Position Opening

Executive Director

School Administrators of Montana (SAM)

Helena, Montana  

Click on the following link to access the application form: 
SAM Executive Director Application Form

  •  The positions is open until filled with the first review of Applications on January 21, 2022

Questions, please contact:

Dr. Kirk Miller  
SAM Executive Director
900 N. Montana Ave., Ste. A4
Helena, MT  59601
(406) 581-1037


 The Position

The School Administrators of Montana (SAM) is seeking an outstanding, dynamic, self-driven, inspirational leader who will strategically lead SAM.  SAM’s Core Purpose … Visionary leaders united in providing, advocating, and creating education excellence for Montana students sets the foundation for the executive director position.  Current Executive Director, Dr. Kirk Miller, on behalf of the SAM Executive Board, invites applications for first review by January 21, 2022.  Planned start date for the position is July 1, 2022


Qualities and Qualifications

The chosen individual to lead SAM as its next Executive Director will:
  • Have a Master’s Degree or Doctorate Degree in a related field of study

  • Be highly knowledgeable and well-steeped in PreK-12 public education issues in Montana
  • Be a strategic, visionary leader who will assist the SAM Board and Affiliate Association Boards and the collective members in the development of a strategic plan for the future success of SAM and its members and carry out the priorities identified in SAM’s Strategic Plan
  • Be a strong leader in the development of professional learning programs and strategies
  • Be a strong advocate for K-12 public education with all audiences and stakeholders including the state leadership, administration, legislature, Montana education advocacy groups, and federally with the Montana Congressional delegation and federal advocacy groups
  • Be a highly effective communicator on the value public schools bring to the communities served
  • Be a strong leader in making sound recommendations to the SAM Board and Affiliate Association Boards on all strategies that support the Core Purpose and Envisioned Future of SAM.
  • Be a highly effective leader in supervising and providing professional learning to a highly competent SAM office team
  • Be available in Helena to accomplish the position duties and responsibilities requiring supervision of the SAM team, physical presence in advocacy matters, and physical presence in professional learning opportunities all of which are about 90% located in Helena (the Capital city), so the Executive Director should plan to have a physical presence in Helena.

 Key Responsibilities

SAM is seeking a leader experienced in the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Experience in non-profit business operations preferred

  • Experience in membership development preferred
  • Experience in professional learning systems and conference planning preferred
  • Deep Understanding of legislative and political processes preferred
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills with an ability to listen and respond
  • Strong work ethic and recognizes, respects and utilizes the individual talents of others
  • Experience in building strategic alliances with groups and organizations
  • Interpersonal human relationship skills that inspire the confidence, respect and trust of all with whom the Executive Director interacts
  • Skills required to maintain effective working relationships with leaders inside and outside the Association and work in a positive manner with all members of the educational family 
  • Ability to project a professional image of the energy and vitality necessary to represent, promote and support the unique needs of SAM and its affiliate members
  • Technology literacy as it relates to organizational management and services, web and cloud based strategies
  • Perform other duties as directed by the SAM Board of Directors

Contract Provisions 

The Executive Director is a 12 month, full-time, exempt position under the supervision of the SAM Board of Directors.  Compensation is commensurate with the duties of the Executive Director, with an annual salary range between $115,000 and $125,000 depending on experience and qualifications.  SAM provides a comprehensive benefits package (20% of salary for purchasing the benefits that meet the employee’s needs, 10% of salary contributed to an IRA retirement annuity, and vacation & sick leave per the SAM Employee Handbook). Note that this position is independent of the Montana Teacher Retirement System and allows the individual seeking the position to receive their full retirement benefits from TRS and establish a new defined contribution IRA retirement annuity.

Search Calendar

  • Position announcement and Application Available:  December 6, 2021

  • Application Deadline:  Until filled with first review of Applications on January 21, 2022
  • Selection of candidates for interviews:  January 31, 2022
  • Interviews:  February 7-11, 2022
  • Selection of successful candidate:  By February 28, 2021
  • No public announcements will be made until the successful candidate has been offered and accepted the position
  • Orientation to the Position:  Available beginning July 1, 2022 with the current Executive Director (then Executive Director Emeritus) available to assist with the induction, orientation, and introduction to job responsibilities through December 31, 2022.
  • Begin Full-Time:  July 1, 2022

The Organization    

The School Administrators of Montana is composed of over 1100 active school administrators, each of whom is a member of one of the six affiliates of SAM – superintendents (MASS), secondary principals (MASSP), elementary/middle school principals (MAEMSP), special education directors (MCASE), county school superintendents (MACSS), and education technologists (META).  Affiliate members are also part of regional sub-groups throughout the state.  In addition to the active members, SAM membership includes retirees, associate members, and aspiring members.

SAM governance is provided by a board of directors consisting of affiliate leadership.  A president, past president, president-elect, and the executive director comprise the executive committee.

SAM is a 501(c)(3) non-profit association with an annual budget exceeding $1.2 million, reflecting a strong focus on the association’s core purpose and values.

Please review the SAM Infographic for an overview of the organization.

Core Purpose 

SAM Visionary leaders united in providing, advocating, and creating education excellence for Montana students!

SAM operates with these Core Values:

  • Leadership: We believe that instructional leadership provided by school administrators is essential for empowering, inspiring, engaging, and helping students to grow, succeed, and lead.
  • Integrity & Professionalism: We promote and demonstrate the highest level of integrity and professionalism, both organizationally and individually.  We believe it is these traits that create the foundation vital for success.
  • Advocacy: We serve as a united, proactive organization of educational leaders that advocate for State and National legislation to ensure Montana students will receive a quality education supported by adequate and sustainable funding. We strive to assure that all students have equal access, are safe and healthy, and will be successful.
  • Professional Learning & Services: We believe that high quality professional development, mentorship, and supportive member services are critical to individual member and Montana student success.

SAM Executive Board

  • Cal Ketchum 
    SAM President
    MASS Affiliate  
  • Shelley Andres
    SAM President-elect
    MAEMSP Affiliate  
  • Dale Olinger
    SAM Past President
    MASS Affiliate
  • Dr. Greg Dern
    MASS Affiliate President
  • Shawn Hendrickson
    MASSP Affiliate President
  • Nicole Trahan
    MAEMSP Affiliate President
  • Erin Lipkind
    MACSS Affiliate President
  • Sara Novak
    MCASE Affiliate President
  • Everett Holm
    META Affiliate President
  • Kirk Miller
    SAM Executive Director 

The School Administrators of Montana provides equal opportunity in education and employment and does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, marital status or handicap in accordance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title I of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Montana State Laws Against Discrimination.