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Park plans public meeting Monday to discuss conference switch

Park High School families and supporters are being encouraged to attend an upcoming meeting to discuss whether the school should join a new conference.

Park is considering leaving the Suburban East Conference in favor of a new conference that might be established among other St. Paul suburban high schools, beginning in 2014-15 academic year. That new conference could include Hastings, Henry Sibley, Hill-Murray, Mahtomedi, North St. Paul, Simley, South St. Paul and Tartan high schools.

Park officials for a few months have discussed whether to split from the Suburban East, in light of changing student-athlete demographics at Park, a desire to increase participation and more balanced competition, according to Activities Director Phil Kuemmel.

Park is smaller than most Suburban East schools and has struggled to compete in some sports. Woodbury and East Ridge high schools belong to the Suburban East, as does Cretin Derham Hall, Forest Lake, Hastings, Mounds View, Roseville and White Bear Lake.

Park officials will lead a conversation about the school's athletics and activities and the possible conference change beginning at 7 p.m. Monday, July 22, in the Park lecture hall, located near the school's main entrance.

"Our communities have always been very supportive of Park activities," Kuemmel said. "We want to continue partnering with the community to provide positive experiences for all students of Park High School. The focus remains the same; we will continue to offer high quality, competitive athletics and activities at Park."

Those who cannot attend the July 22 meeting can send comments via email to by Thursday, Aug. 1.

A similar community meeting about Park's conference situation was held earlier this year, but came before talk of the new conference.

Scott Wente

Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011.

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