Volume XLIV                            September 2022

No. 321

In This Issue...

  1. SAM President Message 
  2. SAM Executive Director Message
  3.  MASS/MCASE Fall Conference 2022 Registration
  4. Current Award Opportunities
  6. CoSN EmpowerED Superintendent Series and Summary of Superintendents' Discussion on Successes & Challenges
  7. Featured SAM Business Partners

Upcoming Conferences,   
Meetings, & Events

MACSS Fall Conference:  September 18-20, Ennis

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

MCEL 2022:  October 19-21, Missoula

Montana Principals Conference 23:  January 22-24, Helena

** 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



Who is Your Cindy Lou Who?

  by Shelley Andres, SAM President 

Greeting SAM Members, 

Let the school year begin!  Ready or not the school year has started!   As many of us start our school year understaffed, still looking for bus drivers, paraprofessionals, lunchroom staff, and even certified teaching staff, are you asking yourself how do I stay positive and confident for this new year? We have a lot of ground to make up.  This has been keeping me up at night. I definitely don’t have the answers, but I do have hope.  Hope that our schools are still the heart of our communities. Hope that public education is still valued. Hope that students' lives can be made better. Hope that relationships that are formed this year will truly change lives. Hope that students know that when they come to school there is at least one person that cares about them, looks out for them, listens to them, and truly misses them when they’re not at school. I hope that’s true of our leaders and staff as well. I hope you make meaningful connections with staff, parents, kids and community members that you meet.  I know these connections will have a positive ripple effect in your school and community.  I hope that you dig deep and find the strength to stay the course as a school leader for your community.  Take a minute to remember the Grinch that stole Christmas.  Let’s step up and deliver the goods!

I am honored to learn from you and lead beside you as your 2022-23 SAM President.  I have hope our organization moves forward in a positive direction.  I hope you reach out to me and know that I am here to support you.  Additionally, SAM is a wonderful resource for School Leaders.  Do NOT feel alone in your building. SAM is 1075+ strong as an organization!

SAM provides much support for the work we do.  Take advantage of the SAM  resources such as the SAM website, LPLP program, the many conferences, the Community Forum and weekly news articles.  Our new campaign "Did You Know"...Telling Your Story of Personalized Learning and Innovation will be a powerful tool that will impact how public education is making a difference in your communities!   Information can be found on the homepage of the SAM website.  SAM members can also share the form with other stakeholders to submit:  teachers, para educators, support staff (e.g. secretary, food service, transportation), Trustees and community members. I hope you take advantage of  The SAM Team and supports available to members.  The SAM Team is second to none.

Yours in hope,
Shelley Andres
The Proud Principal of Bonner Elementary and SAM President

 Be Involved, Advocate, Learn and Grow!  

by Dr. Rob Watson, SAM Executive Director

Like any new job, I have spent some time in the last month reviewing the goals and objectives of our organization. I have also had conversations with many of you about the priorities for SAM as well as strengths and current challenges facing our organization. As educational leaders, this is an important time for us to collaborate and discuss our hopes and dreams for the future.

As you begin what will likely be a busy few months, I would encourage you to reflect on your membership and participation with SAM. For those new to the organization, I have found three simple pieces of advice: be involved in the decisions that impact education, advocate for what you know is best for kids and continue to learn and grow as a professional. These three simple actions create the foundation of our strategic plan goal areas.

  1. SAM members, modeling and promoting the highest levels of professionalism, integrity and leadership, actively engage in impactful discussions on education.

  2. SAM members will be equipped with accurate information and prepared to use it to advocate for public education.

  3. SAM will extend and expand the learning through professional development, mentorship and other member services.

How do we do this?  How do we live out the values of SAM?  

  • We demonstrate collective advocacy, which is the act of bringing people together, with a common interest, to explore ideas, develop goals, and seek solutions.

  • We continue to seek a “seat at the table.” SAM members did this last year through a variety of state-level committees and task force gatherings. Even though we may not always agree on the best path forward, it is important that we are present in the discussion. If we stop asking for that seat at the table, we will stop being asked to be at the table.

  • We seek consensus to create a common voice. Remember, now more than ever, it is important that we stick together around a collective vision. We are stronger, our voice is louder, and our impact is greater when we stick together. My hope is that you will join me in creating that consensus.

  • We learn and grow from each other. This happens when we attend regional meetings or professional conferences. It also happens by participating in collaborative programs like SAM Leaders Professional Learning Program.

  • We share best practices in hopes that we can all get better. Expanding our reach by sharing means that more students will benefit from our ideas and innovation. One way you can do this is by sharing a “Did you know” story with your colleagues.

