Skip to main content


Board of Directors Meeting Synopsis, Aug. 2, 2022

Posted: Tuesday, August 2, 2022 - 2:01 PM

Board of Directors Synopsis


Little Crow Conference Center, Spicer, MN   

Tuesday, August 2, 2022   


Board member Don Peschel provided the reflection.  

Board President Troy Stein called the meeting to order at 10:10 a.m. 

The Board of Directors approved the consent agenda.  

The Board of Directors approved the meeting minutes of June 7, 2022.  

Board President Troy Stein thanked the staff of the Little Crow Conference Center for their hospitality and service during the workshop and board meeting.  

Lobbyist Report  

League Lobbyist Roger Aronson shared updates from the State Legislature, including Minnesota Primary Day on Tuesday, Aug. 9.  

Legal Counsel Report  

Legal Counsel Kevin Beck reported no pending litigation.   

Executive Director’s Report  

Executive Director Erich Martens:  

  • Welcomed the Board of Directors and thanked them for their attendance and engagement with the mission and goals of the Minnesota State High School League. 
  • A special welcome was extended to the newest Board Members who attended a Board Member Orientation on July 12. A special thanks to board officers and Board Member Dave Rocheleau for their leadership and attendance.  
  • New Board Members welcomed:  
  • LeRoy Fairbanks, Cass Lake, Governor Appointee (District 3 Representative for the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe) 
  • Casey Indra, Winona, Regions 1AA-2AA 
  • Astein Osei, Superintendent, St. Louis Park, MASA 
  • Brent Schimek, Activities Director, Deer River, Regions 7A-8A 
  • Denarvise Thornton, Jr., District Athletic Director, St. Paul Public Schools, Regions 3AA-4AA 
  • Jake Timm, Principal, Rushford-Peterson, MASSP Class A Principal 
  • With the retirements of Region Secretaries Scott Larson (Region 3AA) and Jim Weinzierl (Region 8A), two new administrators will begin those roles in the 2022-2023 school year. Dan Johnson, former Activities Director at Hopkins High School and the new Executive Director of MnIAAA will take over in Region 3AA. Mike Kolness, the current superintendent in the East Grand Forks School District, will take over in Region 8A.  
  • Board Member Amanda Kaus was selected to serve on the NFHS Board of Directors as an at-large member and will represent Sections 5 and 8 for the next three years.  
  • Attended the MASSP Conference on June 14 and 15. The Principals Advisory met in conjunction with the conference. Two breakout sessions were held where League information was shared.  
  • LEAD Network will be broadcast through Zoom approximately once per month. The first LEAD meeting of the school year is Tuesday, Aug. 9 at 10:45 a.m. Board members are encouraged to join. 
  • The Section 5 meeting of states is Aug. 30-Sept. 2 in Lincoln, Neb. Executive Directors from Section 5, plus Iowa and Executive Staff from the NFHS will also attend. 
  • Area Meetings are scheduled and will take place the final three weeks in September. Planned meeting stops are in Ottertail, Thief River Falls, Chisholm, Rochester, Mankato, Marshall, St. Cloud, Eagan and Brooklyn Park.  

Executive Committee Report  

Board President Troy Stein:  

  • Shared a personnel update on the agreement with PlayFly, a League partner that specializes in advertising and sponsorship.  
  • Approved an apparel and merchandise agreement with Signature Concepts, a Twin Cities-based apparel company that will be onsite and online sales during state tournament events. 
  • Based on the bids acquired through an RFP process, the committee approved Trophies Plus as the provider of section and state tournament awards. 
  • Approved a motion to move the Prep Bowl football championship dates to Dec. 2 and 3.  
  • Approved the MSHSL Organizational Chart that illustrates the operations of the League.  
  • Approved the adoption of a Programs Task Force that will provide detailed pathways for new and emerging programs.  
  • Approved a waiver request to opponents of Butterfield-Odin High School that would help Butterfield-Odin fill soccer and volleyball schedules after a long-term co-op dissolved.  
  • The Executive Committee report was approved as presented. 

Action Items 

9A: Resolution in Appreciation and Recognition for Service and Dedication to the Board of Directors: Dustin Bosshart, Walt Hautala, Tom Jerome, Sandra Setter Larsen and Teri Staloch. 

The Board of Directors approved this resolution.  

9B: 2022-2023 Board of Directors Committee Assignments 

The Board of Directors approved the placement of the Board of Directors in the following committee assignments:  

  • Executive Committee --- Troy Stein, President; Jim Smokrovich, Vice President; John Ostrowski, Treasurer; Amanda Kaus, John Vraa, Gary Revenig. 

  • Audit/Finance --- John Ostrowski, chair; Suzy Guthmueller, Astein Osei, Don Peschel, Bill Tauer.  

  • Eligibility --- Gary Revenig, chair; Dawn Engebretson, Casey Indra, Denarvise Thornton, Jake Timm. 

  • Education and Leadership --- John Vraa, chair; Dr. Julie Anderson, LeRoy Fairbanks, Ceil McDonald, Dave Rocheleau.  

  • Marketing and Communications --- Amanda Kaus, chair; Matt Heier, Jeanna Lilleberg, Brent Schimek, May Thao-Schuck.  

9C: Publications 

The Board of Directors approved the following publications for the 2022-2023 school year:  

  • Official Handbook 
  • Board Policy Manual and Guidelines 
  • Region Secretaries Manual 
  • Officials Policy Manual 
  • Media Policy Manual 
  • Dance Rules Book 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 

9D: 2022-2023 Strategic Directions 

The Board of Directors approved the Strategic Directions that will guide the work of League Staff and the Board of Directors this school year. 

