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Board of Directors Meeting Synopsis, Aug. 3, 2021

Posted: Tuesday, August 3, 2021 - 5:37 PM


 Minnesota State High School League 

Board of Directors Meeting Synopsis 

Little Crow Conference Center, Spicer, MN  

Tuesday, August 3, 2021  


·        Board President Tom Jerome called the meeting to order at 1:21 p.m. 

·        Board member Ceil McDonald provided the reflection. 

·        The Board of Directors approved an amended meeting agenda to add Discussion Item 10C: Transfer and Eligibility during COVID. 

·        The Board of Directors approved the meeting minutes of June 1, 2021. 

Lobbyist Report 

·        League Lobbyist Roger Aronson provided K-12 education finance updates from the State Legislature. 

·        Shared that redistricting is an important process for Minnesota and will be a part of the coming school year.   

Legal Counsel Report 

·        Legal Counsel Kevin Beck reported there are two pending legal cases.  

Executive Director’s Report 

·        Executive Director Erich Martens: 

o   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. 

o   Thanked the staff and management of the Little Crow Conference Center for hosting the Board of Directors workshop and board meeting. 

o   Welcomed Charlie Campbell to the League Staff. His first day as an Associate Director was Aug. 2. 

o   Announced that Cara Pearson has been hired as an Administrative Assistant. 

o   An opening on the League Staff remains and applications are requested for a support staff member. 

o   League Staff assignment adjustments have been made: Tim Leighton (Visual Arts); Jason Nickleby (Wrestling, Lacrosse); Charlie Campbell (Education, Volleyball, Girls and Boys Tennis, Boys Basketball, Track and Field, Cheer). 

o   Recognized board member Lisa Quednow as a Section 5 and Section 8 at-large representative to the NFHS Board of Directors. 

o   A Governor’s Appointee is expected to be selected in the next two weeks to fill the remaining seat on the Board of Directors. 

o   The formation of a committee to work with the leadership of Boys Volleyball to review approval processes and continued engagement is being assembled.   

o   Area Meetings are scheduled for nine locations beginning Sept. 13.   

o   Executive Directors representing the NFHS Section 5 states will meet in Minnesota at the end of Sept.     

Executive Committee Report 

June 8: 

·        Reviewed and tabled a Bylaw 110 eligibility case. 

·        Reviewed and approved a special expense in the recognition of Kylen Running Hawk. 

·        Recognized Associate Director Lisa Lissimore as a NFHS Citation Award recipient 

·        Extended the contract of Executive Director Erich Martens for three years. 

July 14:  

·        Discussed with Kevin Beck regarding eligibility cases and pending litigation. 

·        Did not take action on a tabled Bylaw 110 eligibility request. 

Aug. 3:  

·        Engaged in further discussion regarding the creation of a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee 

·        Spent time in closed session to receive updates on litigation 

·        Discussed tournament formats. 

·        A Governor Appointee will be selected to the Board of Directors within two weeks. 

·        The Board of Directors approved a motion to authorize League Staff and Legal Counsel to create a timeline to communicate with member schools to indicate continued membership in the Minnesota State High School League. The goal is to allow member schools that have not paid their 2020-2021 membership dues an opportunity to proactively communicate with the League on membership intentions.   

The Board of Directors approved the Executive Committee report.  


Action Items 

9A: Resolution in Appreciation and Recognition for Service and Dedication to the MSHSL Board of Directors: Mike Domin, Kirby Ekstrom, Blaine Novak, Todd Waterbury and Frank White 

·        The Board of Directors approved this resolution. 

9B: 2021-2022 Board of Directors Committee Assignments 

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

o   Executive Committee-Tom Jerome, President; Troy Stein, Vice President; Jim Smokrovich, Treasurer; Amanda Kaus; John Vraa; Dustin Bosshart. 

o   Audit/Finance-Jim Smokrovich, chair; Suzy Guthmueller; John Ostrowski; Don Peschel; Bill Tauer. 

o   Eligibility-Dustin Bosshart, chair; Dawn Engebretson; Lisa Quednow; Gary Revenig; Sandra Setter Larsen. 

o   Education and Leadership-John Vraa, chair; Julie Anderson; Ceil McDonald; Dave Rocheleau; Teri Staloch. 

o   Marketing and Communications-Amanda Kaus, chair; Walt Hautala; Matt Heier; Jeanna Lilleberg. 

