Volume XLII                          July/August 2019

No. 287

In This Issue...

  1. MASS President Message 
  2. SAM Executive Director Message
  3. MCASE Recruitment Project  
  4. SAM Administrators Institute 2019 
  5. SAM Leaders Professional Learning Program 2019-20
  6. Smart Education Networks by Design - CoSN Message
  7. SAM Welcomes New Business Partners
  8. 2019-20 SAM and Affiliate Conferences and Events


Upcoming Conferences,   Meetings, & Events

July 29-31:  SAM Administrators Institute 2019

September 23-24: MASS/MCASE Fall Conference

September 25-26: MACSS Fall Conference

October 16-18:  MCEL

January 26-28: Montana Principals Conference

March 23-24: MASS/METAtechEd Conference

June 11-12: SAM Board Meeting and Delegate Assembly (Note date change)

** 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




Our Passion and Duty  

by Dr. Mike Perry, MASS President

I would like to share a poem that really describes the relationship between the school and the home.

I dreamed I stood in a studio and watched two sculptors there, the clay they used was a young child’s mind, and they fashioned it with care.  One was a teacher-the tools they used were books with music, art: one a parent with a guiding hand, and a gentle loving heart.  Day after day the teacher toiled, with a touch that was deft and sure, while the parent labored by their side and polished and smoothed it over.  And when at last their task was done, they were proud of what they had wrought, for the things they had molded into the child could neither be sold nor bought.  And each agreed he would have failed if he had worked alone, for behind the parent stood the school, and behind the teacher, the home. Author Unknown.

As we take the summer to reflect on our past year and the year that looms before us take time for yourself and family. Education is a profession that is with you 24/7/365. It is who we are and what our students and communities deserve. I feel blessed daily to work with the fantastic educational professionals here in our beautiful state and look forward to the times when we get together to lift and give strength to one another as we travel these tough and rewarding roads together.

As Nelson Mandela was quoted, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” May we continue to equip our students to change the world.

Mike Perry
MASS President

SAM - Outstanding Year Drives Cycle of Progress!

by Kirk Miller, SAM Executive Director

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2018-19 has been an outstanding year for your professional association, SAM, with great contributions from over 1000 members insuring progress on our strategic plan!  I often travel to present a SAM Update to our members and many organizations both in state and out of state.  Our story of progress is easy to share as a result of the collective energy and effort of administrators all across our state.  I share with you the most recent SAM Update presented to the 2021 Legislative Education Interim Committee on Friday 6-24-19, in its entirety for reflection on the great work you have done.  This, as you will read, cycles into a very robust agenda for 2019-20, with our administrators and SAM leading the way on numerous efforts to positively impact the education of our Montana students …

SAM was organized as an association for administrators in 1971. It rep­resents the interests, aspirations, and professional leadership of Montana administrators.  Over 1040 members network under six affiliate associations (MASS, MAEMSP, MASSP, MCASE, MACSS, META) to promote GREAT Montana Schools, supporting leader’s passion for providing an outstanding education to Montana's children!

The SAM Strategic Plan 2018-22(adopted by the SAM Board 10/18/18) outlines the benefits being a SAM member affords each education leader through their contributions to the greater good of the education community to inspire our students…

