Volume XLIII                                 July/August 2020

No. 298

In This Issue...

  1. MASS President Message 
  2. SAM Executive Director Message
  3. SAM Virtual AI 2020
  4. SAM LPLP 2020-21 
  5. SAM and Affiliate Leadership 2020-21


Upcoming Conferences,   Meetings, & Events

July 27-28, 2020:  SAM Virtual Administrators Institute 2020

July 29, 2020: SAM LPLP Summit

July 29- 30, 2020:  SAM Delegate Assembly - Helena

** View the full SAM Calendar**   

Thank you to this month's featured Business Partners! 

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SAM Leadership
Dale Olinger
Cal Ketchum
President Elect
Peter Hamilton
Justin Helvik
Shawn Hendrickson
President Elect
KJ Poepping
Vice President
Jake Haynes
Past President
Shelley Andres
Nicole Trahan
President Elect
Ted Miller
Vice President
Craig Crawford
Past President
Marlin Lewis
Barb Droessler
SAM Representatives
Casey Klasna
Dr. Greg Dern
President Elect
Dr. Mike Perry
Past President
Rick Duncan
Federal Relations Coordinator
Michelle Halberg
Cathy Maloney
Everett Holm
SAM Office
Kirk Miller
Executive Director
Gary Wagner
Director of Operations, Membership & Finances
Kim Scofield
Director of Member Services & Professional Learning




Stronger and More Connected

by Casey Klasna, MASS President

Happy summer!  As we move well into the summer months and schools are discussing and determining their plans for the fall with their boards and communities, I believe that districts are stronger and more connected than ever before. The community support within our districts is outstanding in my opinion.  The work we have done for students and their families is as good as it gets. The positive far outweighs the negative and we have done extraordinary things. As the late NC State coach Jim Valvano said, "Every single day, in every walk of life, ordinary people do extraordinary things." Schools continue to accomplish extraordinary things. 

A stronger appreciation towards schools and the work we do seems more evident. Overnight, we have changed how we do business and how we educate children, which as we all know was not an easy task.  As leaders, we have a significant amount of weight riding on our shoulders and all eyes are on us to make the correct decisions for our schools. I believe there is a stronger connection now between schools and their shareholders and a deeper appreciation and understanding for what schools do.  

Reflection is important and we need to reflect and feel satisfied with the great work we have accomplished and continue to do. We are faced with many challenges that have several moving parts, but we have all stepped up our game making us stronger.   We all do a great job of seeing what works and what needs to be done.  We have gone to the drawing board several times and have learned some valuable lessons. 

Connections are important and so are the relationships we develop with the several professional organizations throughout the state. I am proud of the work that MT-PEC and others have done to help us navigate through the chaos.  The leaders in those organizations have helped us out significantly and deserve recognition.

As the MASS President, it makes me proud to be a Montanan and a leader in public education. Let us continue to push forward, maintain the strong connections and to ensure we take care of ourselves. For some humor, a colleague shared with me a YouTube clip called "A Conference Call in Real Life." If you need a laugh click on the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYu_bGbZiiQ. Thank you for all that you have done for your districts and for public education.  Best of luck and be safe! 

Casey Klasna
MASS President

kirk-headshot.jpg - 183.43 KbSAM  - Outstanding Progress During Changing Times!

by Kirk Miller, SAM Executive Director

2019-20 has been an outstanding year for your professional association, SAM, with great contributions from over 1080 members insuring progress on our strategic plan and excellent educational opportunities for our Montana children!  The COVID pandemic and issues of discrimination, intolerance and equity have driven the national and state dialogue during the closing quarter of this fiscal year.  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 meetings the past 5 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 2020-21, 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 1080 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…

SAM Executive Director’s Strategic Plan Report for 4th Quarter 2019-20

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 a great 2019-20.  SAM is ready to continue our collective effort for the greater good of the education community to inspire our students in 2020-21!

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The SAM Virtual Administrators Institute is sure to provide great professional learning for you and your admin/teacher teams.  The conference will feature three dynamic keynote presentations by Jamie Vollmer, Hal Bowman, and Paul Andersen and breakout session zones focused on assisting you and your team in planning school re-entry and recovery in the areas of Social, Emotional, & Behavioral; Academic Programming; and Physical & Business Environment. Be sure to check out the draft AGENDA that is posted on the SAM Virtual Administrators Institute webpage!  The conference is scheduled from approximately 8:00 AM - 1:00 PM on July 27th and 28th.  Attendees will participate in live Keynote and Breakout Presentations AND have access to all sessions post-conference.  Click HERE for more information and to register!

 SAM LPLP 2020-21 Launches July 29th at the Virtual LPLP Summit

The official kick-off of the SAM Leaders Professional Learning Program 2020-21 program year is Wednesday, July 29th from 8:00- 11:00 AM during the SAM Virtual LPLP Summit .   

Consisting of a combination of personalized learning networks through coaching/mentoring, rich online resources, and collaboration through collegial learning networks; the SAM Leaders Professional Learning Program is unlike any program available today. Want to know more?  Click on the video from Sue Sweeney, SAM LPLP Provider and retired principal, to hear more about SAM LPLP.  

 Follow this link for more information and to register.



SAM 2020-21 Membership Year Begins Today!

