Volume XLIV                            October 2022

No. 322

In This Issue...

  1. META President Message 
  2. SAM Executive Director Message
  3. MCEL and SAM Membership Meeting
  4. National Principals Month
  5. Current Award Opportunities
  6. Affiliate Region Meetings
  7. CoSN October 2022 
  8. Featured SAM Business Partners

Upcoming Conferences,   
Meetings, & Events

MCEL 2022:  October 19-21, Missoula

SAM Membership Meeting:  October 21, Missoula

Montana Principals Conference 23:  January 22-24, Helena

** View the full SAM Calendar**   

Thank you to this month's featured Business Partners! 

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SAM Leadership

Shelley Andres
Sara Novak
President Elect
Cal Ketchum
Past President
KJ Poepping
Sheri Heavrin
President Elect
Rhiannon Beery
Vice President
Shawn Hendrickson
Past President
Ted Miller
Julie Hornby
President Elect
Mark Goyette
Vice President
Nicole Trahan
Past President
Kelly Kinsey
Barb Droessler
SAM Representatives
Dave Wick
Dale Olinger
President Elect
Dr. Greg Dern
Past President
Rick Duncan
Federal Relations Coordinator
Sara Novak
Erin Lipkind
Carol Phillips
SAM Office
Dr. Rob Watson
Executive Director
 Kim Scofield
Director of Member Services & Professional Learning
 Marcus Meyer
Director of Operations, Membership & Finances



See Yourself in Cyber: Individualized Path

  by Carol Phillips, META President 

October is here and that means it is, once again, Cybersecurity Awareness Month. I know you want to stop reading now, but please don’t. Indulge me for a moment. We hear about cybersecurity everywhere we go. Sometimes we hear about it so much it starts to fall on deaf ears because we feel there is only so much one person, one school, one administrator can do. The feeling that we will never be protected or we do not have time to put into place all of the pieces can be overwhelming. There are so many other priorities that seem more important - child safety, education loss due to Covid, and all of the other concerns administrators and school staff are responsible for. It is especially hard to prioritize things you don’t completely understand. Then there is always the issue of lack of funding and/or lack of staff to implement the necessary items. This can all lead to making a difficult task seem nigh impossible. The key to implementing cybersecurity measures is to break it down into smaller parts. We have to look at dealing with our cybersecurity issues very similar to the way you individualize instruction for children. We don’t expect a child to learn to read in one day. We know reading is a journey, and our goal on day one is to set them on that path. The good news is that Montana has some of the best Educational Technologists throughout the state. They can help you individualize the steps for your network and your environment. Here are some tools to put into your toolbelt to help you on your way:

  1. Training Your Staff and Yourself - This is a key element to protecting your environment. It is required by your insurance company but can sometimes be hard to fit into your everyday tasks. The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCA) and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) work together to create a theme every year for Cybersecurity Awareness Month. They post materials for the general public to use to become more educated in cybersecurity. If you partner with them, for FREE, they will send you press releases, training videos on various topics, and social media graphics and logos to share with your community and staff. This can be the start of your training and put you on the path to reaching your cybersecurity goals.

To sign up visit Cybersecurity Awareness Month for more information

  1. Sign up for MS-ISAC assistance - Many of you have been filling out your cybersecurity insurance forms and wondering how you can implement penetration testing, phishing campaigns, etc with a lack of funding. As a public education entity, you can receive assistance for FREE from MS-ISAC to implement some of the things that are now required for cybersecurity protection. Visit MS-ISAC for K-12 Schools to sign up for their free program. If you would like to request these services simply send an email [email protected] with the subject line “Requesting Cyber Hygiene Services” to get started. 

  1. META -  Of course I have to put in a shameless plug for the Montana Educational Technologists Association. Make sure you and/or your Technologist are members of META. Our members are from all over the state and we are here to help with quick answers to questions, presentations, etc.  Being a member is an invaluable resource. Consider it to be the best ‘graduated reader’ program one could ask for. There are quite a few benefits such as a membership to Consortium for School Networking (COSN) for the Technologist, and all Administrators, access to the other Technologists throughout the state, and Cybersecurity Training for your team through a partnership with Cyber Montana and Cybrary!

The bottom line is to take Cybersecurity under your wing, much like one of your students, and assess its strengths, its opportunities for growth, and to start to individualize the instruction around that! Please let me know, or any other META member know if you need help or have questions! We are all in this together!

Carol Phillips,
META President

District Technology Director
Elder Grove School District

Billings, MT


 Advocacy is Everyone's Responsibility!  

by Dr. Rob Watson, SAM Executive Director

As fall begins and winter is quickly approaching, I am reminded about the upcoming 2023 Legislative Session. A key goal of our Strategic Plan is advocacy: SAM members will be equipped with accurate information and prepared to use it to advocate for public education. 

