Throughout Aria’s life, I never posted where she went to school on my social media. Because of my career and things that were happening with my family; I thought it was best to keep Aria’s location as anonymous as possible. For her protection and safety.

Aria started kindergarten in 2010 at Lake Harriet Lower Campus.

Her Kindergarten picture

We were renting in South Mpls at the time she started kindergarten. It was our “neighborhood school.” We moved to Bloomington, N.E. Mpls, and St. Paul, but she always went to Lake Harriet. I would drive her everyday or my mom, Aaron, or Gary. We were all committed to keeping her in the same school district. I moved around to alot of different schools while I was growing up, but, I didn’t want to do that to her. She had so many friends and we loved the community.

Lake Harriet consists of 2 “campuses.” Lower is K-3, Upper 4-8.

Lower Campus

  • Kindergarten Mr. Carlson-(She loved him. I would find love letters all over the house.)
  • 1st Grade– Ms. Chhun-(She wasn’t a fan. She once called the school and left a message on Lake Harriet’s voicemail that Mrs. Chhun was mean. She got in trouble, but, it was one of those troubles where it took everything inside of me not to laugh.)
  • 2nd Grade– Mr. Deven’s-(She loved him. He let his students call him by his first name. She thought that was awesome!)
  • 3rd Grade– Mr Hallen-( I don’t remember much about him other than Aria’s crush Kai was in that class. Which obviously was a huge deal.)
Lower Campus Graduation
Graduation ceremonial tradition

Upper Campus

  • 4th Grade– Ms. Jorde-(Aria adored her immediately. In the picture I will share below is her and Ms. Jorde on the first day of school. They shared a special bond from day one)
  • 5th Grade– Mr. Marchetti-( This was a big one. Aria had been hearing about Mr. Marchetti for years. She had never wanted a teacher so badly in her life. I remember when her school schedule came she literally screamed when she saw he was her teacher. Apparently, it was because he threw popcorn parties every other Friday.)
  • 6th Grade– Ms. Eiden-(Aria was now in middle school, 6th, 7th and 8th grade teachers were her “homeroom” teachers)
  • 7th Grade- Ms. Cuff-(Aria and her had a special bond because Ms. Cuff was the music and rock band teacher)
  • 8th Grade– Mr. Wood-(Aria would always talk about how kind and funny he was.)

Hands down, Aria’s favorite employee at Lake Harriet was Ms. Paula. She is the secretary at the Upper Campus and the only African American woman who works at that school. They were very close. So much so that when Lake Harriet would call, it pop’s up on our phones as “Paula.” The day Aria passed I called the school to inform them what was going on. I wanted the staff to be prepared before the kids found out. Paula answered and I told her. She couldn’t take the rest of the phone call. She passed it to the social worker and I could hear her break down in the background. We love you Paula. Ohhhh and we LOVED Ms. Ismail, the math teacher. Aria hated math, but loved Ms. Ismail.

Tomorrow, not only is it the 4 month anniversary of Aria’s passing, it would be her 8th grade graduation, 6/6/2019. I love these kids. I’ve watched them grow and gotten to know them. I wish them nothing but love, joy, and happiness as they head into this new adventure called high school. Thank you to all the students, staff, and community who loved and supported Aria and myself over the last 8 years. I wish more than anything Aria was here to celebrate as well.


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  • Cash says:

    I didn’t know Aria very well i’ve started becoming friends with some of her friends and hear them talking about how much of a wonderful person she is Many people loved her I’m sorry she was in pain ❤️❤️❤️

  • Missy says:

    Thank you for sharing your Journey with us. We need to talk about it and bring awareness to it…. We have mutual friends and I have been praying for you and your family since I heard the news about your daughters death! Keep writing and keep talking and sharing your amazing daughters story.

  • Melissa says:

    This is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen or felt with teenagers. I know especially with my own experiences with depression and mental illness I love so big and will give my last breath to everyone I meet because everyone deserves to be loved. That is what we all are put on this earth for, but when it comes to myself sometimes this evil thing in me lies and lies. It is hard to reach out. I am so sorry your angel had to spread your wings, she impacted so many lives and possibly saved many. You just keep on with your mission as a mama and continue what she started and there is so many children and even adults that need help with feeling safe to open up that voice of theirs. She is spreading her wings high! Xoxo

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