Volume XLIII                            June 2022

No. 319

In This Issue...

  1. MCASE President Message 
  2. SAM Executive Director Message
  3. SAM AI 2022 Registration
  4. SAM LPLP 
  5. Renew Your SAM 2022-23 Membership
  6. CoSN Update

Upcoming Conferences,   Meetings, & Events

SAM Week of Excellence:

June 8, 2022:  DaRud Golf Tournament

June 9, 2022: 

  • SAM Board Meeting
  • Delegate Assembly Caucuses
  • Evening of Excellence

June 10, 2022:  Delegate Assembly

SAM Administrators InstituteJuly 25 - 27

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

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



Education - A Changing Landscape

  by Sara Novak, MCASE President 

We are at a crossroads in education.  What we know of schooling today and what it has looked like over time is under scrutiny as to what it should look like to create learners ready for the future.  Since the Covid Pandemic began in March of 2020, we have seen some drastic changes in what school looks like and how it is delivered.  While the pandemic forced some of these changes when folks were ready or not, we have learned some things that have really worked well and continued on with them. 

The use of technology and thinking outside the box was forced upon everyone.  While we are all zoomed out, I think we can agree that it opened up a world in which collaboration can happen and it is here to stay.  We learned it removes many barriers.  When travel, time and cost are all removed from the equation, possibilities are opened for opportunities to learn, share, collaborate and meet.  It may not have the same level of connection as face-to-face interactions, but it does allow for a larger number of individuals to participate.  I have found that by offering parents meetings via zoom, they often feel less intimidated and have seen increased participation.  We have seen a huge growth in telehealth in both the schools and the medical field. 

In a variety of settings, from Leadership training to my work in the Legislature, there is great emphasis on continued change of our public schools.  As we move into a legislative session next year, this will undoubtedly be a hot button item.  From CTE programs to advanced opportunities, districts need to be thinking about what they offer and how they can expand upon what programs they currently have.  Is your district still focused on 187 days?  What does proficiency-based education look like?  Do you partner with higher education and industry within your community to provide training opportunities for your students, and are you granting credit for that?  Do you allow for individualized personalized learning for each unique student or are students taking classes you offer because you have the staff to fill those classes?  Do you allow opportunities for ALL students, or just specific grade levels and/or content areas?

As we wind down the school year and prepare for the next, those questions are just a few to consider.  There will most definitely be questions asked of each of us as district leaders.  Are you prepared to lead the pack and show off what innovation you have offered your students?  While personally, I know there are great things happening in so many districts across the state, from one room schoolhouses to AA districts, it’s up to each of us to show off that creativity and how we are using ingenuity to create learners for a world that we don’t even know exits yet. 

Change is coming and like March of 2020, we might not have time to slowly adjust.  There are eyes on us, high expectations and most importantly, there are students whose lives we are shaping.   Let’s get creative and give our students every opportunity we can to have a successful education which includes rich, hands-on experiences.  Let’s save families money by granting dual credit.  Let’s lead the way and show how it is done before we are told how to do it.  

Sara Novak
MCASE President

 SAM Members – Contributions to Children and Community – Thank you!

by Kirk Miller, SAM Executive Director

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Thank you Montana administrators for practicing your craft, using your heart, intelligence and work ethic to create an atmosphere of success for the education of the children, and health and safety of your entire community!  Probably, no one has stated it quite that way, but as the 2021-22 school year comes to a close, I wanted to express to you on behalf of your community, the important, life changing role you play in the lives of your entire community.  This school year will forever be known as one in which chaotic dissonance created significant challenges for our children and all entities who work diligently to deliver services and support for our citizens.  Your school has been front and center in your community throughout the entire school year and you have risen to the challenges presented and served your children and community with compassion and passion.  Thank You!


Following that last graduation ceremony, school program, athletic event, and checking out the final member of your team to go get some rest and recharge over this summer, planning for the 2022-23 school year will take center stage.  Before you settle in to that planning, I hope you will take some time to reflect on the joy and great circumstances you provided for your students this school year.  In fact, I hope you will take a moment to share a story or two or three of those opportunities that your school team provided for the personalized learning and innovation that happened this school year.  This is the intent of the MTPEC campaign to ‘Tell Your Story …’, by simply submitting that rich story by completing the electronic DID YOU KNOW form.  If there are materials you would like included (e.g., documents, photos, video), you will have the ability to upload them on the form.  You can submit this form multiple times for programs/projects in the Categories described in the form.  Please do not submit personally identifiable student information and obtain FERPA compliant permissions for any photo or video with students present.  The collective efforts of educators all across the state to ‘Tell Your Story …’ will be a powerful message to be able to use to support our schools in the year ahead.