To this end, SAM has historically deployed a Legislative Network (LN), which includes members from all affiliates, representing all parts of our great state. We will be looking for volunteers to establish this network and I would encourage you to get involved. As a member of SAM LN your primary responsibility is to stay engaged with what is happening in the legislature and get information to the SAM colleagues in your region of the state. Our role in the SAM office is to make sure that we have supplied accurate and timely information to those in the network. If this is something that sounds interesting to you, please be on the lookout in the next few weeks for the invitation to get involved in SAM LN.

Of course advocacy does not stop or start with the legislative session. We are all responsible for staying in touch with educational issues that are happening at the local, state and national level. There are a couple of ways you can do that:

  1. In the SAM Update (sent each Friday) we typically include some news about contemporary education issues.

  2. For more detailed information and links to other documents, please checkout bit.ly/robnotesfall22 (or the QR code below).  I established this notes page as an easy way to find information about state or federal education issues. The most current issues will remain at the top of the document. Bookmark the page - the news will change, but the link will stay the same.

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Finally, when you think of advocacy, I would encourage you to remember that our goal is to advocate collectively - bringing people together with a common interest, in a supportive environment, to explore ideas, develop goals, and seek solutions. Our voice is louder and our impact is greater when we practice collective advocacy.



Join School Leaders from Throughout Montana in Missoula for MCEL!

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MCEL is scheduled from Wednesday, October 19 through Friday, October 21 at the Missoula Hilton Garden.  MCEL provides a professional learning opportunity for school administrators, trustees, and business officials.  Gather your team and register for this outstanding conference featuring opening keynote presenter James Russell (Lessons Learned...Crisis Response During One School's Tragedy), closing keynote presenter Jason Horn and MANY presentations in between.   Click here to read session descriptions! 

All SAM members are also invited to attend the annual SAM Membership Meeting on Friday, October 21 at 8:00 AM.  Agenda items include voting on the SAM Delegate Assembly 2022 Advocacy Recommendations and honoring current award winners.  Watch for more SAM Membership Meeting information coming soon.  

  Click here to register!

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October is National
Principals Month

Celebrated every October, National Principals Month is an opportunity to celebrate and honor our incredible school principals for their visionary leadership and tireless pursuit of success for each student.

The focus of this year's National Principals Month is on celebration and advocacy. National Principals Month is an ideal time for school and district leaders to tell the local story of the great things happening in their school community! 

Here are a few resources to help you get started, but be sure to check out the tools and resources on the National Principals Month webpage.

National Principals Month is a collaboration between the American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA), the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).

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Did You Know... you can connect with other SAM members at your affiliate region meetings?

Five of the six SAM affiliates are divided into regions and many regions hold meetings throughout the year. Region President/Director contact information, meeting times, and meeting agendas can be found for each affiliate on their region web page. Click on the following links for information about your affiliate region (Contact the SAM office if you are unable to log in):

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Nominations are Now Open for MAEMSP and MASSP Awards! 

Nominations are now being accepted for the following MAEMSP and MASSP awards.  Follow the links below for more information about each award and to submit a nomination or application.


MASSP Awards

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EmpowerED Superintendent edLeader Panel Series and Cybersecurity Resources

The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) and its Montana 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.

EmpowerED Superintendent edLeader Panel Series
The most recent live broadcast in the EmpowerED Superintendent edLeader Panel Series, Cybersecurity in Today’s Learning Environments: What School Leaders Must Know and Do aired on Monday, September 12, 2022. Superintendents Dr. Doug Brubaker, Texarkana ISD, TX, and Glenn Robbins, Brigantine Public Schools, NJ, joined Lorrie Owens, Chief Technology Officer, Integrated Technology Services, San Mateo County Office of Education, CA, and host/moderator Ann McMullan in sharing the leadership strategies they use to analyze a school district network’s cybersecurity status as well as how to build and sustain school networks that are created to maximize security. The panel also reviewed the processes they have established to respond to a network attack if such an event does occur. If you missed the live broadcast, you can watch the recording or listen to the podcast version of the panel presentation HERE.

The next live broadcast of the EmpowerED Superintendent edLeader Panel Series, Creating and Leading a Professional Team of Lifelong Learners, will air on Monday, October 10, 2022, at 5:00 pm Eastern Time. Dr. Deborah Kerr, Superintendent, St. Francis School District, WI, Dr. John Malloy, Superintendent, San Ramon Valley Unified School District, CA and Mr. Marlon Styles, Superintendent, Middletown City School District, OH are the featured Superintendent guest panelists on the October 10, 2022, broadcast. The three Superintendents will share the strategies they lead in their school districts to assure that not only students, but also the entire district staff, have the opportunities to participate in ongoing, effective, and impactful technology professional learning opportunities that specifically target digital literacy and the technology capacity of their educators, administrators, students, parents and families. Ann McMullan, Project Director for the CoSN (Consortium for School Networking) EmpowerED Superintendents Initiative, serves as the host and moderator of the Superintendents’ panel discussion. The EmpowerED Superintendent edLeader Panel Series, now in its fifth season, is co-hosted by CoSN, AASA and edWeb.net and sponsored by ClassLink. Free registration for the upcoming October 10, 2022, live broadcast is available HERE.

