Volume XLIV                            July/August 2022

No. 320

In This Issue...

  1. MASS President Message 
  2. SAM Executive Director Message - Welcome Dr. Rob Watson/Thank you Dr. Kirk Miller
  3. SAM AI 2022 Registration
  4. SAM LPLP 
  5. SAM - Aligning Resources for Education Leaders!
  6. SAM Award Opportunities:  G.V. Erickson and Erdie Memorial Scholarship 
  7. CoSN Cybersecurity Leadership Game
  8. SAM Welcomes New Business Partners

Upcoming Conferences,   Meetings, & Events

SAM LPLP Summit:  July 25, 8:00am - 11:00am

SAM Administrators InstituteJuly 25, 12:00pm to July 27, 1:00pm

MACSS Fall Conference:  September 18-20, Ennis

MASS/MCASE Fall Conference:  September 19-20, Bozeman

MCEL 2022October 19-21, Missoula

** 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



Leadership Takes H.E.A.R.T

  by Dave Wick, MASS President 

As I reflected on the past year, I was reminded of the complicated nature of true leadership.  While this has been a challenging time for all of us, we must remember those basic tenets that exhibit great leadership.  Here are a few that have been on my mind and heart this summer.

Humility has surprisingly been proven to be the most admired virtue among leaders.  In this time in history, we need to remind ourselves and our students that true leadership demonstrates a servant nature, as well as a heart that listens and learns.

True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”

-Rick Warren 

Enthusiasm is an essential component of leadership.  Thinking back to those leaders who have influenced us in the most positive ways, we likely remember their enthusiasm.  Leaders show an enthusiasm for the task at all times and inspire others to take on the tasks, even the most difficult ones, with a verve and work ethic that never complains.

“Protect your enthusiasm from the negativity and fear of others.  Never decide to do nothing just because you can only do little.  Do what you can.  You would be surprised at what “little” acts have done for our world.”

-Steve Maraboli

Attitude and aptitude are partners in this leadership work.  As educators face the daunting challenges of relationships with students, parents, staff, and even in their personal lives, it is up to us as leaders to continue to show a grateful and positive attitude.  Staff look to us for positivity in their most difficult times.  Growing our aptitude requires that growth mindset, continually learning from other educators, reading, social media, and any other platform that demonstrates our willingness and ability to learn.  Modeling that growth mentality is extremely important for all leaders.

“Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.”

-Brian Tracy

Respect requires school leaders to honor the opinions of others while being true to oneself.  Taking an attitude of listening to others takes time and patience, but it models the respect that all leaders seek to learn.  Respect is not just a word, but a lifestyle.

“I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.”

-Albert Einstein

Trust is the final component of leading with the heart.  Trust goes both ways in true leadership.  To trust the teachers is to honor them as professionals and encourage them to do their jobs to the best of their abilities.  To gain trust is more difficult.  People trust others only when over time their actions have shown to match their words.  When that happens, staff will trust even as times and actions become difficult.

“To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.”

-George MacDonald

Leadership with heart is a complicated matter and has many implications for school leaders.  Nothing, however, is more important than “matters of the heart,” and education is certainly a matter of both the head and the heart.  Here’s to a great summer and an even better 22-23 school year.

Dave Wick
MASS President

 SAM – Thank You and Welcome SAM Executive Director, Dr. Rob Watson!  

by Kirk Miller, SAM Executive Director

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Penning the final executive director article for the SAM Bulletin, my 110th contribution to our SAM monthly newsletter, has caused me to reflect with great pride for having been fortunate to serve as your executive director of our professional association.  What I have learned along the journey of ten years is SAM’s Core Purpose – Visionary leaders united in providing, advocating, and creating education excellence for Montana students – is a powerful celebration for ensuring that we help our community’s in Montana value the great schools we have all worked to establish and nurture for over 100 years.  It is not by chance that our community members, parents, and business leaders have stood up for generations to provide the highest quality education opportunities for all children in each community across the state, but rather a calling of educators in each community to be sure to promote the value your school brings to the community.  I have also learned that in our current national atmosphere, getting the attention of your community members to work together to promote the value of, and sense of pride that your great school provides for your children’s education and the entire community, is so important and will result in the continued resources – time, human, and fiscal – necessary to continue improving the opportunities you provide to the children in your community. 