The Strategic Directions will focus on:  

  • Supporting schools and students in mental health, safety and wellness initiatives;  
  • Promoting diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in all aspects of the MSHSL programs and processes; 
  • Enhancing communication systems and structures. 

The Board of Directors charged League Staff with further defining and identifying specific strategies for each direction.  

9E: 2022-2023 Membership Dues and 2022-2023 Budget Approval 

  • The Board of Directors approved membership fees of $160 per activity and $2.25 per student. This approved student fee is a reduction from the previously projected student fee of $4.60. 
  • The Board of Directors approved the projected 2022-2023 balanced budget as presented.  

Discussion Items 

10A: Spring Activity Advisory Proposals 

League Staff shared information about spring activity advisory proposals in the following activities. These will be sent to the Region Committees for their discussion and feedback prior to potentially becoming Action Items at the next Board of Directors meeting on Oct. 6, 2022.  

  • Baseball --- This proposal would increase the number of regular-season games from 20 to no more than 24. Those four additional games are intended to be played on Friday nights, Saturday, or when Member Schools have mutual days off from school. The 24 games in 20 dates would be optional for Member Schools. 

  • Softball --- This proposal would increase the number of regular-season games from 20 to no more than 24. Those four additional games are intended to be played on Friday nights, Saturday, or when Member Schools have mutual days off from practice. The 24 games in 20 dates would be optional for Member Schools. 

  • Clay Target --- This proposal would add a girls-only division to the individual competition of the state tournament. Currently, the top 100 participants, boy or girl, based on their conference season average, qualify for the individual competition. The proposal keeps the top 100 open competition and would add an additional 25 female participants that would compete in a girls-only individual division. A girls-only division is already used during the regular season and other events.  

  • Music --- This proposal adds Guitar as its own category for music contests. Currently, Guitar participants have been grouped in the “other” category. The proposal would add Guitar as its own category with these events: Guitar Solo; Guitar Ensemble (2-4 participants); Guitar Ensemble (5-16 participants) and Guitar Orchestra (8-30 participants). 

  • Speech --- This proposal would allow body contact during the introductions of the Duo Interpretation. Examples include shaking hands, a dance move, etc. In the Extemporaneous Speaking category, a proposal was made to permit student participants the use of computers and the internet to conduct research during the preparation period.  

10B: Approved Music List 

League Staff shared information on the work being done by the League’s Music Advisory Committee to update the Approved Music List for section contests. After a study and feedback from music educators, the current operating list was determined to be outdated and lacking representation of diversity and not representative of the evolution of today's educational music. Amanda Kaus, the MMEA representative on the Board of Directors, and Paul Kile, the director of bands at Edina High School, are leading this diversity project that aligns with board strategic directions.  

10C: Cross Country eligible officials 

League Staff shared a recommendation on the registration and next steps toward having at least one eligible cross country official present at each cross country meet.  

10D: Competitive Section Placement and District Football for 2023-2024 and 2024-2025 

League Staff shared the timeline and processes for Competitive Section Placement and District Football for the 2023-2024 and 2024-2025 school years.  

Committee Reports 

11A: Eligibility Committee 

The Eligibility Committee reviewed the recently amended language for bylaws 110 and 111 and reminded the Board of the modified aspects of the eligibility review process. The committee reported was approved as presented. 

11B: Audit/Finance Committee 

  • The Board of Directors approved the May 2022 and June 2022 financial statements. 
  • The Board of Directors approved the Engagement Letter from the State Auditor. 
  • The Board of Directors approved the insurance summary as presented. 
  • The Board of Directors approved the increase of $5 to officials for state tournament compensation. 

11C: Marketing and Communications Committee 

  • League Staff provided an update on a partnership with Sports Systems, a vendor that specializes in media credentialing solutions for sporting organizations across the globe. 
  • The committee approved the discontinuation of the post-tournament online souvenir state tournament program. 
  • League Staff provided an update on social media engagement statistics.   
  • League Staff shared an update on the selection of Signature Concepts, an apparel vendor that will partner with the League.   
  • League Staff shared a technology update on increased functionality through website tools including search features, transfer portal, officials’ access and enriched archives.  
  • League Staff shared a contract to translate the eligibility forms in the Spanish, Somali and Hmong languages.  
  • The Board of Directors approved the Marketing and Communications report as presented.  

11D: Education and Leadership Committee 

  • Approved a motion to form a Student Leadership and Advisory Committee. League Staff will plan to interview student-candidates by December or January with the anticipated first meeting in February.  
  • The “Together We Make A Difference” initiative will conduct the first of three virtual meeting training sessions on Aug. 4. Regional meetings at six locations are slated for implementation in September and October.  
  • A New AD’s Workshop will take place Aug. 10-11. The MNIAAA will provide content on Aug. 10, and League Staff will present on Aug. 11.  
  • League Staff shared information on the CER Renewal for the 2023-2024. The content areas are concussion, mental health and education-based athletics. 
  • League Staff shared there are 5,200 registered officials.  
  • The Board of Directors approved the Education and Leadership Committee report as presented. 

Information Items 

12A: Board Meeting Schedule 2022-2023 

  • Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022 
  • Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022 
  • Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023 
  • Thursday, April 6, 2023 
  • Tuesday, June 6, 2023 
  • Note: Board Workshops to be called by the Board President, as needed. 


  • The meeting was adjourned at 12:20 p.m. 

  • Next meeting: Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022, League Office 



Next Article

Morris Area's Ekren named Minnesota Class A Athletic Director of the Year