Park seniors Hannah Schluetter and Alex Towle have been selected to represent the school in the Academics, Arts, and Athletics Award program for Region 3AA. Established in 1988, the Academics, Arts, and Athletics (Triple "A") Award is sponsored by the Minnesota State High School League. The award goes to high school seniors who have a "B" or better grade point average and who participate in League-sponsored athletic and fine arts activities.
A letter Don Slaten wrote against state Rep. Tony Jurgens was predictable drivel. Amazing that Slaten, who was once defeated by Jurgens and has deep connections to the local DFL party, would take shots at his former opponent, isn't it? The letter reads like it was written by a DFL Capitol insider, which Slaten is not, with all sorts of statistics relating to budget surplus projections, future state growth and inflation. Hey Don, just because the state has a surplus doesn't mean we need a bloated budget. I am with Jurgens, rein in the spending.
There have been many, many studies conducted to prove the positive effects of participation in high school sports. Too often the emphasis is on winning or losing, and oftentimes these benefits are overlooked. Participation in high school activities is a valuable part of the overall high school experience. We consider our programs an extension of the classroom, almost like a "seventh period" class.
The 2018 year has been a very good year. Many good things occurred, both for me and for the Wolfpack. I am lucky to have my youngest son attending school here at Park with me. My older two children are both at great colleges and hopefully the oldest will graduate in the spring. My family is healthy and happy. The 2018 year was a very good year for Park, on and off the field. Our adapted team the Thunderbolts again participated in state tournaments in all three seasons, finishing in third place for softball and second place in soccer.
The holiday season is upon us. 'Tis the season — for holiday tournaments. Many of our coaches, student-athletes, and parents give up their break from school to participate in these tournaments. I know many Park families have relatives out of town and schedule their family celebrations around our tournament schedules. Once again the Kuemmel family will have to adjust our holiday plans because of a basketball tournament over break, as we have done in the past.
Park juniors Adison Steinke and Jake Kuemmel have been nominated to represent the school in the MSHSL ExCEL award. ExCEL — Excellence in Community, Education, and Leadership — is a unique recognition program designed exclusively for Minnesota high school juniors who are active in school activities, show leadership qualities, volunteer in their communities, and are model citizens.
On each Friday, I take a group of selected athletes (seniors, captains, etc.) from a particular sport to an elementary school to have lunch with some younger students. We go to the elementary schools that feed into Park at least once each season. I got the idea from a friend who used to be the athletic director at Henry Sibley. One of my goals for this year is to try to get our student-athletes a little more exposure.
Health care is undoubtedly the No. 1 concern for Minnesota residents. We're worried about our coverage, affordability and accessibility — all of which were major focuses during the election. So, it's concerning that there is renewed interest in a legislative proposal that could disrupt our health care system, increase costs and jeopardize access to care.
In Minnesota, we are blessed to have beautiful natural resources like lakes, parks, forests and wilderness as well as access to a network of public lands unrivaled in the eastern half of the country. Just like you put dollars toward the maintenance of your home, we have to spend money to make sure our state's natural resources remain healthy and vibrant for current and future generations. That's why it's so critical that Congress reauthorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which expired Sept. 30.
Last month the fourteenth class was inducted into Park's Hall of Fame. We had five quality candidates and one team that were honored on Nov. 17: Timothy Cornwell (Class of '73) Gary Fehrman (Coach) Dale Howe (Class of '74) Jackie Voigt (Class of '08) Lauren (Burks) Zidon (Class of '02) 1993 Softball State Championship Team (25th Anniversary) The Hall of Fame has been one of the best aspects of my job because it has allowed me to get to know some of the great names from Park's past.