9C: Lobbyist and Special Projects Counsel 2021-2023 

·        The Board of Directors approved the contract of Roger Aronson through July 31, 2023.  

9D: Publications 

·        The Board of Directors approved the following publications for the 2021-2022 school year:  

o   Board Policy Manual and Guidelines 

o   Media Policy Manual 

o   Official Handbook 

o   Officials Policy Manual 

o   Region Secretaries Manual 

9E: Strategic Directions 

·        The Board of Directors approved a motion to table review and approval of Strategic Directions to the next meeting on Oct. 7, 2021. 

9F: Tournament Format 

·        The Board of Directors approved a motion for the state meet/state tournament format for Boys and Girls Cross Country and Boys and Girls Soccer Both activities will add a class beginning in the fall of 2021. Cross Country will have three classes and run six races on Saturday, Nov. 6. Soccer will have semifinals and championships in three classes at U.S. Bank Stadium. Third-place games will be played at a venue to be determined. Discussion will continue on a state tournament format for girls volleyball, which is adding a fourth class, and Nordic Skiing, which is adding a sprint race to its meet. 

9G: Membership Dues Adjustment 

·        The Board of Directors approved a motion to reduce the projected 2021-2022 membership dues by $1.063 million.  

9H: 2021-2022 Budget Adjustment 

·        The Board of Directors approved an adjustment to the 2021-2022 budget based on the adjusted membership dues.    

9I: Region Refund Balance 

·        The Board of Directors approved a motion to use the 2018-2019 fiscal year-end financial report as a basis to calculate the maximum allowed carryover for the 16 administrative regions. Regions are capped at a 20% carryover. 

9J: Football Playoff Rotation 

·        The Board of Directors approved the football state tournament pairings from 2021 through 2026.  

Discussion Items 

10A: COVID Impact 

·        The Board of Directors continued in discussion that began in the workshop session on the application of medical information and guidance to member schools in the event that participants or communities are affected by COVID. League staff and the Board will continue to monitor changing guidance and recommendations from the CDC, MDH, MDE and other sources.  

10B: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee 

·        League Staff provided updates and next steps on the creation of the committee. Partnership discussions continue with stakeholders from the MnIAAA and the Minnesota High School Coaches Association. The committee’s goal will be to become more inclusive across all aspects of the League. 

10C: Transfer and Eligibility during COVID 

·        The Eligibility Committee introduced discussion on various transfer criteria that would allow students to be eligible under exceptional circumstances. After lengthy discussion, the Board of Directors approved to move this topic to an Action Item. The Board of Directors approved a motion to empower League Staff to do more exploration and provide a recommendation to the Executive Committee at the next Executive Committee Meeting next week.  

Committee Reports 

Eligibility Committee 

·        The Board of Directors approved a motion to create an Ad Hoc committee to review Bylaws 110 and 111.  

·        The Board of Directors approved the Eligibility Committee meeting minutes as presented. 

Audit/Finance Committee 

·        The Board of Directors approved the May 2021 and June 2021 financial statements. 

·        The Board of Directors approved the Engagement Letter from the State Auditor. 

·        Approved the final disbursement of the $90,000 MSHSL Foundation transfer to administrative regions.  

·        The Board of Directors approved the wide-reaching insurance coverage of $760,840 for the school year. 

Marketing and Communications Committee 

·        League Staff provided updates on Strategic Directions as it relates to technology. 

·        League Staff shared an update on website and technology. 

·        League Staff shared modifications to the Media Policy Manual for the 2021-2022 school year. 

·        League Staff provided sponsorship updates and the revenue associated with those partnerships. 

·        The Board of Directors approved the Marketing and Communications Committee report. 

Education and Leadership Committee 

·        League Staff shared an overview of the committee’s scope of work. 

·        League Staff shared a review of potential educational content and plans.  

·        League Staff shared updates on officials that included current requirements, concussion training and background checks. 

·        The Board of Directors approved the Education and Leadership Committee report. 


·        Board Meeting dates for the 2021-2022 school year:  

o   Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021 

o   Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021 

o   Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022 

o   Thursday, April 7, 2022 

o   Tuesday, June 7, 2022 

·        Board workshops will be scheduled during the opposite months. 

·        The meeting was adjourned at 4:18 p.m. 



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