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Celebrating Title IX at 50

On June 23, 2022, Title IX, the landmark federal civil rights law that brought equality and athletic opportunities for girls and women, will celebrate its 50th year.  Throughout the 2021-2022 school year, the Minnesota State High School League celebrates the trailblazers and shares their stories. 


Title IX Features

Dorothy McIntyre Bus

Driving Force, McIntyre's advocacy created change and opportunities 

While she’s famously known for driving the bus, Dorothy McIntyre’s legacy will forever be known as that of a driving force that set girls sports in Minnesota on a trajectory that has created equal opportunities and equal facilities. With Title IX set to mark its 50th year of federal legislation passage this month, no Minnesota State High School League salute is complete without spotlighting McIntyre, who drove from border to border as Minnesota’s most visible proponent in a crusade to permit equal opportunities for girls.

“All I have to do now is to look at the face of a young woman that just accomplished something great to know that it made all of those years of blood, sweat and tears very worthwhile,” McIntyre recently shared with Connect. Read More

Cathy Peterson-HOF headshot

Peterson's advocacy paves way to Adapted Athletics

During post-graduate work in the early 1980’s, Minneapolis educator and coach Cathy Peterson took an elective course in Adapted Athletics. As part of the coursework, her professor at Mankato State University had her students write an essay that described a student of theirs that was facing challenges. Peterson dug right in.

She shared the journey of a student that had been involved in a house fire. Virtually every part of the student’s body was permanently scarred because of the fire. Peterson provided vivid examples of how the student had limited movement because his skin didn’t stretch. In her paper, Peterson, who would spend her entire iconic career in the Minneapolis Public Schools, weaved in the challenges of other students that used wheelchairs and other types of aides to participate in physical education classes. Read More

Lurline Baker Kent

Baker-Kent’s dream of service includes term with Board of Directors

Dreaming was a daily activity for Lurline Baker-Kent and her siblings while growing up in Richmond, Calif. She had a brother that would routinely throw a blanket over their mother’s dining table and climb underneath to slip away into thoughts, visions and hopes for the future.

“When you grow up in the projects, dreaming was the one constant that you could always hang onto,” said Baker-Kent, now 83, and living in the Twin Cities. Read More

Karvonen Resize

Karvonen paved the way through play and leadership

She grew up right in front of everyone’s Minnesota eyes, a budding player on the still-news girls basketball scene.

At age 14, she was already well-skilled beyond her age with a near-flawless perimeter game to go with a stoic, on-court demeanor of Bjorn Borg, an international sensation on another kind of court. Two years earlier, her brother said she could be the best girls basketball player ever in Minnesota. He modeled himself after “Pistol” Pete Maravich and knew these kinds of things, he proclaimed. Read More

Diggins-Hart 1. Connect February

Nordic Sking bonds friendship, fuels competition of Diggins, Hart 

Stillwater’s Jessie Diggins and St. Paul Academy’s Annie Hart are not expected to give each other a cold stare when they line up for Thursday’s state Nordic ski meet.

Diggins and Hart are more likely to hug each other in the starting area. People looking for discord between the state’s top two Nordic performers over the past three years will have to search elsewhere.

Diggins admires Hart, the defending state champion, and Hart feels the same about Diggins, who won the state title in 2007 and 2008.  Read More

Brenda Holmgren-Connect January 1

Seeing Title IX through different lenses 

Title IX changed my life.

It has allowed me to live my dream as a student-athlete, a teacher, a coach, an official, a mother, and now as a grandmother.

But even before the passage of Title IX federal legislation, my athletic journey started when I was very young in Milaca. I was five years old, a year younger than my brother, Bruce, when my dad brought us to play t-ball. What possessed my dad to bring us both down, I’ll never know, because it was 1963 and “girls didn’t play ball.” Read More


Seeking Opportunities 

North Side playgrounds were the start of athletic journeys for future prep stars

While North Side playgrounds in Minneapolis were magnets of athletic opportunities for young people, too often, some were relegated to the sideline. Especially female athletes.

That didn’t sit well with Kathie Eiland-Madison in the late 1960s. So, she made a stand. Rather, a sit-in to protest. Read More

Anna Anderson-Connect October

Anderson set the gold standard for volleyball officiating 

In 1990, legendary Apple Valley girls volleyball coach Walt Weaver wrote a letter of recommendation to the Minnesota State High School League’s Hall of Fame Committee in support of a nominee. In the articulate, flowing letter, Weaver made a reference to the Minnesota volleyball officiating landscape in the 1970’s as being “simply out of touch with national volleyball standards and the high school game.” 

His letter was in support of a Minnesota volleyball official that chose to meet that problem head on. His glowing recommendation was for Fridley’s Anna Bergstrom Anderson. Weaver’s accolades were echoed by others across Minnesota and across the country as Anderson’s tireless efforts were recognized with induction in the League’s first Hall of Fame Class in 1991. In receiving the League’s highest honor of recognition, Anderson, who passed away this past July at the age of 85, was the first female official to be inducted into the prestigious hall. Read More

Paula Bauck-September Connect

Bauck played crucial role with pre-Title IX work 

Seven years before Title IX was signed into federal law, a groundswell of work was happening behind the scenes in Minnesota. At the center of it was Paula Bauck, a well-known teacher and coach in northwestern Minnesota. After teaching stops in Mentor and Detroit Lakes, she continued her teaching career at Moorhead High School in 1958 where she would coach girls gymnastics and girls track, as well as teach bowling, football, rifle and officiating to female students. Her progressive enthusiasm would draw the attention of state leaders. Read More

MSHSL Staff Reflections

Amy Doherty swim

Celebrating Title IX with grateful thanks, yet hopes and visions for continued progress 

MSHSL Staff Reflection by Amy Doherty, Assistant Director

As we celebrate the 50th year of the passing of Title IX legislation, I have been reflecting frequently. My reflections bounce between gratefulness and a reminder of some improvements we have yet to make.