CoSN Cybersecurity Resources
October is Cybersecurity Awareness month. School districts are prime targets for attacks on their digital networks. CoSN is pleased to provide a number of resources to assist Superintendents and school leaders in mapping out effective strategies to prevent cyber attacks on their networks as well as how to respond when such attacks do occur. One of the newest tools is the CoSN Cybersecurity Leadership Game which was designed to build school leaders’ skills and experience in managing responses to cyberattacks. In addition to the CoSN Cybersecurity Leadership Game, additional free resources for addressing cybersecurity in K-12 organizations can be found HERE.

CoSN Membership:
If you, your school or district would like more information about joining CoSN or getting more involved with CoSN, please contact Me’Shell Sheffield, CoSN Director of Membership and State Chapters, at [email protected].


Thank you to SAM's Business Partners!  

Please take time to visit their websites.

Montana Big Sky Sponsors

Health Insurance
PO Box 4579
Helena, MT 59601
[email protected]

Total Education Solutions in Technology (T.E.S.T)  
PO Box 2900
Missoula, MT 59805
[email protected]

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

Montana Glacier Sponsors

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Infinite Campus is the largest American-owned student information system  
[email protected]     
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Annuities, life insurance     
430 Ryman St., #102
Missoula, MT 59892 
[email protected]

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EdPower - formerly Silverback Learning Solutions
408 E. Parkcenter Blvd., Ste.300
Boise, ID 83706
 [email protected]  
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School property & liability insurance      
1200 North Montana Ave.
Helena. MT. 59601
[email protected]  
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K–12 online curriculum and blended learning solutions
Chet Riddle
[email protected]
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A leading provider of cloud-based education products
45 E Madison Ave, Ste 7 
Clifton, NJ 07011
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Helping Families and Schools Create Two- and Four-Year College Graduates With Minimal Debt 
211 N. 14th Street, Suite 315 
Lincoln, NE 68508


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4500 N. Lewis Dr.
Sioux Falls, SD 57104
[email protected]


Montana Mountain Sponsors

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

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Partners in Clean, Safe & Healthy Buildings
2525 Overland Avenue
Billings, MT 59102 
[email protected]
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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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Next generation education ecosystem
38 Grenville Street, Suite 4403
Toronto, ON M4Y1A5
[email protected]
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The Great Conversation Series
Jamie Vollmer
[email protected]

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Reach Higher Montana
Jason Butcher
Outreach Director
406-422-1275 Ext. 801
[email protected]
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Standards-based digital curriculum resources for
K–12 classrooms 
Emily Keith
[email protected]      
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 Professional Learning Organization 
1031 N. Academic Way, Ste. 242 
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho 83814
[email protected]                     

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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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Provides Orton-Gillingham Sonday System Programs and Training
Amanda Burnette                                
3001 Metro Drive, Suite 480
Bloomington, MN. 55425
[email protected]

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

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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
106 East Sixth Street, Suite 500
Austin TX 48701
[email protected]  

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Protecting every child's digital journey 
11545 W. Bernardo Court Suite 204 
San Diego, CA 92127
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National provider of scalable, fiber technology solutions 
Spectrum Enterprises Local Contacts

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Powering Your School’s Identity

2201 Brookwood Dr Suite 115
Little Rock, AR 72202
[email protected]


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Online Learning for students grades 6-12
One East Broward Blvd. Suite 1599

Ft. Lauderdale FL 33301

[email protected]


Montana Meadow Sponsors

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Substitute Staffing Service
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]  

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Technology planning, project  &
solution  services
2135 Charlotte Street
Bozeman MT 59718
[email protected]  
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K12 Montana, Inc.
Creator of K12 Panel -
IT work for you!
Jeff Patterson
[email protected]
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Systems and applications to reduce
the financial burden of federal student loans
[email protected]

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A turn-key library of interactive lessons that enrich K-12 instruction
[email protected]
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Therapy Your Way
811 E. Washington Ave,
Suite 500
Madison, WI 53703
[email protected]therapy.com
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Managed IT Services, Advanced Cybersecurity Services, Product Procurement
500 N Higgins Ave #201
Missoula, MT 59802
[email protected] 
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Collaborating with you to innovate
1627 W. Main Street Suite #325
Bozeman, MT 59715
[email protected]   



2022-23 SAM Bulletins