Volume XLII                              February 2020

No. 293

In This Issue...

  1. MASS President Message 
  2. SAM Executive Director Message
  3. SAM/MREA/MCASE Virtual Career Fair
  4. MAEMSP/MASSP Award Winners 
  5. MASS/METAtechED 2020
  6. MACSS Awards  
  7. META Awards
  8. SAM Youth Endowment 2020 
  9. CoSN - Online Assessment
  10. New SAM Business Partner - FICO


Upcoming Conferences,   Meetings, & Events

February 19-21:  MCEC Conference - Missoula

March 23-24: MASS/METAtechEd Conference - Helena - Registration

June 11-12: SAM Board Meeting and Delegate Assembly - Helena

July 27-29, 2020:  SAM Administrators Institute 2020 - Helena

January 24-26, 2021: Montana Principals Conference - Helena

** View the full SAM Calendar**   

Thank you to this month's featured Business Partners! 

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SAM Leadership
Peter Hamilton
Dale Olinger
President Elect
Laurie Barron
Past President
Jake Haynes
Justin Helvik
President Elect
Shawn Hendrickson
Vice President
Peter Hamilton
Past President
Craig Crawford
Shelley Andres
President Elect
Nicole Trahan
Vice President
Pam Meier
Past President
Marlin Lewis
Barb Droessler
SAM Representatives
Mike Perry
Casey Klasna
President Elect
Cal Ketchum
Past President
Rick Duncan
Federal Relations Coordinator
Michelle Halberg
Cathy Maloney
Brian Norwood
SAM Office
Kirk Miller
Executive Director
Gary Wagner
Director of Operations, Membership & Finances
Kim Scofield
Director of Member Services & Professional Learning




Find Your Motivation  

by Mike Perry, MASS President

In education, we learn to serve others. Whether we are driving students to school on a bus, serving them breakfast and lunch, helping them in a classroom, teaching them or supervising those that fill all those roles. We are constantly trying to learn how to better serve our students, classified staff, certified staff, parents, board members and community members. One of our motivations should be to constantly improve how we provide the best public education possible in our communities. I believe that motivation is one of the key words in our profession and indeed in education as a whole. In the book, Rewiring Education by John D. Couch, he talks about motivation,

“ …if a person is motivated enough to succeed, we would have a very difficult time stopping them from doing so. The same is true in education. If a student wants to learn about something badly enough, a bad parent, teacher, and school combined could not stop them from learning it. This is why kids can memorize the words to entire songs, but can’t seem to remember a math formula they were taught five minutes ago.”

Those words now are stuck in my mind as I wander the hallways and classrooms and try to determine what motivates myself and those that I encounter every day. How do we find the proper motivation for ourselves and more importantly how do we find the right motivation for those we serve?  The answer to this question will help all we serve to reach their full potential. As we move into spring, I would encourage you, if necessary, to find that motivation that led you to a career in education and expound upon it, share it with others and encourage all to find “their” motivation.

Mike Perry
MASS President

Focusing on the Main Things!

by Kirk Miller, SAM Executive Director

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February brings that time of the school year where the second half (semester) for focus on student academic and whole child achievement hits the long stretch.  Like in a marathon, our students and educators are in mile 13, digging deep for that determination to stay on pace to reach their goals.  Now is a time for encouragement, the kind that comes from inside, through reflection on each child, their successes and needs, to see the path ahead to help them reach their full potential by the end of the school year.  Our school and district administrators have all of this in mind for their school team as they create an educational atmosphere that allows focus on the main things – the success of each child in striving for their full potential.  Thanks for that!

Our SAM team is here for you, education leaders, as you focus on the achievements, successes, and challenges set out for this second half of the school year.  Through the SAM Strategic Plan, our goals… 1) insuring administrators are involved in decisions that impact education, 2) equipped with accurate information and prepared to use it to advocate for our children, and 3) professional learning through professional development, mentorship and member services … help us focus on the main things.  Our collective membership of all six affiliates of SAM have done exceedingly well in accomplishing the strategic objectives and actions outlined in each goal area during the first half of the school year.  If you want to go deeper into understanding that progress please review the SAM Strategic Plan 2018-22 Report for 2nd Quarter 2019-20.  The Strategic Plan serves as a great way to help our entire SAM organization focus on the main things this second half of the school year.