Though a bit philosophical, I believe this was the intent of the founders of our American democracy in requiring a system of schools to educate the citizenry that has led the United States of America to be the unequivocal world power it is today.  The founders also were wise in turning the development of the system of schools to states and local communities with the thought that working together at the state and local level would provide the best circumstances for developing successful educational and social opportunities for our children.  In Montana, we were very serious about our system of public schools as noted in the Article X sections of the 1972 Montana Constitution, leading to some of the most heartfelt and robust discussions by the 100 Delegates to the Constitutional Convention.  Attending the recent celebration of 50 years of the Montana Constitution drove home to me that Montanans have valued the education of our children and the system of schools that support our independent, hard-working Montana way of life!

I have learned that being an educator is of the highest calling for making a positive difference for our communities, society, and Montana way of life.  So in my final SAM Bulletin words to each of you, I thank you for being an educator and practicing your passion and compassion in all things you do to support our children, schools and communities in this great state.  I thank so many people (educators, parents, community members, business leaders, and kids all across the state) who have supported my education over these 41 years of practicing my passion for the education of our children!

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Introducing Dr. Rob Watson, SAM Executive Director, beginning his continued education service today, provides me an opportunity to let you know how fortunate we are of the promise of excellence of SAM supports, services, and hope for the future of education in Montana.  Rob’s experiences as a quality educator, outstanding leader, and an even better human being, will benefit each and every administrator serving in Montana.  I have had the great fortune of working with Rob in several education settings in Montana over decades, and know that his intelligence, skills, passion, and compassion will enhance SAM and in turn, the education of all Montana children.  Passing the baton to you Rob; wishing you the same great fulfillment in your new position that this role has afforded me.

Farewell my friends, not goodbye!  I look forward to watching and supporting you all in the important work you do for our children, communities, and state!!


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Dr. Kirk Miller,

Congratulations on your Retirement!


With sincere gratitude for the compassion, guidance, and outstanding leadership you have provided
to Montana educators.  

Your commitment and service to public education are second to none.  We thank you for the
tremendous difference you have made.  May your years ahead be filled with the rich rewards of
joy and fulfillment you so greatly deserve.

Your colleagues and friends at SAM


SAM AI 2022 
"Did You Know"...Telling Your Story of Innovation

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Join your colleagues from across the state July 25-27 at the Best Western Great Northern or virtually for the SAM Administrators Institute 2022!  

The Conference will include outstanding professional learning around the topics most on the minds of Montana educators including Recruitment and Retention of Quality Educators; Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Health; and Innovations in Education.  On the schedule are five general keynote sessions and 18 break-out sessions all intended to provide you with quick wins that you and your administrative team can implement in your planning for the 2022-23 school year.  

Keynote presenters include:

  • Dr. Bill Daggett
  • Dr. David Schuler
  • Andy Laue
  • Shawna Heiser
  • Panel Discussion with Dr. Angela McLean 

Follow this link to review the DRAFT Schedule.

The conference will also provide many opportunities for you to network and connect with other administrators.  Register yourself and your team by following this link:  SAM AI 2022 Registration

New and Experienced Administrators are Invited to Register for SAM LPLP 2022-23

One of the goals of SAM, your professional organization, is to ensure that each school administrator has the support necessary to achieve every success possible, both in their role as an administrator and individually.  SAM Leaders Professional Learning Program (LPLP) helps to achieve that goal by providing a unique and innovative approach to professional learning for Montana school leaders.  SAM LPLP offers an opportunity for participants to receive student-focused, solution-based professional development designed to be responsive to the challenges and issues administrators face each day. 

Connecting new, experienced, and aspiring administrators throughout the state; SAM LPLP’s multi-faceted blended learning approach consists of...

  • personal learning networks, including working with an experienced provider for one-on-one coaching/mentoring,
  • 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;
  • New for 2022-23:  access to The Source, a digital platform designed to deliver what busy educational leaders need (Watch this video for a description of The Source and follow this link to check out The Source website). . .