Leadership Involved in Decisions that Impact Education


Professional Learning and Services

  • Professional learning opportunities for educational leaders aligned with best practices research and innovative strategies.
  • The SAM Leaders Professional Learning Program (LPLP) 2019-20 is a best practices professional learning delivery system that personalizes learning for Montana administrators. Over 5 years, the LPLP has supported nearly 350 administrators.  LPLP formed Collegial Learning Networks with coach/mentors to personalize a professional learning plan enhancing their ability to serve their students, school, and community!  Review the SAM LPLP 2018-19 Mid Year Executive Summary to see the significant progress being made.  The SAM LPLP has recently added the Washington Foundation as a business sponsor!
  • SAM Administrators Institute 2019, scheduled for July 29-31, 2019 in Helena – get ready for “The Montana HOW”! – intended to engage and prepare you and your team for the 2019-20 school year!
  • MCEL 2019 (October 16-18, 2019) “Each Child. Every School.” will be in Billings and planning is underway. Expect to see the rollout of MT-PEC plans for unified professional development funding, flexibility, efficiency - Framework and GREAT volume VII.
  • SAM annually assists in the operation of 11 conferences creating learning opportunities for our members. See the ‘Professional Learning’ ‘Conferences’ tab on the website.
  • SAM Membership 2018-19 and SAM Membership 2019-20
  • SAM Youth Endowment – help a worthy student/family through the Endowment.
  • SAM and Affiliate Awards
  • SAM continues implementation of association management software (MemberClicks) upgrading our website, database, and tools for all SAM members.  Web-based communication tools for the use of our Members. Click HERE to see the instructions on how to use the E-list tool.  Click DOCUMENT or VIDEO to learn how to use SAM Community Forums.
  • Member benefits:  Affiliate regional meetings, SAM Bulletin, and weekly SAM Update, colleague networks, state and federal advocacy networks, legal assistance, professional liability insurance, technology embedded solutions including website, cloud-based solutions, use of social media, E-Lists, digital Community Forums to enhance member communication, many more…

Make sure to follow SAM on Twitter @MTEDLeadership & on Facebook at Sam Montana

Thank you SAM members for a great 2018-19.  As you can see we are ready for continuing our collective effort for the greater good of the education community to inspire our students in 2019-20!

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Monday, July 29

MTASCD Summit - 
Kristin Souers    "A Culture of Safety & the New 3 R's" 

   Tuesday, July 30
Instructional Leadership Summit 

Keynote - Sean Covel - "The Power of How" 

  Clinic Sessions

Wednesday, July 31
Instructional Leadership Summit 

Keynote - Garret Garrels - Pink Gloves Boxing

Clinic Sessions

Wednesday, July 31
LPLP Summit

Delta Hotel by Marriott, Helena Colonial

Click HERE for more information and to register!

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2019-20 SAM and Affiliate Conferences and Events

July 29-31, 2019: SAM Administrators Institute - Helena

September 23-24, 2019: MASS/MCASE Fall Conference - Bozeman

September 25-26, 2019: MACSS Fall Conference - Lewistown

October 16-18. 2019: MCEL - Billings 

January 26-28, 2020: Montana Principals Conference - Fairmont

March 23-24, 2020: MASS/METAtechED Conference - Helena

June 11-12, 2020: SAM Board Meeting and Delegate Assembly (Note date change)

Click HERE to view the entire 2019-20 SAM Conference and Board Meeting Schedules

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Montana Schools Recruitment Project - Helping with Your Special Education Personnel Needs 

For the past 5 years the Montana Schools Recruitment Project has been helping school districts and cooperatives hire the hard-to-fill special education teachers and specialist positions.  The Project was created by the membership of the Montana Council of Administrators of Special Education (MCASE) – an affiliate of the School Administrators of Montana.  A committee was formed to plan, strategize and execute recruiting processes that would draw special education personnel to Montana’s schools and cooperatives.

Lori Ruffier and Kaitlin Sonderer are contracted annually to provide excellent assistance to school districts and coops enrolled in the project by posting the organization’s special education positions, recruiting at career fairs and national conferences, and creating a candidate pool by directly interacting with candidates and marketing available job openings.

For more information about the Montana Schools Recruitment Project, you can go to  MCASE Recruitment Enrollment Description 2019-20 and watch for the informational email that will soon launch the program for 2019-20!

