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Staff Shoutout: Auburn High School’s Christa Friend

Christa Friend with Business Academy students

I want to acknowledge Christa Friend. She’s the Business Academy counselor at Auburn High School, but she does so much more for our Auburn community. Christa is a champion of mental health and well-being, a major advocate for both suicide prevention and healthy relationships, and is a true champion for our students. Not only that, but Christa takes time out of her already busy schedule to make space for staff wellness. Even though Christa is not in my academy, I am able to come to her with sensitive concerns for myself or others, and I know that the matter will be handled in the best way possible.

This year was particularly exceptional for Christa. In March we tragically lost a student. Christa was in contact with the family while traveling on her spring break. Upon her return she ensured that the family was cared for by the staff and community as much as possible.

Christa is also in charge of senior events. Our seniors have not had a “normal” school year since the first semester of their sophomore year. Christa coordinated an afternoon celebration for seniors which culminated in senior send-off.

Auburn has started celebrating all student successes with a brief parade in the halls led by the drum line. For senior send-off, the drum line led our seniors, dressed in full graduation regalia through the halls of Auburn one last time, with cheers from their teachers and undergraduate classmates.

The love and joy the Auburn family has for each of its members is unparalleled.

Thank you, Christa, for making all of this possible!

Marianna Ruggerio

Marianna Ruggerio

Marianna Ruggerio is the AP physics/physics instructor at Auburn High School. She has worked in the district for the past seven years after moving to Rockford from the Chicago area in 2014. Marianna is constantly looking for ways to improve professionally and serves on the executive councils for both the Illinois and Chicago sections of the American Association of Physics Teachers.

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