Volume XLI                                 JULY/AUGUST 2018

No. 276

In This Issue...

  1. MASS President's Message 
  2. SAM Executive Director Message
  3. SAM Associate Director Message
  4. SAM Delegate Assembly Update
  5. MT-PEC Summit - Strategic Governance/Transformational Leadership
  6. Did You Know...New SAM Conference App
  7. New SAM Business Partner Montana Med Express
  8. SAM Professional Learning Opportunities


Upcoming Conferences and Meetings

July 4 - SAM Office Closed

July 30 - August 1:  SAM Administrators Institute - HelenaRegistration

SAM Leaders Professional Learning Program (LPLP)   2018-19:  Learn More and Register

September 17-18:  MASS Fall Conference - Bozeman

September 17-18:  MCASE Fall Conference - Bozeman

October 17-19:  MCEL - Missoula - Registration

** View the full SAM Calendar**  


Thank you to this month's featured Business Partners!

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SAM Leadership
Laurie Barron
Peter Hamilton
Jon Konen
Past President
Peter Hamilton
Jacob Haynes
Justin Helvik
Vice President
Joel Graves
Past President
Pam Meier
Craig Crawford
Shelley Andres
Vice President
Lance Boyd
Past President
Dale Olinger
SAM Representatives
Cal Ketchum
Mike Perry
Tobin Novasio
Past President
Rick Duncan
Federal Relations Coordinator
Linda Marsh
Karen Underwood
Brian Norwood
SAM Office
Kirk Miller
Executive Director
Pat Audet
Associate Director
Gary Wagner
Operations Manager
Kim Scofield
Communications Specialist  




Message from the MASS President 

by Cal Ketchum, MASS President

Thank you for the opportunity to serve as the 2018-19 MASS President. I am appreciative of the trust you’ve placed in me this year to help lead this great group of superintendents! I am very excited to work with all of you and, in particular, the outstanding staff we have at the S.A.M office. I have worked in several states and can say with complete sincerity, Montana has the best advocates for administrators and public schools working for us in the S.A.M office, as well as, tremendous professional development. The goal is to make sure that each of you receives information that will help you be successful and knowledgeable in your superintendent position. If you are new to your position, seasoned, or somewhere in between, it is important that you connect with colleagues and the S.A.M organization is a great way to do that.

This will be an interesting year with school safety and budgets at the forefront of not only our minds, but the legislators too. This is a legislative year which makes it even more important to keep up on the latest bills relating to education. SAM does a great job both advocating for public schools and keeping us informed of the current developments within the legislature.

I want to thank Tobin for doing such a great job as president last year.  I have been fortunate to have been able to learn such a great deal by watching him, and others, lead before me. I am blessed to work in the great state of Montana, in the beautiful Flathead Valley, and honored to have wonderful colleagues to work with.

Moving forward, we have a great deal of work to do this year, especially as we navigate the extremely tumultuous national environment we live in. Whether it’s privatization, vouchers, charter schools, etc, public schools are still by far the best bang for the buck in education.

Be proud of what you do every day to make Montana public schools great and don’t forget to take care of yourselves along the way, too!

All the best to each of you in the 2018-19 school year!

Cal Ketchum, MASS President


SAM Strategic Plan Guides Great Progress!

by Kirk Miller, SAM Executive Director

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2017-18 has been a remarkable year for your professional association, SAM, with great guidance from our strategic plan! The details of all areas of progress on the strategic plan can be found by reviewing the SAM Strategic Plan 2017-18 4th Quarter Update.