If you have a special education job opening or project a position opening in your district or coop, the first step is to enroll in the program by going to the  19-20 MCASE Recruitment Enrollment Online Form.  Once you have positions available that need to be filled, complete the 19-20 MCASE Recruitment Positions Online Form.  School District or Coop enrollment is only required once per school year and there is no limit to the number of open positions that can be posted.  Special education positions needing filled will be posted on the Employment Opportunities web page of the SAM Website.

It should be noted that this project would not be possible without the support of MCASE and the generous assistance from the Office of Public Instruction’s Special Education Division!  You can also help support the MCASE Recruitment Project by enrolling your district or coop in the program, even if you do not have current positions that need to be filled. 

For more information, please visit the Montana Schools Recruitment Project web pages on the SAM website MCASE Recruitment Project and MCASE Recruitment Project - Administrator Information Page

SAM Leaders Professional Learning Program 2019-20 

It isn't too late to join the many new and experienced administrators who have registered for SAM LPLP 2019-20!

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 new, experienced, and aspiring 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 following Collegial Learning Networks (CLNs) are being planned for the 2019-20 program year:    Social-Emotional Learning, Transformational Learning, AASA Aspiring Superintendents, TierII/Tier III Behavior Project, New Leaders, Special Education Directors, Trusted Learning Environment.

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. 

The members of Montana Association of School Superintendents (MASS) believe so strongly in the SAM LPLP that they have agreed to pay the registration fee for all Montana superintendents new to their position.  For more information, contact the SAM office.  

Register for SAM LPLP 2019-20!

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Smart Education Networks by Design

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 addressed the issues involved with Closing the Homework Gap: Digital Equity Strategies for Learning Beyond the Classroom.

This month we focus on “Smart Network Design for Transformation & Innovation”. Education networks have evolved from addressing district operational and administrative needs to serving students and teachers in and beyond the classroom, anywhere and anytime. Innovative technologies, more access to the Internet, and powerful communication, creation, and collaboration tools are driving instructional transformation. Rapid change is increasing demand for greater network capacity and reliability. In the not-too-distant future, innovations in data visualization, embedded digital formative assessment, immersive, adaptive digital content, and interoperability will place additional demands on district networks. And all this comes in an uncertain funding environment. How can district leaders make high-stakes infrastructure investment decisions when technology, teaching and learning priorities, and funding are changing so rapidly and so constantly? Check out CoSN’s one-page document that identifies six core characteristics of the “new” network to include in your network design and architecture planning at this link.

CoSN has partnered with edWeb to provide a monthly webinar series on topics essential for leading digital transformations. School superintendents serve as panelists on each webinar and share their stories and expertise. Every webinar is recorded for viewing by those who are not able to join the live broadcast. The title of the July 8, 2019 webinar (scheduled for 5:00 pm ET) is “Smart Network Design for Transformation and Innovation: Reaching in and Beyond the Classroom”. Learn more and register for this free webinar HERE.

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] 


SAM Welcomes New Business Partners:  Winsor Learning and Teachers On Call 

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Since 1997, Winsor Learning has been the program of choice for thousands of school districts in their efforts to improve reading scores and assist students with Dyslexia. The Sonday System brings Orton-Gillingham based tools and training to educators working with struggling students in a way that is easy for teachers to use, requires minimal training, and very affordable. Today, school districts around the country use the Sonday System as their “go to” intervention for struggling readers and those with Dyslexia.

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Teachers On Call, a Kelly Services Company, is a substitute staffing service that offers the Absence Management (Aesop) system with our substitute staffing management solution for school districts. We don't outsource, but in-source your sub-pool by hiring the district’s current substitute pool as our employees, and then additionally recruit, hire, train, and place substitutes. We take over on the responsibilities for substitutes like payroll, payroll taxes, workers comp, unemployment, liability, ACA tracking and more, streamlining the process for PK-12 public schools.


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]stkids.com
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
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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Education Employee Financial Products & Services
621 W. Mallon, Suite #301
Spokane, WA 99201 [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]

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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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]      

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


2018-19 SAM Bulletins