As you focus on the main things, please consider some of the resources SAM is making available for your use.  The importance for our schools and school leaders to tell the story about the great work accomplished for each child, every day in our schools is very important in 2020.  Important enough, that I’m sharing once again those resources that can help you tell the story and develop strategies to do this in effective ways in your school community.  SAM has developed learning opportunities for being strategic in telling the story and gaining the support of your community (See Jamie Vollmer’s Great Conversation as described at MCEL and further through a SAM business partnership).  Please review the GREAT VII 2019 publication developed by MT-PEC, and use this for reference to advocate in your school community.  Another recently developed tool to impact your community is the MT-PEC Flexibility PD Series.  This access to deep professional learning about the many efficiencies and flexibility provided in legislation, law and administrative rules is intended to help you advocate for programming necessary in your schools to meet the needs of the children served. 

If we collectively work together to tell this local story of rich and diverse opportunities provided to our children we will make a difference in capturing back a positive, supportive attitude about our schools all across the state.  Accomplishing this support is most certainly a main thing for our focus!

Thanks for all you do to serve your children, school and community with expertise, compassion and passion!

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MASS/METAtechED 2020

March 23-24 

Delta by Marriott in Helena

Keynote - Tom Ryan, Past Chair, CoSN; President, Emmersion Learning

"Leading K-12 Innovation in the 4th Industrial Revolution"

What do K-12 education global leaders, practitioners, and change makers identify as major themes in driving, hindering, and enabling teaching and learning innovation? Many experts believe we are entering the 4th Industrial Revolution due to the significant changes impacting our culture, economy and society because of technology advancement in robotics, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, quantum computing, biotechnology, and The Internet of Things (IoT).  This presentation will address:
* How could these societal changes impact how we prepare students for their future?  
* What does the Driving K-12 Innovation series of Hurdles, Accelerators, and Tech Enablers tell us about education trends
* What is the 4th Industrial Revolution and the possible impact on our education systems?

* Gov. Steve Bullock and Evan Marwell, CEO, EducationSuperHighway

* Breakout Session Topics:

Cyber Security, Student Data Privacy, MakerSpace, E-Sports, IMS Global/Data Interoperability,
ByteSpeed, Cisco Meraki, Newline Interactive, Pine Cove Consulting

* Working Session for Implementing Student Data Privacy/Terms of Service 

META-Palooza 2020:  6:00 PM Monday, March 23rd 

Register HERE!

SAM Youth Endowment Nomination Deadline - March 3, 2020

Nominations are open until March 3rd for the 2019-20 SAM Youth Endowment. The purpose of the School Administrators of Montana 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.

Awards to nominated recipients are given in April of each year and announced in the May SAM Bulletin. Emergency requests will be accepted and presented to the board on an as-requested basis made throughout the year.  Recognition of the award will also be given annually at the SAM Administrators Institute.

Nomination guidelines are listed in the SAM Youth Endowment brochure. Please note that only SAM members can make the actual nomination.

Click HERE to access the 2019-20 SAM Youth Endowment Nomination Form! The application deadline is March 3, 2020.

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SAM Welcomes FICO as a New Business Partner

FICO, a Montana owned and operated company, has provided turnkey building management and system integration services for technically complex buildings in Montana and beyond for more than 20 years. From design and installation to ongoing maintenance and security, FICO's best-in-class people and products help school districts achieve operational savings and minimize risk as they work to provide reliable and safe environments. FICO's extensive knowledge and experience with DDC controls, physical security design strategies, access control, and video surveillance systems will ensure the facility operates at its optimum potential.

FICO is committed to developing innovative solutions that help your building work smarter and more efficiently while reducing risk today and into the future. They combine the most innovative technology and products to improve energy efficiency and provide pro-active security strategies minimizing risk while saving time and money. Their building automation solutions leverage best-in-class products and people to help provide a more safe, secure, and comfortable environment for your building and its occupants.

For more information, visit the FICO website at https://ficomt.com.

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Register Now - Montana's First Rural School Virtual Career Fair

The Montana Rural School Virtual Career Fair sponsored by the MCASE Recruitment Project, SAM, and MREA is scheduled for Friday, March 13.  Registration is FREE for candidates looking for Montana teaching and administration jobs. 

Who is invited?

  • Candidates interested in rural Montana teaching & administration jobs

Where do I have to go?

  • Nowhere, it all happens online, from your computer or smartphone!

What are job seekers saying about a Virtual Career?

