Volume XLIII                            January 2022

No. 314

In This Issue...

  1. MAEMSP President Message 
  2. SAM Executive Director Message
  3. CoSN EmpowerED Superintendent edWebinar Series
  4. SAM Needs Assessment Survey
  5. Montana Principals Conference 2022
  6. SAM Youth Endowment Nomination

Upcoming Conferences,   Meetings, & Events

January 23-25, 2022:  Montana Principals Conference - Bozeman

January 25, 2022: SAM LPLP Symposium - Bozeman

March 21-22, 2022:  MASS/METAtechED Spring Conference - Helena

** View the full SAM Calendar**   

Thank you to this month's featured Business Partners! 

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SAM Leadership

Cal Ketchum
Shelley Andres
President Elect
Dale Olinger
Past President
Shawn Hendrickson
KJ Poepping
President Elect
Sheri Heavrin
Vice President
Justin Helvik
Past President
Nicole Trahan
Ted Miller
President Elect
Julie Hornby
Vice President
Shelley Andres
Past President
Marlin Lewis
Barb Droessler
SAM Representatives
Dr. Greg Dern
Dave Wick
President Elect
Casey Klasna
Past President
Rick Duncan
Federal Relations Coordinator
Sara Novak
Erin Lipkind
Everett Holm
SAM Office
Kirk Miller
Executive Director
 Kim Scofield
Director of Member Services & Professional Learning
 Marcus Meyer
Director of Operations, Membership & Finances



A Commitment to Excellence

  by Nicole Trahan, MAEMSP President 

As I am mid-way through 31 years in education, I think back to my first administrative experience. I was a fresh faced, 27 year old ready to tackle the world of education. This administrative job was everything I dreamed about. I left work each day excited about my students, staff and families and the impact I was making in their lives. I never once thought about quitting. I never once cried about my job (unless you count saying goodbye on the last day of the school year). I never once thought to myself, “I didn’t sign up for this.”

Being a leader has never been easy; however, with the past 20+ months of the COVID 19 pandemic, leading has become increasingly difficult. Teachers are quitting the profession at alarming rates. Like many, we desperately struggle to recruit highly-qualified teachers. Student behaviors are on the rise in frequency and severity with little additional resources to assist.  In a “normal” year, teachers are overwhelmed, but with the increased responsibilities associated with this pandemic, teachers are mentally and physically exhausted.

Each morning I reinforce the fact that education is my CALLING. I will continue to fight the good fight and never give up. Now more than ever, staff and students deserve our very best. Sheryl Sandberg states, “Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.”

As we continue to face these uncharted waters, how do we make that lasting impact?

In short, we listen; we care; we assist in problem solving; we are the shoulder to cry on; we continue moving forward even if it means baby steps. We are the ones who fight to maintain a balance between the expectations placed on our teachers from individuals outside the classroom and the students’ needs in the classroom. We put the routines and procedures in place that lead to success and hold high expectations of our staff, our students and ourselves to achieve greatness.

By considering the following, we have the ability to perpetuate a culture of excellence that will build capacity in the quality of our profession and provide teachers with the support and encouragement they desperately need:

  • Implement a formal mentoring program for new staff.
  • Focus on new teacher training and orientation.
  • Build teacher collective efficacy-(Hattie’s #1 factor impacting student achievement).
  • Celebrate success (There are so many great things to celebrate. Look for the good!)
  • Be an “Obstacle Remover” (Support teachers in taking risks.)
  • Give grace (Be flexible, be understanding, be real).
  • Create a platform for teachers to share concerns, vent frustrations and problem solve without fear of reprisal. 

As leaders we have to stay the course. We must keep the end goal in our sights, elevate the bar and not accept less than our best- even in the midst of a pandemic! 

