Volume XL                                       MAY 2018

No. 274

In This Issue...

  1. MACSS President's Message 
  2. SAM Executive Director Message
  3. SAM Associate Director Message
  4. SAM Youth Endowment Gifts Awarded 
  5. SAM LPLP 2018-19
  6. SAM Administrators Institute 2018
  7. Did You Know...Member Awards at Spring Conferences
  8. Da Rud Cup Golf Scramble
  9. New SAM Business Partner - T.E.S.T.
  10. Rural Recruitment & Retention Survey


Upcoming Conferences and Meetings

June 13:   Da Rud Cup Golf Scramble - Helena -  Info. and Registration

June 14:   SAM Board Meeting 

June 14:   SAM Delegate Assembly Caucus  - Helena - 2:00 - 5:00 

June 15:   SAM Delegate Assembly Caucus  - Helena - 8:00 - 4:00

July 30 - August 1:  SAM Administrators Institute - HelenaRegistration

SAM Leaders Professional Learning Program (LPLP)   2018-19:  Find Out More and Register

** View the full SAM Calendar**  


Thank you to this month's featured Business Partners!

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SAM Leadership
Jon Konen
Laurie Barron
Paul Furthmyre
Past President
Joel Graves
Peter Hamilton
Jacob Haynes
Vice President
Dan Kimzey
Past President
Lance Boyd
Pam Meier
Craig Crawford
Vice President
Jon Konen
Past President
Rick Chrisman & Dale Olinger
SAM Representatives
Tobin Novasio
Cal Ketchum
Laurie Barron
Past President
Rick Duncan
Federal Relations Coordinator
Linda Marsh
Karen Underwood
Rich Lawrence
SAM Office
Kirk Miller
Executive Director
Pat Audet
Associate Director
Gary Wagner
Operations Manager
Kim Scofield
Communications Specialist  




Spring Update from MACSS

by Linda Marsh, MACSS President

To my fellow SAM Members,

Wow, here we are heading into the extremely busy final weeks of another school year.  As with MACSS many other affiliates have just completed spring conferences.  These conferences are a valuable part of our professional learning.  I would like to encourage all SAM members, no matter their affiliate, to attend all conferences and regional meetings that you are able.  Commitments in our own schools sometimes make being out of the office difficult, but the opportunities to grow professionally and provide support for others is time well spent. 

Being a part of the network of SAM is an amazing resource.  During our MACSS conference in Whitefish, we were fortunate to have Steve Bradshaw, MASS member/Superintendent of Columbia Falls School District, and Rich Lawrence, META President/IT Director at Kalispell School District, speak about their experiences during the cybersecurity breach in the Flathead last fall.  Though the lessons learned were tough, they do provide an insight into necessary precautions we all must take to ensure the safety of our students and our data. I commend all those involved for the sound decisions made and their abilities to work together and lead their schools and communities through this turbulent time.  Our membership is greatly appreciative of the knowledge shared with us. 

In addition to networking and assisting others in the field, spring conferences also afford us the opportunity to recognize leaders in our field.  The SAM website currently has several photos of honorees who have demonstrated their exceptional leadership. Congratulations to all of you!  One of the most enjoyable events of the MACSS Spring Conference is the presentation of the Rural Teacher of the Year.  This year’s recipient, Kathy Currie, from the Nye School in Stillwater County, is truly an outstanding example of rural teaching in Montana.  She will be honored again during the Evening of Excellence in June.

Looking ahead, preparations are underway for Delegate Assembly in June.  Having not had the opportunity to participate previously, I am looking forward to learning and becoming involved in the process used to help inform state legislators of schools’ needs.  

Lastly, I would like to express my gratitude to Kirk Miller.  John Quincy Adams said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”  Thanks, Kirk, for your excellent leadership!

Linda Marsh, MACSS President


SAM...Leading the Way

by Kirk Miller, SAM Executive Director

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As I contemplate penning some thoughts for this May SAM Bulletin I find myself reflecting on how fortunate our children are to have such dedicated, innovative, enthusiastic and persistent leadership of our Montana schools and districts!  In many conversations with administrators this spring over a great number of issues and opportunities, I want to express appreciation for the work you do to ensure that our schools operate effectively and efficiently, you honor and respect the parents and the community you serve, and most importantly, you are making decisions in the best interest of educating our children.

