Weather Forecast


Tufte to bring positive message to WF Schools

West Fargo High School will open its doors to the public on May 21 for a presentation from University of Mary professor John E. Tufte, who will provide his insight on school activities.

Tufte has spoken at several schools and coaches conventions throughout the state, encouraging coaches and parents to remember that activities should be about the kids involved.

“We have had some issues in the past,” Activities Director Curt Jones said. “We have been trying to present the same message, and I think (Tufte) is another voice to help us through what we are trying to accomplish. It’s very good timing for us.”

Jones and Sheyenne High School Activities Director Ross Richards, along with middle school directors Adam Gehlhar and Michelle Weber, formed an activities task force and have been working since January to find ways to create a more positive atmosphere for local activities. After seeing Tufte speak in Fargo, they knew they needed him to make an appearance in West Fargo.

Tufte coached basketball and golf for 12 years and served as a high school dean of students for three, and claims most of what he has learned on the topic at hand came from his experiences interacting with coaches, parents and students.

In the spring of 2012, he wrote a book titled “Crazy-Proofing High School Sports,” which looks at the struggles faced by everyone involved to “make high school sports worthwhile,” and then provide solutions for each specific problem.

His message asks the three parties to remember “coaches coach, players play and the community supports” when identifying the problems they have and implementing solutions.

“We all need to work on not losing sight of what we are here for,” Jones said. “We all tend to get caught up in trivial things, and our emotions get in the way of what is important.”

The presentation is open to anyone who would like to attend, and the activities task force hopes to fill the gym with people looking to gain perspective on a growing trend of the little problems in high school activities.

“He has been a teacher and coach before, and he is a parent, so he gives a good background for sharing the views of all three sides,” Jones said. “I hope we can get as many people as possible to attend, because he will be very enlightening and educational for everyone.”

The presentation will take place in the West Fargo High School gym at 7 p.m.