Approaching 2022, please find time to relax, recharge, and rejuvenate. Spend time with those who matter most to you. By taking this time, my hope is you will find the strength and energy to end the 2021-2022 school year with the same enthusiasm you started.  When we are our best selves, we can endure the challenges presented to us each day and ensure that others are “Better for our presence.”

Please make it a priority to attend the Montana Principal’s Conference in Bozeman, January 23-25. It will be an opportunity to reconnect with your colleagues and grow as a leader. Commit to your excellence.

Nicole Trahan
MAEMSP President

 SAM Optimistic and Ready for 2022!

by Kirk Miller, SAM Executive Director

kirk-headshot.jpg - 183.43 KbHappy New Year!  As 2022 begins, we begin anew with enthusiasm and energy in our work together to make a positive difference in the education of our students, all Montana children!  Our school leaders (administrators) are the shining light for rising above the significant challenges imposed in our pandemic ridden world, to focus the attention of each and every community on the value our schools bring to the community. Telling the stories of what your school does for the community and all of our members of society are the simplest ways of getting the attention of your community showing the great opportunities for our students to learn, grow, and achieve!  SAM has developed resources to help you tell the story of the great value your school brings to the community on the SAM Strategy webpage.

The promise on the horizon anticipates excellent professional learning opportunities for our SAM members, a deep dive into advocacy with our SAM advocacy priorities for the 2023 Legislative session at the forefront, and continued effort of our administrators all across the state to participate fully in the work that impacts the education of our children and provides for the academic and emotional health and safety of your education team and community.  The three goals of the SAM Strategic Plan provide focus for this important work…

Leadership Involved in Decisions that Impact Education:  SAM affiliate members modeling and promoting the highest levels of professionalism, integrity and leadership actively engage in impactful discussions on education.
Advocacy:  SAM members will be equipped with accurate information and prepared to use it to advocate for public education.
Professional Learning and Services:  SAM will extend and expand the professional learning delivery system using the expertise of the SAM affiliates, as well as other service providers through professional development, mentorship, and other member services.

The strategic objectives and actions being accomplished under the three goals of the strategic plan are being updated for reporting to the SAM Board of Directors at their January 23, 2022 meeting.  All information is, and will continue to be, uploaded to SAM Strategic Plan webpage.  2022 will be a year of transition for SAM as we are seeking to hire a new SAM Executive Director (Position and Application Information) with the SAM Governing Board working on the succession planning and transition to ensure that your professional association will continue to serve and meet your professional needs into the future. 

Thank you SAM members for your participation and contributions to your professional association, SAM.  As I begin my last year of service to SAM, I want to express my sincere appreciation for the thousands of quality educators I have had the opportunity to serve with during my 40 years in education.  It is these educational leaders, whose intelligence, passion and heart, have made a positive difference for Montana’s children, and it is also the optimism I project to you for what will be an outstanding 2022!

Happy New Year 2022 to you from your team at SAM!

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SAM Needs Assessment Survey Deadline 1-7-22

SAM Members:  Please take a few minutes to complete the 2022 SAM Needs Assessment Survey.  The purpose of the survey is to gather information about our members’ needs for Services, Professional Development, and Advocacy (Goals of the SAM Strategic Plan). Please complete the survey by January 7, 2022. The time required to complete the survey is 15-20 minutes. We appreciate your responses to the survey and your assistance in making SAM the best it can be for your leadership needs. Please look for this email coming to your inbox in the next few days.

It's Not Too Late to Register for the Montana Principals Conference 2022 
Don't Stop Believin'

There is still time to register to attend the Montana Principals Conference 2022! 
The conference is scheduled for January 23-25 in Bozeman at the Best Western GranTree Inn.  A virtual option will also be available.  You will not want to miss the line-up of national speakers who will be presenting in-person:

Joe Sanfilippo

Ruby Payne

Rick Wormeli 

Coach Vigen (MSU) and Coach Hauck (UM) will be onsite for presentations.  Several breakout sessions along with time for you to connect with your colleagues are also on the agenda including.   