Your professional organization, SAM, through the leadership of the association have focused our attention on supporting the great efforts that you put forth each and every day.  We target three areas – goals of the SAM strategic plan – to keep our focus…

  • Professionalism, Integrity and Leadership – our members making sure they have a voice in literally every education issue in our state and nation that impacts our children.  You are doing this big time in Montana! (check out all of this involvement in the Update).
  • Professional Learning – establishing rich opportunities for administrators to learn, network and grow in continuous education improvement.  Ten+ conference opportunities and a very strong personalized professional learning program, the SAM LPLP, are highlights of the professional learning positively impacting Montana administrators’ ability to serve with integrity and resolve to meet the needs of the children served.
  • Advocacy – our members working together collectively to advocate for the education of our children – including human resources, time resources, and fiscal resources – all necessary to continue improving the fine public school system we have worked so hard to establish in our state.  SAM Delegate Assembly is a key event (coming up in June) to establish SAM’s advocacy priorities for the upcoming 2019 legislative session and the constant federal issues that impact the education of our children.

I want to share this information with you in a simple form, and please check out the links to review details of each area.  You can also review the SAM Strategic Plan 2017-18 3rd Quarter Update to look at the great progress being made.  It is this collective effort of each and every member of SAM that makes me confident to pen the title of this article … SAM … Leading the Way!

As we enter the last days of the 2017-18 school year I hope you will reflect upon the great number of wonderful opportunities that your leadership has provided for the children you serve.  I believe you will find as I have … that you are “leading the way” to a bright future for our children and our communities and our state.  For this, I’m so thankful, and request that you never lose sight of the big picture of what you are accomplishing!

From our team at SAM, we wish you a great May in pursuing the greatest profession and your work to … Lead the Way!

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Save the Date!

SAM Administrators Institute 2018!

Empowering Montana Students - Transforming Education

July 30 - August 1, 2018Radisson Colonial Hotel, Helena

Monday, July 30th:

  • SAM Leaders Professional Learning Program (LPLP) Summit
  • MTASCD Summit featuring childhood trauma expert Kristin Souers 

Tuesday, July 31st and Wednesday, August 1st:

  • Eric Sheninger (International Center for Leadership in Education) - Personalized Learning
  • Jana Frieler (NASSP Professional Development Faculty) - Social Emotional Learning
  • Keith Krueger (CoSN Executive Director) - Cyber and Information Security
  • Sue Meyer (Apple Education) - Transforming Education, along with breakout sessions in each focus zone.

With three days of rich professional learning, you can expect to gain valuable insight into current education issues. The SAM Administrators Institue is designed to provide you with relevant information to enhance your planning for the 2018-19 school year.

Click HERE for more information.

Click HERE to register.


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Da Rud Cup Golf Scramble

June 13, 2018

Bill Roberts Golf Course - Helena

$20.00/person for 18 holes of golf with a cart and dinner!

Register HERE!

SAM Welcomes T.E.S.T. as New Business Partner

Founded by Liz Cunningham in 1999, Total Education Solutions in Technology, Inc. (T.E.S.T., Inc.)represents companies that are pioneers and lead the way with innovative advancements. 

T.E.S.T. consults closely with Montana schools to research and provide only the best innovative technology. They are committed to helping schools and educators evaluate, implement and integrate the best innovative educational technology to empower students to discover new understanding and attain individual success in efficient and safe environments. T.E.S.T.’s solutions are always focused on what is best for students! T.E.S.T.’s Mission: T.E.S.T., Inc. is dedicated to helping schools and educators evaluate, integrate and use effective educational technology… empowering teachers & students to discover individual success and increase student achievement.

T.E.S.T. is proud to serve as a partner to most of the school districts in the state and strive to provide the products and services that Montana schools are wanting and needing. T.E.S.T. has been a supporter of SAM and affiliate conferences for the past 19 years and is honored to strengthen that relationship by becoming an official SAM Business Partner.

Visit the T.E.S.T. website to learn more!

