The student news site of Owatonna High School.

Magnet

The student news site of Owatonna High School.

Magnet

The student news site of Owatonna High School.

Magnet

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Anna Mollenhauer is a junior at OHS. This is her first year in Magnet. Mollenhauer is involved in girls hockey, soccer and golf. She is also involved in DECA, Young Life and 4-H. Outside of school Mollenhauer...

Averi Vetsch is a junior at Owatonna High School. This is her first year at Magnet. She is involved in DECA, Prom Committee and Young Life. She plays hockey and soccer. In Vetsch's free time, you can find...

Aurora Sim is a junior this year at OHS, and this is her first year on Magnet. Aurora enjoys writing, reading, and dancing. Outside of school she is in Just For Kix dance studio and The Studio in Kasson....

State of the State held at OHS

MN+Governor+Tim+Walz+gave+his+State+of+the+State+Address+at+OHS.+
Norah Sletten
MN Governor Tim Walz gave his State of the State Address at OHS.

On the evening of March 26, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz gave his annual State of the State Address. The address was attended by honorable members of the Minnesota government, among journalists and reporters ready to cover the event. Two buses of legislators were transported to the event, as well as there being guests from the Minnesota Supreme Court, the attorney general and heads of the Minnesota House of Representatives and Senate.

While the State of the State Address is usually held at the Minnesota Capitol building, this address was special for the Owatonna community because it was held in the new Owatonna High School building and Gov. Walz highlighted the importance of education across the state.

The address was held in the high school’s state of the art auditorium. Before the address began, members of the OHS Concert Choir sang the National Anthem on stage. Owatonna High School offers many opportunities, including ones in the arts. The educational focus of Gov. Walz’s speech covered all of the potential careers that OHS prepares students for.  

Senior Calista Seiler was among the few chosen to sing at the event. She said, “It felt like a huge honor and a once in a lifetime experience to be able to sing the National Anthem and then get to stay and listen to the governor’s speech in person. The audience was so upbeat and positive, it made me feel optimistic about the future.” 

Gov. Walz began his speech by reminiscing about the first day of school—setting the tone for the address which was focused on the education system in Minnesota and making it the best place for children to learn. Gov. Walz said, “This building is a factory, and what it manufactures are futures.” In 2024, Gov. Walz plans to continue improving the lives of children across the state. 

Tonight, I’m proud to report that the state of our state is strong, Minnesota—because the kids of our state are better equipped to thrive.

— Gov. Tim Walz

Not only did Gov. Walz highlight the importance of improving the lives of children across Minnesota, he also mentioned the importance of uplifting the surrounding communities. Increasing teacher pay, expanding mental health resources and expanding Special Education resources are a few examples of how Gov. Walz is working towards making Minnesota the best state in the nation. 

Although Minnesota has been divided on certain issues, Gov. Walz expressed the necessity of making life in MN safer and more accessible for minorities. Gov. Walz said, “We’ve made a billion-dollar investment in affordable housing…we’ve made Minnesota a more welcoming place for all by outlawing conversion therapy for LGBTQ+ youth and putting in place new protections for trans Minnesotans.”

Since the overturning of Roe V. Wade, Minnesota has become a safe haven for those seeking reproductive healthcare because of the efforts put forward by Gov. Walz and his legislation. After Alabama’s ruling on IVF, Gov. Walz made it clear in his address that he sees this as an attack on reproductive rights and that he plans to protect these rights within MN, “That’s why, here in Minnesota, we took action after Roe V. Wade fell, writing protections for reproductive freedom into our state laws and making sure that people—not politicians—can make their own reproductive choices. And that includes IVF.”

Gov. Walz closed his speech by addressing gun control in MN. Alongside the red flag law and stronger background checks that were implemented by him and his legislation in 2023, Gov. Walz plans to take on the NRA (National Rifle Association), “Tonight, I’m urging the legislature to join me in making our schools—and our communities—a little bit safer still by strengthening requirements for safe storage of firearms, reporting lost and stolen guns, and increasing criminal penalties for straw purchasers.” Students should not feel afraid to go to school, they should only feel inspired and ready to learn. 

Gov. Walz concluded his speech by driving home his message of building and investing in Minnesota’s safety and future, “Tonight, I’m proud to report that the state of our state is strong, Minnesota—because the kids of our state are better equipped to thrive.”

About the Contributor
Norah Sletten, Editor
Norah Sletten is a senior at OHS and this is her third year on OHS Magnet staff. Sletten joined Magnet because she has an interest in journalism. Alongside being a part of OHS Magnet, Sletten is involved in Owatonna Girls Cross Country, Rotary Club and Drama Club. Outside of school, she is a part of the Youth Oriented Leadership Organization (YOLO), a mental health and anti-tobacco advocacy group in Steele County. Sletten enjoys listening to music, hanging out with friends and working as a barista at Hyvee Starbucks. In her future, she hopes to attend Carleton College and major in Cinema and Media Studies.