On Thursday, the American Association of University Women sponsored the annual Women’s History Month at Austin High School.
This year’s speaker was Lisa Lissimore, a fantastic choice.
Lissimore, associate principal of the Minnesota State High School League, was the perfect choice to not only speak about the strength and role models women were for her growing up, but also about the success of women and girls through sports.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Title IX, federal legislation that prohibits discrimination based on sex in schools and educational programs.
This had a huge impact on athletics, as women’s sports came more fully and appropriately to the fore.
Lissimore was an early Title IX product as she was a vital member of the St. Paul Central women’s basketball team that won the first-ever Class AA Women’s State Tournament in Minnesota in 1976 – the year the tournament was divided into classes.
During her speech, she talked about empowerment and affirmation – all messages that girls and student-athletes in general need to hear.
We ourselves at the Herald have often had the opportunity to work with Lissimore on occasion, if only briefly. She was always friendly and affable and ready to help in any way we needed.
To sum it all up, even though her stay at AHS on Thursday was quite short, we can think of no better role model for talking to kids in this 50th year of Title IX than Lisa Lissimore. It was a message that we hope students will take to heart and apply to their own future.