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Board of Directors Meeting Release: November 30, 2023

Posted: Thursday, November 30, 2023 - 1:55 PM

Board of Directors

BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. ---- Nearly 650 students representing more than 70 member schools are registered to participate in the Minnesota State High School League’s student-centered statewide leadership conference on Wednesday, Dec. 6 at the St. Paul RiverCentre. The conference is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. and conclude by 2 p.m

Entitled “Together in Partnership,” the statewide conference, created and organized by the League’s Student Advisory and Leadership Team (SALT), is the crescendo to a series of eight regional meetings that were held this fall. This student-led initiative will continue work toward developing personal leadership skills, engaging with others collaboratively and leading schools toward ensuring safe, more respectful and inclusive environments in education-based athletics and Fine Arts activities.

The League’s Board of Directors, who received an update on the conference in a regularly scheduled meeting today, has been a major proponent of the initiative since its inception.

“It has truly been inspiring to see these students work collaboratively with one another toward united goals,” said Board President Jim Smokrovich, the principal of East Ridge High School in Woodbury. “This is a powerful opportunity to convene students from across Minnesota. It will be exciting to see our students continue to grow and lead.”

Two nationally known speakers will headline the event. Former Minnesota Vikings defensive lineman Esera Tuaolo will open the conference by sharing his personal testimony and challenge students, coaches and activities administrators to continue acts of acceptance and inclusion and eliminate hate-related behaviors. Closing out the conference is a session led by Omari Pearson, a former professional basketball player, who will tie together skills of the day’s learning, review the League’s Behavior Expectations and encourage attendees to leave a legacy of kindness, respect and inclusion in their schools and communities.

In between the bookend keynote addresses are breakout sessions on Mental Health and Wellness, Life After High School and Effectively Addressing Hateful Language in the Moment.

In addition to the Minnesota State High School League, other professional groups pledging their support include: Minnesota Interscholastic Activities Administrators Association (MNIAAA), Association of Metropolitan School Districts (AMSD), Minnesota High School Coaches Association (MHSCA), Minnesota Association of Secondary School Principals (MASSP), Minnesota School Boards Association (MSBA) and the Minnesota Association of School Administrators (MASA).

In other news:

  • The Board of Directors approved a MSHSL Belief Statement that solidifies a commitment to regional representation at state tournament events. It reads: Consistent with the organizational structure of the League, state-level postseason participation shall recognize and support opportunities for participants and teams from all geographic regions of the state.
  • The Board of Directors denied Winter Advisory Committee proposals for Girls and Boys Basketball and Dance Team for the current year. With a Team State Tournament Seeding Policy recently approved, those proposals can be re-submitted for future consideration.
  • The Board of Directors approved a rule change to continue allowing a participant the opportunity to finish their run if they’ve fallen or missed a gate. The FIS Alpine Skiing Federation recently made a rules change that prohibits this.
  • The Board of Directors approved the recommendation by the MSHSL Conference Placement Committee to place Central High School of Norwood Young America into the Wright County Conference beginning with the 2024-2025 school year.
  • The Board of Directors approved the recommendation by the MSHSL Conference Placement Committee to place Lester Prairie in the Tomahawk Valley Conference beginning with the 2024-2025 school year.
  • The Board of Directors approved updated policy language that reflects a recent change in NFHS rules in the maximum daily limits for wrestling. The adjustment is from five matches per day to six matches per day. This adoption approval is effective with this current wrestling season.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, we are appreciative of the great service performed by the Boys Volleyball Task Force, Their work has given the League and its member schools continued momentum and enthusiasm in the full implementation of Boys Volleyball.
Jim Smokrovich, Board President and principal of East Ridge High School in Woodbury.

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Board of Directors Meeting Synopsis: November 30, 2023