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South St. Paul adds seven International Baccalaureate Diploma Graduates to global roster of IB-DP alumni

IB Diploma Programme logo Monday, Aug. 26, 2019 — South St. Paul Public Schools congratulates seven recent graduates who join over 169,000 IB Diploma Programme (IB-DP) students worldwide in earning their IB Diploma and demonstrating the knowledge, skills and determination to address the world's greatest challenges. 

SSP Class of 2019 IB Diploma Recipients

Jennifer Burres, Anna Ebert, Mihnea Frincu, Clare Holsen, Elizabeth Kirschner, Katherine McCabe and Cecilia Pugh. 

high school graduates “We excitedly congratulate this year’s South St. Paul IB Diploma Programme graduates,” said Superintendent Dave Webb. “Earning the IB Diploma is an extremely rigorous process. They are to be commended for their commitment, drive and passion for learning.” 

To earn the IB Diploma, SSP candidates take challenging courses and assessments during their junior and senior years, complete the Theory of Knowledge (ToK) course, and complete a 4,000 word extended essay in a subject of their choice. In addition, students document 18 months of Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) activities. Students that complete all such requirements and meet minimum IB exam scores are awarded the IB Diploma in addition to their SSP Secondary diploma.

In addition to those students who took part in the full IB-DP in 2019-20, a growing number of SSP students are opting to enroll in one or more IB-DP courses as a way of advancing their learning in a rigorous academic environment. South St. Paul Public Schools (SSPPS) has taken a proactive and intentional approach to increase the number of students participating in such advanced academic options, particularly when it comes to traditionally underrepresented students. 

“We want all students to be a part of the IB Diploma Program,” said Conrad Anderson, SSP IB-DP coordinator. “Successful IB Diploma Program students show ability, interest, self-discipline and an awareness of others. IB Diploma Program courses provide you with the solid, well-rounded education you’ll need to succeed in the 21st century.” 

The IB-DP at South St. Paul Secondary, which has been successfully administered in the district since 1986, encourages critical thinking, research skills, and service to the community as part of the learning process. As many as 70 students a year graduate with IB Honors in which they complete IB coursework and fulfill a number of CAS hours (hours dedicated to creativity, activity and service). The IB-DP courses prepare students for post-secondary success, no matter what path they choose.


The IB-DP program is part of a district-wide IB experience for students in South St. Paul Public Schools (SSPPS). SSPPS was the first district in Minnesota to be authorized by the IB to serve students from kindergarten through grade 12. To learn more about IB in SSPPS, visit 

Following its founding in 1968, the first IB exams took place in 1971 with a total of 29 students taking part. Since then, the IB has gone on to continually develop an innovative assessment that is recognized globally. To learn more about the history of the IB, visit