Most of us have started new jobs in our careers. When one starts a new job it is important to understand the values of the organization and work towards living those values. I have sought to do so with research, discussion, and listening and I will continue to do so moving forward. 

In the next few months I will be traveling to attend as many in-person regional meetings as possible. When I am in your community, I would welcome the opportunity to visit your school or district, discuss your goals, and hear your thoughts around the greatest challenges facing the future of education in Montana. These conversations help me to create that collective voice and guide this group of outstanding leaders. Thank you for the opportunity.

Best of luck as you start the new school year.  Looking forward to our conversations,


MASS/MCASE Fall Conference:  Leadership Rising Through Collaboration

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Be sure to register for the MASS/MCASE Fall Conference at the Best Western Plus GranTree in Bozeman September 19-20!  The Conference will include outstanding information and dialogue about inspiring leadership and support, 2022-23 advocacy issues, trending legal issues and mental health support.

The conference agenda features  Adam Welcome co-founder of Kids Deserve It, an AASA Federal Update, current legal issues with Bea Kaleva, and a panel discussion about incorporating school-based mental health options.  You will have many opportunities to connect with other administrators, SAM Business Partners, and additional exhibitors throughout the conference.  

Follow this link for more information and to register:  2022 MASS/MCASE Fall Conference

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 . . .

    • 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 administrators 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


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Nominations are Open for the SAM and Affiliate Awards! 

Nominations are now being accepted for the following awards.  Who will you nominate to be recognized for their outstanding dedication to the education of the children in their school/district?  Applications are also open for the Erdie Memorial Scholarship.  Please encourage aspiring administrators in your district to apply.

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 Scholarship - Applications 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.

2022 MASS School Board of the Year Award:  Nominations will be accepted until Friday, September 30, 2022:  Two school boards are recognized each year for the dedicated and ethical service rendered by trustees to the children of Montana

2022-23 AASA Convention Incentive Award - Sponsored by MASS Applications will be accepted until Friday, September 30, 2022:  This award is intended to provide an opportunity for two (2) administrators to attend the AASA NCE for professional development

2022-23 MASSP/NASSP Assistant Principal of the Year:  Nominations are open until Friday, October 14, 2022:  This award recognizes outstanding school leaders who have succeeded in providing high-quality learning opportunities for students.  The program honors high school assistant principals who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of personal excellence; collaborative leadership; curriculum, instruction and assessment; and personalization. 

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EmpowerED Superintendent Series and Summary of Superintendents’ Discussion on Successes & Challenges

The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) 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.

EmpowerED Superintendent Series
The EmpowerED Superintendent Series, which is co-hosted by AASA, CoSN and edWeb.net and sponsored by ClassLink, launched Season 5 on Monday, August 8, 2022, at 3:00 pm Mountain Time with Leading Learning in the 2022-2023 School Year: Ready, Set, Go. Superintendent Panelists Dr. David Schuler, Dr. Carol Kelley, and Mr. Matthew J. Miller joined host/moderator Ann McMullan in looking at the new school year through the lens of strategies and innovations that engage all learners, teachers, administrators and families in their districts. The Superintendents also reviewed how they are maximizing new funding resources and their plans to sustain the projects that have been funded by access to new financial aid. If you missed the live broadcast, you can access the free recording or podcast version HERE.

The next live broadcast in the EmpowerED Superintendent Series, Cybersecurity in Today’s Learning Environments: What School Leaders Must Know and Do is scheduled for Monday, September 12, 2022, at 3:00 pm Mountain Time. Superintendents Dr. Doug Brubaker, Texarkana ISD, TX, and Glenn Robbins, Brigantine Public Schools, NJ, will join Lorrie Owens, Chief Technology Officer, Integrated Technology Services, San Mateo County Office of Education, CA, and host/moderator Ann McMullan to share the strategies they use to analyze a network’s cybersecurity status and build and sustain school networks that are created to maximize security. They will also explain the processes they have established to respond to a network attack if such an event does occur. You are invited to learn more and register for this free broadcast HERE.

CoSN Superintendent Advisory Panel Discussion on Successes and Challenges in Leading School Districts Today
During the May 2022 virtual meeting of the CoSN Superintendent Advisory Panel, the Superintendents and other panel members broke into small groups to share their ideas about what has been successful and what challenges they see as they start the 2022-2023 school year. Their group discussions revolved around the following questions:

1. What have you learned and how are you thinking about leveraging technology as you open school in the fall of 2022?
2. What strategies are you utilizing this summer to lead with innovation? How will you overcome the sense of inertia and desire to “return to normal”?
You are invited to read a summary of the responses and use any or all of the thoughts listed to start similar discussions in your own school or district. Access the summary report HERE.

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


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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 

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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
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]   


2022-23 SAM Bulletins