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Membership Reminders:

  • Renewing Your SAM Memberships

  • MASS/AASA Changes for Renewal

 by Pat Audet, SAM Associate Director

The SAM Membership Drive that started this past April is still in full swing!  For school districts, this is a reminder that your district clerk is the key contact that can renew your membership online with the SAM online renewal form. If you are an MCASE member, you will need to complete your own online renewal form, even if you are associated with a school district. If you are a retired member or member from an organization other than school districts, you will also need to complete your own online membership renewal form.

If you are a MASS member, please note with your clerk that the MASS/AASA dues structure has changed from FY18 to FY19 (an AASA opt-out option was implemented along with an AASA dues increase). Due to this change, all MASS members’ previous membership options were not prefilled from this past year. Your clerk will need to choose the option once again. If your clerk missed this on the initial online renewal form, your MASS membership dues were not part of the generated invoice and therefore were probably not paid like the other membership dues from the district; your MASS membership was missed and not renewed. There are two different reminders of this change on the actual renewal form but it would be worthwhile to check on this with your district clerk. If perchance your membership dues were not paid and your membership not renewed, all is not lost. Please contact the SAM office (Kim samks@sammt.org or Pat sampa@sammt.org) and we will be glad to generate and send a separate invoice with the MASS/AASA dues applied. 

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SAM Youth Endowment  Gifts Awarded! 

The SAM Board of Directors recently awarded $4000 to assist Montana students through funds allocated through the SAM Youth Endowment.  Four students were each gifted $1000 to assist with their specific financial need.  Since 2010, the SAM Youth Endowment has disbursed nearly $36,000 to Montana youth in need.

The purpose of the SAM Youth Endowment is to make a positive impact on the youth of Montana by providing financial assistance to benefit children’s health, welfare, and/or education.  Each of the six SAM affiliates contributes to the SAM Youth Endowment each year.  Contributions are also received through donations and memorials. 

The SAM Board of Directors first discussed the endowment possibilities in 1998. At that time the Board felt it was important for SAM to be involved financially with a cause that affected the youth of Montana. The discussion led to the establishment of an endowment that would contribute to different charities making a positive impact on the youth of Montana. In the Spring of 2001, the Board approved the SAM Youth Endowment Fund Guidelines for Assistance. 

Nominations are submitted by SAM members at any time throughout the year and disbursed in the spring after Board approval. To receive a SAM Youth Endowment gift, the youth must be a Montana K-12 student with a financial need such as a health concern, financial emergency, or educational need.  The student must be nominated by a SAM member and the nomination must include a summary about the student and the specific financial need. 

Thank you for the donations you have made to the SAM Youth Endowment this year!  

SAM Leaders Professional Learning Program 2018-19

SAM LPLP 2018-19 Video Including Member Testimonials

thumbprint tree.jpg - 20.69 KbIt isn't too early to start thinking about professional learning for you and your district administrators for next year.  SAM LPLP 2018-19 incorporates all of the robust personalized professional development tools from SAM LPLP 2017-18 along with the addition of new Collegial Learning Networks (CLNs) all designed to meet the professional learning needs of new, experienced, and aspiring administrators. 

SAM LPLP’s multi-faceted blended learning approach consists of a rich online resource center, collegial learning networks designed to be dynamic based upon topics of interest as they arise that allow participants to focus on specific areas of interest, and personal learning networks including the option of one-on-one coaching/mentoring with experienced Providers.

Tailored to meet the needs of administrators, learning networks meet both virtually and face-to-face allowing participants to share challenges, successes, and thought leadership with like-minded Montana leaders experiencing similar job roles, situations, and context while bringing professional development to the administrator.

The goal of the SAM LPLP is to provide intentional, personalized professional learning to Montana educators through research-based strategies resulting in improvements in job satisfaction, administrator longevity, and ultimately to increased student achievement and quality of instruction which will positively impact the education of students across Montana.

Click to Register for SAM LPLP 2018-19!

Did You Know... 

the following SAM Members received awards at their affiliate Spring Conferences?

 Check Your Email....

Your Voice is Needed! Across the country, schools are struggling to recruit and retain teachers and leaders--this is also true in Montana. The Rural Recruitment
and Retention Task Force (OCHE), Rise for Montana (RISE4MT:  MEA-MFT, SAM, MASBO, MQEC, MREA, MSU Department of Education, Phyllis J Washington College of Education and Human Sciences), and other education leaders are working hard to solve these challenges. 
 We need your input! Please take 15-20 minutes and complete
this survey! Thank you for everything you do as a Montana Educator!