The goals of the SAM strategic plan in simplest form reveal this progress…

  • Professionalism, Integrity and Leadership – our members making sure they have a voice in literally every education issue in our state and nation that impacts our children.  Efforts from suicide prevention, ESSA implementation, school safety, broadband initiatives, website accessibility, recruitment and retention of quality educators, preschool, afterschool alliance, and farm to school, to negotiated rule making committees, variance to standards committee, and subject area review teams. Montana administrators are engaged and involved – thanks!
  • Professional Learning – establishing rich opportunities for administrators to learn, network and grow in continuous education improvement.  Ten+ conference opportunities and a very strong personalized professional learning program, the SAM LPLP, are highlights of the professional learning positively impacting Montana administrators’ ability to serve with integrity and resolve to meet the needs of the children served.  In this Bulletin, you will find information about the SAM Administrators Institute 2018 (July 30-August 1) and the SAM LPLP 2018-19, carried forward to next year as outstanding professional learning opportunities for Montana administrators.
  • Advocacy – our members working together collectively to advocate for the education of our children – including human resources, time resources, and fiscal resources – all necessary to continue improving the fine public school system we have worked so hard to establish in our state.  SAM Delegate Assembly 2018 in June established SAM’s advocacy priorities for the upcoming 2019 legislative session and the constant federal issues that impact the education of our children. In this Bulletin, you can review the recommendations of Delegate Assembly 2018 to be considered by the SAM membership at the annual SAM Business Meeting at MCEL on October 19 in Missoula.

As we plan for the 2018-19 school year, a wealth of opportunities are being established for our members’ professional learning and advocacy while practicing professionalism, integrity, and leadership.  In addition to the SAM Administrators Institute 2018 (July 30-August 1) and the SAM LPLP 2018-19

I bring to your attention an opportunity established by MT-PEC to develop your governance team by joining with other Montana school districts in the MT-PEC Strategic Governance/Transformational Leadership training.  SAM has been integral in helping to establish this cooperative professional learning opportunity for our school districts to increase internal and external trust and improve governance, leadership and education in your district.

The SAM Board of Directors are in the process of reviewing and updating this robust SAM strategic plan. Thanks to all of our members for your contributions to our profession through your dedicated service to educating Montana’s children!

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SAM Delegate Assembly 2018 Prepares Advocacy Recommendations

The results of the great work of 41 delegates, assembled for SAM Delegate Assembly 2018 (SAM DA 18) on June 14-15, have been compiled, organized and prepared for review of the SAM membership.  First, I want to thank the Delegates who participated in the very engaging and important discussions that happened at SAM DA 18.  Your work in advocacy is so important to help create priorities for the upcoming legislative session.  Complete information about the SAM DA 18 can be found on the SAM Delegate Assembly webpage.  SAM DA 2018 Business Meeting Recommendations 10-19-18 is the document outlining SAM Advocacy Priorities by Action Designation, Summary of SAM DA Actions, DRAFT DA Minutes, Positions, and Resolutions adopted by the SAM DA 18.  The recommendations created will be considered by the entire SAM membership at the annual SAM Business Meeting on October 19 at MCEL in Missoula at the Hilton Garden Inn, Grant Creek B room.  We hope you will attend this meeting and take action on SAM's advocacy priorities, positions and resolutions! 

SAM Welcomes Montana Med Express as New Business Partner 

Montana Med Express is a distributor for Primary Product, AEDs and accessories for Philips and HeartSine defibrillator products, Secondary, Bleed Control Kits, and First Aid Kits.  Montana Med Express products will give an individual the ability to save the life of a student, teacher, or a visitor at a school event.  SAM members will receive special pricing and the benefit of the attention and service from a local vendor.

Visit the Montana Med Express website to learn more!

Montana Schools Recruitment Project - An Inexpensive Alternative to Finding Your Special Education Personnel Needs

 by Pat Audet, SAM Associate Director

For the past 4 years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with the Montana Schools Recruitment Project and personally observe what this program can do in helping a cooperative or school district hire the hard-to-fill positions as those of special education teachers and specialists.  The Project was created by the membership of the Montana Council of Administrators of Special Education or better known as 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 along with her assistant, Kaitlin Sonderer (summer program) are contracted annually to provide excellent assistance to your school or coop (when you register for the Montana Schools Recruitment Project) by posting your organization’s special education positions, going out to the field through career fairs and national conferences, and helping to create a candidate pool directly interacting with those candidates, marketing your job opening(s) in a high-octane effort.

It should be duly noted that this project could not get off the ground if not for the support of MCASE and the generous assistance from the Office of Public Instruction’s Special Education Division!

For more information about the Montana Schools Recruitment Project, you can go to MCASE Recruitment Enrollment Project Description. Please look for the informational email that will soon launch the program for 2018-19!

If you have a special education job opening or anticipate a position opening within your school or coop, you can initially register for the program by going to the 2018-19 MCASE Recruitment ENROLLMENT Online Form.  It should be noted that there is an optional question on the enrollment form about providing descriptive information about your organization that can help Lori and Kaitlin in selling your district/coop and job opportunity.   

