Brainerd district celebrates 50 years of Title IX

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of Title IX, which prohibits sex-based discrimination in federally funded school programs.

Washington Educational Services Building
Washington Educational Services Building in Brainerd.
Dispatch file photo

BRAINERD — An exhibit honoring the 50th anniversary of Title IX and female athletes through the years at Brainerd Public Schools is on display in the boardroom at Washington Educational Services Building.

Enacted in 1972, Title IX is a part of the Education Amendments of 1972 that prohibits sex-based discrimination in federally funded school programs.

“History can tell some interesting stories, but in doing so can also educate all of us,” school district archivist John Erickson told board members during their meeting Monday, Sept. 12.

The exhibit includes photos from Brainerd girls basketball teams in the early 1900s. Erickson said girls basketball dated back to 1901 in Brainerd but only lasted a few years before forming again in the 1920s. Later on in the decade, girls were told it was inappropriate for them to play inter-school sports, Erickson said.

The exhibit also features testimonials from community members about their experiences with Title IX.


“I hope you take some time to read through the storytelling of each of these women and look closely at these pictures, particularly the pictures of the girls who were on teams in the 1920s,” Erickson said. “They’re staring right at you in those pictures. Look at them carefully.”

The boardroom is on the second floor of the Washington Educational Services Building on Oak Street in Brainerd.

In other business Monday, the School Board:

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Approved new hires to the district: Katie Gobler Anderson, counselor at Brainerd High School; Miranda Graceffa, fifth grade science teacher at Forestview Middle School; Lori Howe, special education teacher at BHS; Megan Johnson, fourth grade teacher at Nisswa Elementary; Christina Lundgren, districtwide director of network administration and technology; Jeffrey Sipper, title interventionist at Garfield Elementary; Amy Stroghter, autism consultant at Paul Bunyan Education Cooperative; Kimberly Thiesse, special education teacher at Lowell Elementary; Hannah True, first grade teacher at Riverside Elementary; Sarah Vang, music teacher at Lowell; Kacey Ahlgren, student success center clerical worker at BHS; Joanna Allen, early childhood educational assistant at Warrior Early Learning Center; Laura Anderson, special education assistant at Forestview; Cassandra Brooks, school nutrition professional at Forestview; Jill Bublitz, districtwide American Sign Language interpreter; Chevon Ceron, educational assistant at Baxter Elementary; Millie Chapman, educational assistant at Lincoln Education Center; Jayne Decker, clerk/cashier at BHS; Barbara Gmitro Best, clerical worker at Brainerd Learning Center; Sherry Grabouski, nutrition services clerical worker at Washington; Frances Jensvold, districtwide transportation director; Paula Kohl, districtwide nutrition services operations coordinator; Blake Lindroth, districtwide part-time custodian; Stacy Littman, registrar at BHS; Joshua Lundquist, districtwide custodian; Meta Mandich, head cook at Baxter; Alice Marsh, districtwide transportation educational assistant; Kelly Massey-Lukanen, educational assistant at Garfield; Traci McKay, educational assistant at Forestview; Rosita Musasizi, behavior management specialist at Lincoln; Sandra Otteson, educational assistant at Forestview; Jeff Phillips, special education assistant at Forestview; Candace Raske, special education assistant at Garfield; Britni Rivers, special education assistant at Lincoln; Shyla Rocca, education assistant Lincoln; Rosalie Rodgers, districtwide health services clerical worker; Samantha Schmidt, special education assistant at Forestview; Susan Schwappach, school nutrition professional at Baxter; Alexis Sherman, school nutrition professional at BHS; Callie Skoglund, districtwide part-time custodian; Katheryn Staley, childhood care classroom lead at Warrior Early Learning Center; Karrie Sumser, early childhood pre-kindergarten plus program assistant at Warrior Early Learning Center; Ashley Utz, school nutrition professional at Baxter; Kassandra Wicklund, behavior management specialist at Lincoln; Tami Zilke, student success clerical worker at BHS; Michael Anderson, districtwide continuing education enrichment coach; Nicholas Benskin, districtwide continuing education enrichment coach; Isabelle Conrad, Fun ‘N’ Friends program assistant; Levi Deuth, districtwide continuing education enrichment coach; Emilee Freed, freshman class adviser at BHS; Tracy Hopperstad, assistant girls varsity tennis coach; Ann Hunnicutt, head ninth grade volleyball coach; Megan Johnson, assistant girls soccer coach; Mark Loschko, assistant sixth grade football coach; Jean Martin, assistant ninth grade volleyball coach; Matthew Means, assistant sixth grade football coach; Jolene Owen, head seventh grade volleyball coach; Joseph Pohlkamp, junior high equipment manager; Austin Polcaro, head seventh and eighth grade boys soccer coach; Naka Schroeder, districtwide continuing education enrichment coach; Brady Siedl, athletic official at Forestview; Anthony Smith, head junior high girls soccer coach; and Ken Solarz, assistant girls varsity tennis coach.

Accepted grants and donations: school supplies and food items from South Long Lake Church for students in need; backpacks and school supplies from Dunmire’s for students in need at Forestview; school supplies from Connie Meyer for students in need; calculator and health and beauty products from Hal Leland for the Warrior Warehouse at BHS; school supplies from Heritage Church for students in need at Riverside Elementary; and $1,000 from an anonymous donor for the BHS Art Club.

THERESA BOURKE may be reached at or 218-855-5860. Follow her on Twitter at .

Theresa Bourke started working at the Dispatch in July 2018, covering Brainerd city government and area education, including Brainerd Public Schools and Central Lakes College.
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