At SAM we are headed to the Week of Excellence on June 8-10 to celebrate the great work of the Montana education community, organize our association with the SAM Board of Directors meeting and develop the SAM advocacy priorities through Delegate Assembly.  Thanks to the many SAM members who will bring their time and expertise to support your professional association at the Week of Excellence.


The 2022 SAM Administrators Institute is a fantastic opportunity for you and your leadership team to jump in and get ready for the 2022-23 school year.  The July 25-27, 2022 blended delivery Institute (with in-person at the Helena Best Western Premier Great Northern Hotel) theme is “Did You Know”… Telling Your Story of Innovation!  The Institute features 4 outstanding keynote speakers and 18 breakout sessions around focus zones – Recruitment and Retention of Quality Educators; Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Health; and Innovations in Education.  We want you to engage in this opportunity -- Follow this link to Register!

Please consider the rich opportunity to enhance your professional learning and support for the 2022-23 school year by joining the SAM Leaders Professional Learning Program (LPLP) 2022-23.  The full description of the SAM LPLP will entice you to engage in our proven program (eight years implemented) to enhance your job satisfaction and create an atmosphere for success in your leadership work for students.  Click HERE to Register!

Under the direction of the SAM Board of Directors, these professional learning and networking opportunities have been developed for you!  I hope June will be a great time for reflection and opportunity for you to energize and reignite that enthusiasm you have for educating children.  I’ll end as I began this article with a great big thanks to you for your contributions to SAM and education in our state!


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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 four 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

Reminder: Renew Your 2022-23 SAM Membership

As many of you are busy closing out the school year, please check with your district clerk to see if your SAM membership dues have been paid and that you are renewed for FY23. For most of you, your district clerk is the key contact who can renew your membership online. MACSS, MCASE, and members not associated with a school district must renew their own memberships. You will want to update your membership soon to ensure your that your benefits remain active.

Please share membership information with administrators new to your district or region.  We want to get them connected to the many resources offered by SAM as soon as possible.  All questions can be directed to the SAM office.  

cosn logo.jpg - 42.49 KbCoSN 2022 State of EdTech Leadership Survey Report 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 State of EdTech Leadership 2022 Survey
CoSN’s State of EdTech Leadership Survey is an annual process to connect with school district technology leaders to gather a high-level sense of the current state of technology implementation within district education systems. 2022 marks the ninth year that CoSN has been pulling together the information around technology trends, challenges and priorities for publication in its annual survey report. CoSN factors in the results of the annual survey to determine how best to support the work of CoSN members.

Current priorities revealed in the 2022 survey responses:
Cybersecurity is the number one priority for IT school leaders. Even so, the survey showed that in many cases the districts do not consider themselves to be at a high risk for ransomware attacks. 1:1 initiatives – using school-owned devices – are now being implemented at all grade levels in a growing number of school districts. As with so many aspects of K-12 education, staffing has manifested itself as a challenge for school district IT departments. One area that presents a growing strain for K-12 technology leaders is the ability to provide remote technical support for students and their families. Differences in salaries between rural and urban IT professionals are also referenced in the report as well as upcoming planned retirements of IT school leaders. The survey report confirms that school technology leaders are continuing to work on meeting current standards for network speeds and interoperability. You are invited to review the key findings, download the full report as well as access a recording of a recent webinar on Key Findings from CoSN's 2022 K-12 IT Leadership Survey at:  https://www.cosn.org/edtech-topics/state-of-edtech-leadership/

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.
The most recent episode of the EmpowerED Superintendent Webinar series aired on Monday, May 9, 2022, and was titled, “Leading for Digital Equity: Award Winning Community Engagement Strategies”.
You are welcome to access the recording of the May 9 edWebinar as well as all previously broadcast edWebinars in the EmpowerED Superintendent Webinar Series at 

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



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

Montana Mountain 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