  • “I got four solid job leads while sitting in my living room, drinking coffee. Can't beat that.”
  • “This was a great experience! I was able to search for openings, have my resume viewed, and communicate just with the employers I was interested in, all without leaving my desk. The idea of
    a virtual career fair takes the pressure off the job seeker and employer.”
  • “The virtual career fair went great. I got one interview already and I am expecting more. I think that this was a great idea ….

There is a $195 early registration fee for those districts interested in participating. The deadline for early registration is February 14th. Contact the SAM Office, Lori Ruffier, or Dennis Parman with questions.


Congratulations to the Recent MAEMSP and MASSP Award Recipients!

The Montana Principals Conference was held in
Helena January 27 - 29. Over 200 attendees
had the opportunity to listen to national
speakers, connect with colleagues from around
the state, and honor several outstanding
educators and friends of education. The
following awards were presented on Monday,
January 28th at the MAEMSP/MASSP Awards


  • National Distinguished Principal - Travis Niemeyer, Beartooth Elementary, Billings Public Schools
  • Adrian Langstaff Award - Norah Barney, Lincoln Elementary, Anaconda
  • MAEMSP Executive Board Award - Dr. Bruce Whitehead, Retired, Missoula
  • MAEMSP Friends of Education Award - Tom Wardell Family, Billings
  • MAEMSP Aspiring Principal Scholarship Award - Matt Carey, Fairfield Public Schools
  • MAEMSP Appreciation Award - Hawthorne Elementary Parent Advisory Council, Bozeman
  • MAEMSP Conference Incentive Scholarship Award - Roxie Benjamin, Fort Benton Schools


  • MASSP Principal of the Year - Shawn Hendrickson, St. Ignatius HS/MS
  • MASSP Assistant Principal of the Year - John Larsen - Dawson County High School, Glendive
  • MASSP Community Partner in Education Award -Fairfield Lions Club
  • MASSP Future Administrator Scholarship Award - Denikka Miller, Eureka Public Schools
  • MASSP Conference Incentive Scholarship Award - Sheri Heavrin, Broadwater High School, Townsend

Congratulations to all of the award winners and honorees!

Mark your calendars:  Montana Principals Conference 2021 -January 24-26 in Helena

MACSS Award Nominations Close March 15th

1. It is time to nominate an outstanding county superintendent for the County Superintendent of the Year Award. Please see the County Superintendent of the Year 2020 Criteria and Nomination Form for details. County Superintendents can be nominated for this award by fellow MACSS members, teachers, school administrators, school board members, parents, or County Commissioners

2. Rural Teacher of the Year Award is open for nominations.  Please consider nominating one of your phenomenal teachers and give them the chance to attend the National Rural Conference.  Follow the link for more information:  2020 TOY application and information.

META Award Nominations Closing Soon

Please consider nominating an outstanding technology director or empowered superintendent the following 2020 META awards.  Nomination forms must be completed by February 21, 2020.  Find out more about each award and nominate/apply by clicking 2020 META Awards.

  • META Technologist of the Year Award
  • META Empowered Superintendent of the Year Award

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Online Assessment: An Effective, Coordinated, District Leadership Team Approach

The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) and its state affiliate chapter, Montana Educational Technologists Association (META) are pleased to continue to support the work of current and aspiring superintendents and district leadership teams in leading all aspects of digital learning transformations.  

Last month we focused on the strategies necessary for leading digital learning with an emphasis on succeeding with 1:1 implementations. CoSN’s Leadership for Digital Learning Critical Issues Guide provides – in a concise, single-page format - an itemized check list for each of the main systems (both human and technological) that need to be properly established when implementing 1:1 technology for learning initiatives.

This month we turn our attention to how and why school district leadership teams collaborate on the implementation of online assessments within a school district system. As an ever increasing number of school districts launch online assessments as part of their standard practice, school leaders are learning that the challenges associated with implementing and leveraging online assessments to drive student learning are far more complex than simply adding technology. Today technology is an essential tool for planning, creating, delivering, and evaluating successful instruction. Online assessments are becoming routine within many school settings and are used not solely for summative or high stakes testing, but also for formative measures of learning as well. It takes a coordinated leadership team effort among multiple district level departments to execute online assessments successfully. The CoSN Critical Focus Area: Issue One Pager on Online Assessment offers nine key recommendations for leveraging online assessment capability and capacity.

