West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan

Friendly Hills has new principal

Friendly Hills Middle School will be led by a new principal next year, though some may find his face familiar. Chris Hiti, previously the principal at the district’s Heritage E-STEM Magnet, took over the role on July 1.

Hiti joined the district in 1997 as a social studies teacher at Friendly Hills. After serving as an associate principal, he became the principal at Heritage in 2005, leading it through several big changes, including becoming the district’s environmental-STEM magnet school and implementing a 1:1 iPad program.

Previous Friendly Hills Principal Joni Hagebock is now the principal at Somerset Elementary for 2014-15. Hagebock replaces Sara Palodichuk, who took a principal position with the South Washington County district.

District 197 has begun looking for a principal for Heritage E-STEM Magnet School, to be in place by the time school starts.

South St. Paul

District raising funds for field

The South St. Paul district is in the midst of a fund­raising campaign to pay for improvements to Ettinger Field, which has served it for more than 80 years.

Supporters can donate a brick, recycled from the Secondary Building’s old gym, which will eventually be engraved and used to build an archway in front of the field.

Other options include buying a piece of the old gym floor, built in 1922, or donating directly to the fund for artificial turf for the field.

The campaign will continue until enough money is raised to complete the project, with a goal of $1.5 million.

To contribute, fill out the Ettinger Field Campaign Commitment Form on the district’s homepage (www.sspps.org) under ‘District Announcements.’

For more information, contact Lisa Brandecker at lbrandecker@sspps.org or 651-457-9465.

Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan

Finance director recognized

Jeff Solomon, director of finance and operations in District 196, is one of three school business professionals nationally to receive a 2014 Pinnacle of Achievement Award from the Association of School Business Officials (ASBO) International. The award recognizes school officials for outstanding and innovative practices that have enhanced the lives of students in their district.

After Solomon was unable to find an online system that met all of the district’s needs, he worked with several partners to develop one of the nation’s first truly comprehensive systems, according to the ASBO website.

For two years, district parents have used the system to register their children for activities and pay for almost all school-related fees, with almost 100 different uses in all.

Erin Adler