For positions that you will need filled, there is a separate form that you will need to complete by going to the 2018-19 MCASE Recruitment Project POSITIONS Online Form.  Special education positions will be posted on the Employment Opportunities web page of the SAM Website.

Please visit the Montana Schools Recruitment Project web pages on the SAM website by clicking the MCASE Recruitment Project and MCASE Recruitment Project - Administrator Information Page

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MT-PEC Summit:  Strategic Governance/Transformational Leadership

The organizations partnering in the Montana Public Education Center (MT-PEC) -- MASBO, MFPE, MQEC, MREA, MTSBA, and SAM -- have created an opportunity for our members to experience an exclusive fee-free training opportunity to improve trust, governance, and leadership in Montana's public schools!  We are looking for an initial group of enthusiastic, innovative and dedicated leadership teams from up to 20 school districts who are interested in increasing internal and external trust, and improving governance, leadership and education in your district, built on a model of collaboration that has strengthened the performance of each of our respective groups through participation in the Montana Public Education Center.

Click HERE to learn more about this exclusive opportunity, to form your team, and register!

  Did You Know... SAM has a New Conference App?

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SAM has a new conference app and it is being launched for SAM Administrators Institute 2018 (SAM AI 2018)!  To download the app, search “School Administrators of MT” in either the App Store (Apple) or GooglePlay (Android) and install the app.  Once in the app you can view the “Welcome” and “Schedule” tiles without logging in, however, you will be prompted to log in to view the other tiles.  Hurry and register for SAM AI 2018 - only those registered for the conference will have the ability to access the app in its entirety.

fourth_of_july.jpg - 14.62 KbEnjoy a safe and happy 4th of July!

Register Now for these Upcoming SAM Professional Learning Opportunities

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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]
Phone: 406-457-4400

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

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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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Rigorous Learning For All Students
1587 Route 146 - Rexford, NY 12148
[email protected]
Phone: 518-399-2776   

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

Montana Glacier Sponsors

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Infinite Campus is the largest American-owned student information system
4321 109th Avenue NE
Blaine, MN 55449 stephanie.sondrol@infinite  
Website development
Innovation Park at Penn State
200 Innovation Blvd, Ste. 201
State College, PA 16801
 [email protected]
 814-689-1046 Ext. 304      

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Mileposts™ cloud-based
achievement & data management
408 E. Parkcenter Blvd., Ste.300
Boise, ID 83706 [email protected] 
valic.gif - 2.49 KbAnnuities, life insurance     
430 Ryman St., #102
Missoula, MT 59892 
[email protected]        

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Empowering Teachers To
Drive Their Own Professional Learning
84 Sherman Street
Cambridge, MA 02140
 [email protected]
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 School property & liability insurance
1200 North Montana Ave.
Helena. MT. 59601
[email protected]

Unique approach to teaching K-6 math using hands-on, interactive games
37 E 28th Street Suite 600
New York, NY 10016
[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]
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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]
509-279-2540, Ext 353                                                                                            

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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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Education’s Premiere Recruitment Service PO Box 2519
Columbia, MD 21045 [email protected]
877-812-4071 x94
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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]
msgia.png - 1.98 KbSchool Workers’ Compensation & Liability
PO Box 7029 - Helena, MT 59601
[email protected]
Phone: 406-457-4418


Montana Meadow Sponsors

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College Readiness and Success
5889 Greenwood Plaza Blvd. Suite 210 
Greenwood Village, CO 80111   
[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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Technology Services Partner
16 6th Street North, Ste 42
[email protected]

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Technology planning, project  & solution services
2135 Charlotte Street
Bozeman MT 59718
bbassett @pinecc.com

Montana Med Express [email protected] 
Phone: 800-955-2880

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



2017-18 Bulletins

June 2018 Bulletin

May 2018 Bulletin

April 2018 Bulletin

March 2018 Bulletin

February 2018 Bulletin

January 2018 Bulletin

December 2017 Bulletin

November 2017 Bulletin

October 2017 Bulletin

September 2017 Bulletin

July/August 2017 Bulletin


Bulletins from Previous Years