CoSN, in partnership with edWeb.net, hosts The EmpowerED Superintendent monthly webinar series on topics that are essential for all educators engaged in leading digital transformations. The focus of the February 10, 2020 webinar (3:00 pm MT) is “Online Assessment: An Effective, Coordinated, District Leadership Team Approach”. Three members of Pennsylvania’s Hampton Township School District leadership team (Dr. Michael Loughead, Superintendent; Dr. Jacquelyn Removcik, Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment; Dr. Ed McKaveney, Director of Technology) share how they collaborate and effectively coordinate their work in order to successfully lead the implementation of online assessments as well as the strategic use of the resulting student learning data within all schools in their district. Learn more and register for this free webinar as well as access recordings of previously broadcast CoSN/edWeb webinars at https://home.edweb.net/supers/.

If your school or district would like more information about joining CoSN or getting more involved with CoSN, please contact Brian Calvary, CAE, CoSN Director of Membership and Chapters, at  [email protected] 

 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
[email protected]
Phone: 406-457-4401

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

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

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Empowering Teachers To
Drive Their Own Professional Learning
84 Sherman Street
Cambridge, MA 02140
 [email protected]

Montana Glacier Sponsors

infinite_campus.jpg - 7.35 KbInfinite Campus is the largest  American-owned student information system       
4321 109th Avenue NE
Blaine, MN 55449 stephanie.sondrol@infinite  campus.com
 A unique approach to teaching   K-6 math using hands-on,   interactive games
 37 E 28th Street Suite 600
 New York, NY 10016
 [email protected]

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Mileposts™ cloud-based
achievement & data management
408 E. Parkcenter Blvd., Ste.300
Boise, ID 83706 [email protected] 
valic (2).jpg - 30.26 KbAnnuities, life insurance     
430 Ryman St., #102
Missoula, MT 59892 
[email protected]

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School property & liability insurance
1200 North Montana Ave.
Helena. MT. 59601
[email protected]



Montana Mountain Sponsors

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

Lowest total operational cost clean buildings  2525 Overland Avenue
Billings, MT 59102 [email protected]

School portraits, yearbooks & sports portraits
2110 Overland Ave., #115A 
Billings, MT 59102 [email protected]

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C&C School Accounting
Software For Schools In Montana Since 1980
[email protected]

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Safe, Easily Managed School Networks
106 East Sixth Street, Suite 500
Austin TX 48701
[email protected]  512-904-0544   

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Auto, homeowners, life insurance and financial services
617 W Stolley Park Road
Grand Island, NE 68801
[email protected] 
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School Workers’ Compensation & Liability
PO Box 7029 - Helena, MT 59601
[email protected]
Phone: 406-457-4418
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College Assistance, Job Skill Training   
1956 MT Majo Street  
Fort Harrison, MT 59636
[email protected]

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A leading provider of comprehensive Custodial, Grounds & Facility Operations and Maintenance services  
4702 Western Ave. Suite 101
Knoxville, TN 37921 [email protected]
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Connecting Schools, Parents, and
Communities through Cloud-Based    
Communication Tools                                       
218 N. 3rd Ave 
Durant, OK 74701
[email protected]
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Professional Learning Organization 
1031 N. Academic Way, Ste. 242  
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho 83814
[email protected]                                                     
Phone: 208-292-2529  
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Amanda Burnette                                         
3001 Metro Drive, Suite 480
Bloomington, MN. 55425
[email protected]
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Professional Preconstruction & Construction Manager
Mark Qualman 
Billings, MT 
[email protected]
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The Great Conversation Series
Jamie Vollmer
[email protected]
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Rick Ruiz, Business Development
800 7th Ave. North
Great Falls, MT. 59911



Montana Meadow Sponsors

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Maya Burnaugh
3001 Metro Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, MN. 55425
[email protected]

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School Accounting Software
145 Southlake Crest, Suite 1
Polson, MT. 59860
[email protected]  
Phone: 800-353-8829
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Targeted Professional Development
Daniel Sybrant
557 Cow Creek Lane
Corvallis, MT 
[email protected] 
888-413-3669, ext. 5776

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Network and Communications Solutions 
904 C Avenue
Circle, MT 59215
[email protected]  
Phone: 406-234-7470

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Technology planning, project  & solution  services
2135 Charlotte Street
Bozeman MT 59718
[email protected]      

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Systems and applications to reduce the financial burden of federal student loans
[email protected]

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