80s-Themed Awards Banquet
Cornhole Tournament
Live Music

Follow the link for hotel information and to register:  Register HERE! 

SAM Youth Endowment Open for Nominations

Nominations are open until March 2nd for the 2021-22 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.  

Additional information, nomination guidelines, and access to the 2021-22 SAM Youth Endowment Nomination Form can be found HERE. Please note:  submissions must be made by a current SAM member.

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The EmpowerED Superintendent edWebinar Series

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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.

The EmpowerED Superintendent edWebinar Series:
Scaling, Sustaining, and Budgeting for Education Technology Innovations
The next episode of Season 4 of the EmpowerED Superintendent Webinar series airs on Monday, January 10, 2022, at 3:00 pm Mountain Time and is titled, “Leadership Strategies for Scaling, Sustaining, and Budgeting for Education Technology Innovations”.

One of the outcomes of leading K-12 education during the COVID-19 pandemic has been the increased reliance on technology to stay engaged with staff, students, parents and school district communities. Technology innovations continue to be implemented in new ways and often on a much larger scale than prior to COVID-19. As we start a new calendar year it is appropriate to look ahead and effectively plan to budget, scale and sustain school district technology implementations. To succeed in all three areas school leaders must create both a culture and ongoing operations that support risk taking and that can also bring successful technology innovations to scale. Annual budgets must include a focus on sustaining successful technology innovations.

In the January 10, 2022, edWebinar, three inspiring superintendents share how they are leading innovation by creating and supporting practices that allow successful technology innovations to grow and be sustained. Strategies for budgeting for technology innovation will also be discussed. You are invited to join in the conversation with Dr. Karen Cheser, Superintendent, Durango School District 9-R, CO, Dr. Heath Morrison, Superintendent, Montgomery Independent School District, TX, and Mr. Marlon Styles, Superintendent, Middletown City School District, OH. Free registration for the January 10, 2022, webinar is now available at https://home.edweb.net/supers/

Social-Emotional Learning: Leveraging Technology to Care for All
The previous episode of the EmpowerED Superintendent edWebinar series aired on November 6, 2021. In this webinar broadcast Superintendents Dr. Ann Levett, Superintendent, Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools, GA, Dr. David Miyashiro, Superintendent, Cajon Valley Union School District, CA; and Mr. Glenn Robbins, Superintendent, Brigantine Public Schools, NJ shared how they address the social and emotional needs of the students, staff, and families in their school districts. Strategies and practices they are leading in their districts to leverage technology tools to address the challenges of social-emotional learning were also highlighted during their webinar conversation.
Free access to webinar recording:
If you missed the Monday, November 6, 2021, EmpowerED Superintendent Webinar, co-hosted by CoSN, AASA and edWeb.net, and sponsored by ClassLink, you can still access the free webinar recording at https://home.edweb.net/supers/. You will also be able to access free recordings and podcasts of multiple previously broadcast webinars in the EmpowerED Superintendent series at https://home.edweb.net/supers/.

CoSN 2022 Annual Conference:
The CoSN 2022 Annual Conference will take place on April 11-13, 2022, in Nashville, Tennessee. The conference will be a hybrid experience to accommodate all who wish to meet safely in-person as well as those who elect to participate remotely. You can preview the conference program and access registration information at https://cosnconference.org/.

CoSN Membership:
If you, your school or district would like more information about joining CoSN or getting more involved with CoSN, please contact [email protected].

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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]

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Technology Innovation
1309 NW Bypass - Great Falls, MT 59404  
[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  
4321 109th Avenue NE
Blaine, MN 55449 [email protected]  campus.com     
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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]





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]                       208-292-2529  

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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]  512-904-0544   



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


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K12 Montana, Inc.
Creator of K12 Panel - Making

IT work for you!
Jeff Patterson
[email protected]

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A turn-key library of interactive lessons that enrich K-12 instruction

[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