Following a successful 2019-20 year with an all-time high membership record of 1083 SAM members, the 2020-21 SAM membership year is off to a great start.  We are looking forward to another great year!  

As a SAM member, you have access to "member-only" areas of the SAM website.  Our hope is that the SAM website will be your go-to resource for everything happening at SAM and affecting education in Montana. Be sure to visit the website often stay up to date!  You also have access to the SAM communication tools including your affiliate E-List and the SAM Member Community Forums, which provide a way for you to connect to administrators throughout the state.  These tools can be found by clicking on the Member Landing Page under Quick Links.  Log in to your SAM profile for access to password-protected areas of the SAM website.  Please contact the SAM office if you are unable to log in or if we can be of assistance to you. 

SAM and Affiliate Leadership for 2020-21 

Thank you to our SAM and Affiliate Board Members for serving SAMduring the 2020-21 year!

SAM Executive Board

Dale Olinger (Lolo), President
Cal Ketchum (West Valley), President-Elect
Peter Hamilton (Billings), Past President

MASS Board of Directors

  • Casey Klasna (Ennis), President
  • Dr. Mike Perry (Arlee), Past President
  • Dr. Gregory Dern (Roy), President Elect
  • Shawn Harkins, Geyser
  • Matt Jensen, Bigfork
  • Dan Schmidt, Poplar
  • Darin Hannum, Chinook
  • Godfrey Saunders, Belgrade
  • Alex Ator, Roberts
  • Rick Duncan, Powell County HS
  • Scott Kinney, Superior
  • Elliott Crump, Shelby
  • Nick Schumacher, Plevna

MASSP Board of Directors

  • Justin Helvik (Bozeman), President
  • Shawn Hendrickson (St. Ignatius), President Elect
  • KJ Poepping (Shepherd), Vice President
  • Jake Haynes (Frenchtown), Past President 
  • Sheri Heavrin, Townsend 
  • Paul Furthmyre, MT School for the Deaf & Blind
  • Rhiannon Beery, Bainville
  • Shelly Weight, Forsyth
  • Shawnda Zahara-Harris, Laurel
  • Dustin Gordon, Fairfield

MAEMSP Board of Directors

  • Shelley Andres (Bonner), President
  • Nicole Trahan (Billings), President Elect
  • Ted Miller (Columbia Falls), Vice President
  • Craig Crawford (Helena), Past President
  • Mark Goyette, Glendive
  • Teresa Sprague, Great Falls
  • Ben Lambert, Huntley Project
  • Kim Ray, Great Falls
  • Stacy Lemelin, Billings
  • Barb Droessler, Target Range
  • Matt Genger, Augusta
  • Marlin Lewis, Hamilton
  • Julie Mickolio, Belgrade
  • Aaron Griffin, Frenchtown
  • Becky Carlson, Billings
  • Dick Trerise, OPI
  • Melinda Thompson, Retired

META Board of Directors

  • Everett Holm (Browning), President
  • Carol Phillips (Elder Grove – Billings) President Elect
  • Brian Norwood (Lolo), Past President
  • Mindy Obert, Sweet Grass Co.
  • Brad Somers, Bozeman
  • Robert Parker, Rocky Boy
  • Travis Baumann, Box Elder
  • Talia McCurdy, Denton
  • Glenn Wehe, Evergreen
  • Paul Kozlowitz, Missoula
  • Adam Toombs, Roundup
  • Scott Baldwin, Lewistown
  • Branson Rogers, Ekalaka
  • Rich Lawrence, Kalispell

MCASE Board of Directors

  • Michelle Halberg (Gallatin-Madison Special Ed. Coop), President
  • Sean Maharg (Helena), President Elect
  • Jenny Malloy (Park Co. Special Ed. Coop), Secretary
  • Karen Underwood (Yellowstone-West Carbon County Special Services Coop, Past President
  • Shelley Dempsey, Prickly Pear Coop
  • Mary Meehan, Evergreen
  • Pam Pettigrew, Prairie View Special Services Coop
  • Lisa Von Bergen, Great Falls
  • Tamra Covington, Billings

MACSS Executive Board

  • Cathy Maloney (Butte-Silverbow Co), President
  • Erin Lipkind (Missoula Co), 1st Vice President
  • Susan Metcalf (Sweet Grass Co), 2nd Vice President
  • Linda Marsh (Beaverhead Co), Past President
  • Pam Birkeland (Madison Co),            Secretary
  • Rhonda Long (Fergus Co),                      Treasurer


 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]
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  campus.com
 A 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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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   

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 Auto, homeowners, life insurance and financial services 1 Horace Mann PlazeSpringfield, IL 62715[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]
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Professional Preconstruction & Construction Manager
Mark Qualman 
Billings, MT 
[email protected]
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The Great Conversation Series
Jamie Vollmer
[email protected]
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Rick Ruiz, Business Development
800 7th Ave. North
Great Falls, MT. 59911


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Standards-based digital curriculum resources for K–12 classrooms 
Emily Keith
[email protected]

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K–12 online curriculum and blended learning solutions
Michael Bullock
[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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Targeted Professional Development
Daniel Sybrant
557 Cow Creek Lane
Corvallis, MT 
[email protected] 
888-413-3669, ext. 5776

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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]      

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

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