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Viewpoint: Our schools provide healthy opportunities

Recently I went to the Park High School vs. Woodbury High School football game. It was the evening that we celebrated the renovations completed at the Woodbury High School athletic field. We celebrated the same event at Park High School last year. It was a typical fall evening, but excitement was in the air. The first football game in a newly remodeled stadium and it was two rival schools. It was going to be an evening filled with high energy.

We had a few pregame celebrations where we cut the ribbon and some of our elected leaders thanked the school communities for supporting our schools and our students. The band played our national anthem and everyone was ready for the game to begin. I took my seat, this time on the Woodbury side of the field (last year on the Park side of the field). It is not easy to be superintendent in a district with two high schools. It is hard to even know what to wear to the game. My wardrobe is becoming all gray. Imagine next year with three high schools.

While the game was certainly the main focus for the evening, I watched with a different set of eyes. I saw well over 100 young men dressed in their football gear proud to be members of their teams. I saw a marching band of well over 50 members performing before and during halftime. There were another 30 to 40 young ladies leading cheers on both sides of the stadium. And finally, there were another 25 to 30 young ladies in the dance line performing during halftime. We had well over 200 young adults taking part in the evening's activities. And not to forget the hundreds of students who come to the game to cheer for their school and be part of a community event.

What a huge success! I understand that our main objective in our public schools is academic, but one cannot remove the social and cultural aspects of being a part of the South Washington County Schools. We provide numerous opportunities to get involved in high-quality, healthy activities and our young people take part in record numbers.

Encourage your children to get involved in the wealth of activities that are offered through their school and the district. There is a place for everyone to make a contribution and be a member of the 833 team.

Tom Nelson is superintendent of School District 833.