The following PRIZES will be awarded for survey completion:  

  • $50 Amazon Gift Cards
  • Free registration to SAM Administrators Institute
  • Free registration to MCEL

One winner will be announced per week!

Survey closes May 31st!

Thank you to SAM's Business Partners! 

Please take time to visit their websites.

Montana Big Sky Sponsors


Health Insurance
P O Box 4579 - Helena, MT 59601
Phone: 406-457-4400

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Technology Innovation
1309 NW Bypass - Great Falls, MT 59404  
Phone: 406-727-5994   

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Professional Learning Organization
1031 N. Academic Way, Ste. 242
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho 83814
Phone: 208-292-2529                                                                                                                 

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Rigorous Learning For All Students
1587 Route 146 - Rexford, NY 12148
Phone: 518-399-2776         

Total Education Solutions in Technology (T.E.S.T)
PO Box 2900
Missoula, MT 59805
Phone:  888-401-6950



Montana Glacier Sponsors

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Infinite Campus is the largest American-owned student information system
4321 109th Avenue NE
Blaine, MN 55449 stephanie.sondrol@infinite
Website development
Innovation Park at Penn State
200 Innovation Blvd, Ste. 201
State College, PA 16801
 814-689-1046 Ext. 304      

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Mileposts™ cloud-based
achievement & data management
408 E. Parkcenter Blvd., Ste.300
Boise, ID 83706 rapp@silverbacklearning.com 
valic.gif - 2.49 KbAnnuities, life insurance     
430 Ryman St., #102
Missoula, MT 59892 



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Empowering Teachers To
Drive Their Own Professional Learning
84 Sherman Street
Cambridge, MA 02140
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School property & liability insurance
1200 North Montana Ave.
Helena. MT. 59601

Unique approach to teaching K-6 math using hands-on, interactive games
37 E 28th Street Suite 600
New York, NY 10016


Montana Mountain Sponsors

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Solutions
34 West 6th Avenue, Suite 2B
Helena, MT 59601

Lowest total operational cost clean buildings  2525 Overland Avenue
Billings, MT 59102 brucoeducation@gmail.com
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School portraits, yearbooks & sports portraits
2110 Overland Ave., #115A 
Billings, MT 59102 jvagner@lifetouch.com

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Education Employee Financial Products & Services
621 W. Mallon, Suite #301
Spokane, WA 99201 Geoff.Hinton@americanfidelity.com
509-279-2540, Ext 353                                                                                            

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Safe, Easily Managed School Networks
106 East Sixth Street, Suite 500
Austin TX 48701
JArnold@lightspeedsystems.com  512-904-0544   

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Auto, homeowners, life insurance and financial services
617 W Stolley Park Road
Grand Island, NE 68801

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Education’s Premiere Recruitment Service
PO Box 2519 Columbia, MD 21045  gbswitzer@frontlineed.com 
877-812-4071 x94  

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College Assistance, Job Skill Training   
1956 MT Majo Street  
Fort Harrison, MT 59636

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A leading provider of comprehensive Custodial, Grounds & Facility Operations
and Maintenance services
4702 Western Ave. Suite 101
Knoxville, TN 37921 gcaeducation@gcaservices.com         

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School Workers’ Compensation & Liability Coverage
PO Box 7029
Helena, MT 59601


Montana Meadow Sponsors

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College Readiness and Success
5889 Greenwood Plaza Blvd. Suite 210 
Greenwood Village, CO 80111   

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School Accounting Software
145 Southlake Crest, Suite 1
Polson, MT. 59860
Phone: 800-353-8829

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Technology Services Partner
16 6th Street North, Ste 42

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Technology planning, project  & solution services
2135 Charlotte Street
Bozeman MT 59718
bbassett @pinecc.com

900 N. Montana Ave. Suite A-4| Helena, MT. 59601| Phone (406)442-2510 | Fax (406)442-2518 



2017-18 Bulletins

April 2018 Bulletin

March 2018 Bulletin

February 2018 Bulletin

January 2018 Bulletin

December 2017 Bulletin

November 2017 Bulletin

October 2017 Bulletin

September 2017 Bulletin

July/August 2017 Bulletin


Bulletins from Previous Years