Viewpoint: The strength of arts, athletics and academicsWhat I have found uniquely different here is that our students excel in all three of the As – arts, athletics and academics. Let me give you a few examples highlighting the accomplishments of these young people.
By: District 834 Superintendent Corey Lunn, Woodbury Bulletin
On the evening of Saturday, June 8, 640 graduates of Stillwater Area High School received their diplomas. After 13 years of hard work by the students, their families and many teachers and staff members, the students have successfully completed the expectations placed before them and are ready to make their mark on the world.
Although this has been a year of many challenges for me personally – beginning a new job, getting to know many new people, moving my family to the St. Croix Valley – what I have been most struck by has been the great schools, families and students in this district.
I have been a part of other school districts as a teacher, coach, principal and superintendent and many of these schools have been well known for their arts or activities or academics. But what I have found uniquely different here is that our students excel in all three of the As – arts, athletics and academics. Let me give you a few examples highlighting the accomplishments of these young people.
In the arts
• We have outstanding music programs – band, choir and orchestra – that are highly regarded across the country.
• This year, all three programs earned superior ratings.
• The music department has received a superior rating 63 years in a row.
• Twelve conference champion teams
• Eight section champion teams
• Three state place-winner teams
• Three state champion teams: boys cross country, robotics and girls softball.
• Four individual and one group state place-winner
• Three state place-winners and one state champion in girls Nordic skiing
• Journalism Education Association of Minnesota’s State Journalist of the Year
• Eighty-seven percent of students who graduated this year are going on to four- or two-year colleges, including schools like Harvard, Yale, the Coast Guard Academy and West Point Military Academy, to name a few.
• Exactly 330 of 640 students (more than 50 percent) who graduated were recognized for academic honors.
This is what makes a diploma from Stillwater Area High School so valuable; it represents a comprehensive high school experience, something SAHS is known for and provides to all its students.
Because of these experiences and the parents and families of our graduates, I have utmost confidence that they are prepared to move ahead in this complex world filled with complex issues. These students are not only prepared to navigate these waters with confidence, but to also become a part of the solutions we will need to solve the world’s problems. The motto in the main rotunda at SAHS sums this up well: “We learn not for school but for life.”
With your continued support, we create great opportunities for our students that will no doubt pay dividends for the St. Croix Valley and greater community for many years ahead.
From all district employees, the School Board and me, it has been a pleasure serving these students. We thank them for their efforts and accomplishments over the past 13 years and wish them the very best in their bright futures ahead.
Lunn is superintendent of Stillwater School District