge Community School district.

Lunch was planned in advance to accommodate central office staff. Early summer is a very busy time in central office, wrapping up the former school year, completing the annual financial audit, and planning for the upcoming school year.

Friddle started with the district on July 1, 2021. As a long-serving superintendent for neighboring Webberville, Friddle arrived in Stockbridge with the experience needed to be successful here after his contract was finalized with the Board of Education.

Learning the culture, personnel, and daily operations needed to lead a new school district is challenging under any circumstances but even more so during an evolving pandemic.  The district has had many challenges due to the pandemic, along with staff changes amid a very tight labor market. Friddle is rising above these challenges and working hard to build our district up.

When asked to provide highlights, Friddle was not shy. He listed some notable improvements that have happened in the past year: Many new staff have been hired and are still being brought on board; new programs have been implemented and old traditions brought back; graduation and Honors Night returned to traditional form, as have student dances, assemblies, field trips and other after-school activities; a new Agriculture Science program—the FFA—as been initiated at the Jr./Sr. High; and an additional social worker and school nurse are being funded by a grant for two years.

The district intends to keep the positive momentum going. Prior to the start of the new school year, the Stockbridge Area Educational Foundation will once again be hosting an Ice Cream Social at Heritage School to promote community camaraderie and give everyone a chance to meet and mingle!  Mark your calendar for August 11 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

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