    • Access to up-to-date, concise, easily available information, resources, and research on a wide variety of issues and topics that emerge, frequently urgently, in an ever-changing and complex environment as well as access to  the SAM LPLP Resource Center and Personal Mastery Toolkit based on the ten Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL);

    • Connection to colleagues across the country for dialogue, feedback, sharing challenges, successes and practice. We know learning and capacity building is communal;

    • Engagement with deeper learning, application, and implementation. Educational leaders want to move from rhetoric to results. The Source provides opportunities to engage with consultants and thought leaders, leadership teams within the school and apply implementation skills, collaborative inquiry, professional learning communities, using data to make decisions, all with the aim of making measurable improvements in student learning and well-being.

Everything described above is available to you for only $500 for the full program year.  Detailed information and an online registration form can be found on the SAM LPLP 2022-23 webpage on the SAM website

SAM LPLP 2022-23 will kick-off at the SAM LPLP Summit on Monday, July 25 from 8:00 - 11:00 AM, just prior to the SAM Administrators Institute. Register for the SAM LPLP Summit HERE

SAM - Aligning Resources for Education Leaders!

The beginning of the 2022-23 school year begins today with optimism and hope for creating a learning environment in each our schools that will assist each child to develop their full potential!  2021-22 has been an outstanding year for your professional association, SAM, with great contributions from over 1060 members insuring progress on our strategic plan and excellent educational opportunities for our Montana children!  The COVID pandemic has impacted all lives, and the political atmosphere in our country has driven the national and state dialogue now and into the future.  Our nation and world are changing, and your SAM organization is creating an atmosphere for these changes to be implemented with the fidelity required and expected for our children.  Attending hundreds of virtual and in-person meetings the past 12 months, we are listening to the needs of our members.  Our story of progress is easy to share resulting from the collective energy and effort of administrators all across our state.  I share with you the most recent SAM Update that encapsulates the progress of this year while also points to a very robust agenda for 2022-23, 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 1060 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 2018-22outlines 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.  SAM Executive Director’s Strategic Plan Report for 4th Quarter 2021-22.  See SAM 50 Year Anniversary Celebration.

Leadership Involved in Decisions that Impact Education


Professional Learning and Services

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

Thank you SAM members for your excellent work in 2021-22.  SAM is ready to continue our collective effort for the greater good of the education community to inspire our students in 2022-23!

awards_&_honors.png - 176.86 KbNow Accepting Nominations for SAM Awards!

G.V. Erickson Award -  Nominations are open until Friday, September 30, 2022: The G.V. Erickson Award is given to a member of the School Administrators of Montana who has made the greatest contribution to the betterment of education in Montana; something that G.V. did throughout his career. This is the most honored award a school administrator of Montana can receive.

Erdie Memorial ScholarshipApplications will be accepted until Friday, September 30, 2022:  A Dr. Jay Erdie Memorial Mentor Scholarship in the amount of $1000 will be awarded annually to a deserving educator. The purpose of the scholarship is to “train and mentor” new Montana school administrators. The scholarship will be awarded to a school administration candidate who plans to begin and/or complete his/her administrative credentials and intends to work in a Montana school district. Once the candidate has secured a position and notified the SAM office, a trained mentor will be provided through the SAM Leaders Professional Learning Program to assist during his/her first year on the job.

cosn logo.jpg - 42.49 KbCoSN Cybersecurity Leadership Game and The EmpowerED Superintendent edWebinar Series

The Consortium for School Networking
 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.

CoSN Cybersecurity Leadership Game
CoSN’s State of EdTech Leadership Survey Report (https://www.cosn.org/edtech-topics/state-of-edtech-leadership/) revealed that cybersecurity remains the number one priority for school IT leaders. Even though cybersecurity is top of mind for many IT leaders, most school districts still struggle to assure that all district and school leaders have a working understanding of cybersecurity issues, including how best to respond to cybersecurity incidents when they do occur. As part of CoSN’s ongoing work in supporting school leaders and helping all to understand the strategies and tools needed to deal with cybersecurity challenges, CoSN partnered with Dell Technologies to create the Cybersecurity Leadership Game. The game is designed to build and reinforce skills in managing cybersecurity incident response by “Building Cybersecurity Leadership Capacity, One Game at a Time!”

