Board of Directors Meeting Release: August 1, 2023
Posted: Tuesday, August 1, 2023 - 1:32 PM
SPICER, Minn. --- Membership credits to schools, discussion of seeding state tournaments for bracketed team events and next steps in the implementation of Boys Volleyball were among topics addressed when the Minnesota State High School League’s Board of Directors convened for its first meeting of the 2023-2024 school year on Tuesday, Aug. 1, at the Little Crow Conference Center.
The first of six scheduled in-person board meetings this school year was preceded by a two-day work session for the Board of Directors in preparation for the coming year.
“To gather in a workshop setting with the Board of Directors sets a strong tone for the coming school year,” said Board President Jim Smokrovich, the principal at East Ridge High School in Woodbury. “This is an engaged board that will work hard on behalf of the member schools.”
As part of an Action Item that approved the 2023-2024 financial budget, the Board of Directors approved a League Staff recommendation to credit the member schools $2.35 million in annual dues over the next two school years. Just more than $1.4 million will be credited to member schools for the 2023-2024 school year followed by $925,000 in credits for the 2024-2025 school year.
The board’s approval confirmed the long-range goal of the Financial Advisory Committee that was assembled during the COVID-19 pandemic when the League was seeking a sustainable financial model. Nearly 85 percent of the League’s revenue at that time was via state tournament income. In the absence of that projected revenue during the cancellation of state tournaments, and then followed by events with limited attendance, member schools were called upon for additional financial support as the League developed a sustainable financial model that could withstand unexpected financial hardships.
In developing the model, the League committed to reimburse its member schools when finances were available to be credited.
“Today’s financial report is fantastic news for member schools,” said Board Member Gary Revenig, the Activities Director at Monticello High School. “Two years ago, when the League created a sustainable financial model, it made a commitment to reimburse member schools when the League experienced excess revenues. This past year, that has happened, and dues for member schools will be reduced by more than $1.4 million. This will result in significant savings for all member schools.”
In other Action Items, the Board of Directors:
Approved the setting of Strategic Directions for the 2023-2024 school year. These areas of priority for the coming school year are:
- Health, Safety and Wellness
- Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging
- Communication and providing outstanding experiences for students
Approved a Resolution of Appreciation and Dedication for Suzy Guthmueller, Matthew Heier, Amanda Kaus, Astein Osei, John Ostrowski, Troy Stein and John Vraa, who completed Board of Directors terms in June.
Approved Board of Directors Committee assignments.
Approved an updated contract with League Lobbyist Roger Aronson.
Approved the Annual Complimentary Ticket List.
Approved the Speech Books and Topics for the 2023-2024 school year.
- Discussion Task: Communication Breakdown: Keeping the Lines Between Us Open
- Prose: The Moth presents All These Wonders, edited by Catherine Burns; Crown Archetype (Penguin Random House); 2017
- Poetry: Saving Red, by Sonya Sones, Harper Teen, 2016
- Storytelling: Selected stories from Project Gutenberg (https://www.gutenberg.org), a free e-book website
Approved the District Football Policy, which includes updating reference language of 9-Man to 9-Player and the number and naming of districts and sub-districts.
Approved the MSHSL Handbook, Board Policy Manual and Guidelines, Region Secretaries Manual, Officials Policy Manual, Media Policy Manual and the Employee Handbook.
The Board of Directors approved an Executive Committee recommendation to create a sub-committee of the Board of Directors, numbering 6-10 individuals, to work with League Staff in exploring potential seeding options for bracketed team state tournaments. This is expected to be an Action Item for the Board of Directors meeting on Thursday, Oct. 5.
In June, the Board of Directors tabled an Activity Advisory Proposal to seed all eight teams in the Boys and Girls Basketball State Tournaments. The Board of Directors tasked League Staff to initiate further study.
Work continues on the implementation of Boys Volleyball as an interscholastic activity. A task force is working to identify the season in which Boys Volleyball will compete in 2024-2025, the first year Boys Volleyball is a sanctioned sport. The task force will bring information to the full board. Planned next steps include surveys to member schools as well as coaches and officials groups.