I was born after the passing of Title IX. People told me about it, but I could not envision a life without ample opportunities to participate in athletics. My mother often reminded me that the only organized athletic opportunity offered to her was cheerleading, yet in my youthful mind that seemed “so long ago,” that I just could not relate. And my father was the ultimate “Girl Dad” before the term was coined: Coaching my sister’s soccer team all the way through U-19, regularly playing tennis with me (on courts and against the garage door), helping me practice for my first 5K in 4th grade (by running a 5K the night before!) and regularly taking me to the playground to run around for hours. Read More

Mackenthun Connect

Title IX through the decades with my family 

MSHSL Staff Reflection by Laura Mackenthun, Assistant Director

It’s been an exciting year seeing the celebrations and memories that have been brought forward as part of commemorating the 50th year of Title IX. In reflecting on what Title IX has meant to, and provided for me and those closest to me, I spent time learning from my own mom who graduated from high school in 1962, reflecting on my own experiences as a 1985 graduate, and considering my daughter’s class of 2020 experience. Blended into those three time-markers are my sister whose graduation followed mine by three years and my two sisters-in-law who graduated in 1977. As I put together the timeline of these family members' experiences with the 1972 passing of the TItle IX legislation, it provides a variety of lenses through which I can personally view how this legislation that provided equal rights to both genders to educational programs and activities has been seen and experienced on a more personal level. Read More

Bill Roberts

Title IX and Sports Medicine Have Grown Together 

MSHSL Staff Reflection by Dr. Bill Roberts 

The Title IX federal law, now approaching 50 years old, benefitted women and girls who had been functionally “banned” from sports competition. I graduated from high school in 1970. The girls in my graduating class had four physical activity choices: cheerleading, drill team, gymnastics and synchronized swimming. My daughters, graduating from high school in 1999 and 2003, respectively, participated in soccer, cross country, Nordic Skiing and track and field with many other sports choices open to them and their classmates. Read More

Bob Madison

Title IX also paved the way for aspiring coaches and administrators 

MSHSL Staff Reflection by Bob Madison, Associate Director

On July 20, 1969, astronauts from the United States walked on the moon. This historical moment led to innovations that still reap benefits.

About three years later, one of the most important pieces of legislation was another historical moment that led to opportunities for an underrepresented class of student-athletes within our great nation.  It was the birth of Title IX. As we continue the walk-up in marking the 50th year of Title IX, I want to reflect on my experience of how it impacted my educational experience and acknowledge how it has also impacted so many deserving student-athletes. Read More

Lisa Lissimore

Weller Johnson, thanks for the Inspiration

MSHSL Staff Reflection by Lisa Lissimore, former Associate Director 

As we celebrate the 50th year of the passage of Title IX legislation, I can’t help but think of all the remarkable men and women who’ve influenced my life and helped me fulfill my dream of becoming an athlete. I’m particularly reminded of the story of Weller Johnson, a gifted and talented athlete, whose determination to play and compete inspired me. She was my peer role model. I wanted to emulate her success.

It started in 1970 when my family moved from one side of St. Paul’s Rondo neighborhood to the other. I was 10 years old and a student at J.J. Hill Elementary School. Recess was my favorite class. It was at J.J. Hill where I met Weller, who was an athletically-gifted girl who loved recess more than I did. Everything she did, whether it was running, jumping, throwing or playing kickball, I tried to do as well. After playing on the playground together for several weeks, Weller asked if I wanted to join the girls flag football team at the Oxford Recreation Center. Read More

Tim Leighton

For mom, free throws at the prep level weren't an option

MSHSL Staff Reflection by Tim Leighton, Communications Coordinator 

In the late 1940’s, my mother attended Folwell Junior High School in south Minneapolis. Throughout our childhood, she would share with me and my three siblings that she used to be the free throw shooting champion at Folwell.

We figured she was joking.

My childhood journey began in Duluth, had a two-year stop in the Battle Creek neighborhood of East St. Paul before returning full circle for my mother to south Minneapolis where I spent the majority of my formative years. As a student, yep, I attended Folwell, too. I spent plenty of time with co-curricular activities, before and after school, and wondered if my mother’s claims about being a free throw champion were true. Read More

Erich Martens

The school year ahead offers many reasons to Celebrate! 

MSHSL Staff Reflection by Erich Martens, Executive Director 

The 2020-2021 school year included some of the highest hurdles and lowest moments in the history of the Minnesota State High School League.

Yet through it all, our students persevered and turned opportunities into memories. At the same time, our local hometown heroes, the coaches, teachers, administrators and officials rose to the occasion and demonstrated courage and determination as they led our students through the school year.

This school year, as members of our staff discussed the year ahead, they were asked to consider the most appropriate theme for the year. After a few minutes of discussion, the answer that quickly emerged was one word, “Celebrate.” Read More

Title IX Graphic

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