The Cybersecurity Leadership Game is easily and freely accessible at https://www.cosn.org/edtech-topics/cybersecurity/. To learn more about the development of the Cybersecurity Leadership Game and suggestions for using it with your leadership teams, links to both a Podcast and a Cybersecurity Leadership Game Introduction Workshop Video are also provided at https://www.cosn.org/edtech-topics/cybersecurity/.

The EmpowerED Superintendent edWebinar Series
The EmpowerED Superintendent Webinar Series just completed its fourth season on edWeb.net. The series focuses on technology innovations as seen through the lens of the Superintendent leadership. CoSN, AASA and edWeb.net collaborate on the creation and production of the series. ClassLink sponsors the webinar series, making the webinars available to everyone at no cost.
Topics covered during the immediate past season included: Digital Equity; Data Privacy; The Trusted Learning Environment Seal; Interoperability; Scaling, Sustaining, and Budgeting for Education Technology Innovations; Social Emotional Learning; Cybersecurity; and Learning Reimagined.
You are welcome to watch individual webinar recordings, listen to podcasts and read blog posts from the EmpowerED Superintendent Webinar Series at https://home.edweb.net/supers/

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].


SAM Welcomes New Business Partners


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BetterLesson has been a valued SAM Business Partner of SAM since 2017 and we are happy to announce that they are expanding their partnership our organization!  Through their innovative PersonalizedPD professional learning platform, BetterLesson’s experienced coaches help teachers in SAM districts become skilled at designing, implementing, and sustaining personalized learning environments for their students. PersonalizedPD is built to help educators adopt our continuous improvement framework (“Try-Measure-Learn”); to implement innovative pedagogies; and to foster a growth mindset in themselves and their students. They model personalized learning by personalizing each teacher’s coaching experience to ensure that we are addressing their most pressing teaching challenges while they are making observable, measurable progress toward the ambitious standards for teaching and learning set by school and district leadership. BetterLesson's mission is to support every educator in developing the next generation of resourceful, compassionate, and resilient learners.  Learn more at https://betterlesson.com/.

Avel eCare

Avel_eCare_logo.png - 3.39 KbAvel eCare is a telemedicine provider based in Sioux Falls, SD which provides a variety of solutions and care delivery models to meet the needs of a wide range of hospitals, care centers, health systems and schools. Avel eCare School Health delivers nursing coverage to K-12 school districts for the entire school day to ensure immediate response to student needs. Using high-definition video technology, school faculty and staff can connect with dedicated providers at eHelm – the Sioux Falls hub for Avel. Once a student requires care, school staff can press a button and connect with an experienced registered nurse within 5 minutes for help with: -Caring for unscheduled, urgent health care needs due to injury or illness - Developing emergency health plans - Medical advice for 504 and Individualized Education Program (IEP) plans - Providing back-up care when a school nurse is not available on site - Referring students to providers and connecting families with local resources.  Learn more at https://www.avelecare.com/.


apptegy_logo.png - 6.26 KbApptegy builds products and provides services that empower you to run better schools. Our products make it easy for administrators and educators to reach and interact with your parents, students, staff, and your community at large. Our services support district marketing teams better manage and execute marketing. In combination, Apptegy simplifies and improves schools' communications and helps you change how the public thinks and feels about your schools.  Learn more at https://www.apptegy.com/.

Edison Learning

edisonlearning_logo.png - 2.74 KbEdisonLearning brings together best practices in instruction, developed over three decades of supporting schools, with expert-designed blended solutions designed to meet students where they are and deliver the education they need and deserve. The company’s comprehensive solution includes 150+ eCourses in core and elective subjects, career and technical education and social-emotional learning; actionable learning analytics dashboards and blockchain-enabled microcredentials; and instructional teachers and advisors who provide personalized student support. The guiding purpose behind EdisonLearning’s work is to ensure equitable access and opportunity for each and every learner. Learn more at www.edisonlearning.com.


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


Avel_eCare_logo.png - 3.39 KbHealthcare Reimagined
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 [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]  

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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]
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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]   


2021-22 SAM Bulletins