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National Leaders Conference - Feb 2014
Building Federal Support for Principals
Last week members of the MESPA Executive Committee (President Joey Page, President-Elect Mark French, Secretary-Treasurer Patrick Glynn, NAESP State Rep Tim Bell, and Zone 7 Director Steven Geis), MESPA Legislative Resolutions Chair Paul Anderson, and MESPA Executive Director Jon Millerhagen traveled to Washington, D.C. to help launch the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) 2014 Advocacy Agenda. Along with colleagues from around the country, they were part of the team to advocate on Capitol Hill to improve federal policies that will help states and districts build the capacity of principals and advance school improvement.  While there they were also part of the contingent to present Sen. Al Franken with the NAESP Congressional Champion Award. (See more in the Press Room.)

MESPA INSTITUTE 2014: Growing the MN Child

Where did principals go in February? To the MESPA Institute. And what did they learn? Here's what the evaluations say:
  • "Technology and a real shift toward student centered learning projects.  I like it."
  • "Kudos to Gabe Zichermann for knowing that gamification
    is another tool, and not the be all and end all."
  • "Kudos to Roger Aronson and Commissioner Cassellius for being so inclusive!"
  • "Kudos to Dr. Anthony Muhammad for his focus on the underlying glue of successful schools."
  • "Great sessions. What a great time to be in education in the state of MN!"
  • "This Institute confirmed what I have always felt.  You must have a positive school climate with principals and teachers who believe every child has potential to learn."
Check out photos, videos, session presentations, exhibitor links, and evaluation results at Institute Follow-Up.

And mark your calendar now for Institute 2015:  Feb. 4-6.

The Breakthrough Coach: June 12-13, 2014.
Work beyond administrivia! What if you could trim 20 hours off your work week AND multiply your time in classrooms by 500%? Learn “How to Work Less, Produce More, and Still Get the Job Done in a Sensible School Week” with Malachi Pancoast, President, The Breakthrough Coach. Register for the only Breakthrough Coach seminar offered in Minnesota during 2014. (It will be back in June 2015!) It's one
of the most practical -- and liberating -- programs you will ever attend: June 12-13, at the TIES Conference Center, St. Paul, MN (teams of principal and secretary/administrative asst.). Teams who attended a recent seminar and need a refresher can “Re-Energize the Fundamentals” by attending only Day 2 (June 13). All participants will receive: Scheduling Workbooks, the Breakthrough Coach DVD, Podcast Services for one year, a Curriculum Guide, and the Breakthrough Coach App.

ADD/ADHD Grand Slam Training, March 7.
Learn secrets to help support ADD/ADHD students while you earn eight clock hours for licensure requirements.
  • Mental Health AD/HD Strengths and Strategies
  • Reading Interventions for AD/HD Students
  • Positive Behavior Interventions for AD/HD STudents
  • Classroom/Special Education Accommodations for AD/HD Students
Special discount for MESPA members.

Mari Lu Martens is Minnesota's 2013 National Distinguished Principal! Martens is principal of Sibley East Elementary Schools (Gaylord and Arlington campuses) in the Sibley East Public Schools. MESPA and the National Association of Elementary School Principals present the prestigious award, with corporate
Mari Lu Martens, 2013 MN National Distinguished Principal
sponsorship from VALIC. She was recognized in Washington D.C. by U.S. Sec. of Ed. Arne Duncan in October.

“It is about doing things right, and doing the right things,” said Martens. “Collectively all of us are responsible for student achievement, from the nourishment provided by food service, to the Problem Solving Team that is monitoring student progress. At Sibley East we are teachers and learners who continue to define and redefine what we know and do.”

MESPA 2014 Rock Stars.
MESPA members selected 12 of their peers to receive the 2014 MESPA Division Leadership Achievement Award. This is an annual recognition with which principals honor their peers. Principals are responsible for a school’s instructional, school culture, and resource leadership. The award honors principals whose exemplary leadership and sustained efforts have made noteworthy contributions to the operation of effective school learning programs --  improving education, their communities, and their profession. The awards were presented on February 6 at the annual MESPA awards banquet.

Michelle A.M. Rosen, assistant principal of Fairmont
Michelle Rosen
Elementary School in the Fairmont Area Schools, is Minnesota’s 2014 National Outstanding Assistant Principal. 
MESPA and the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) present the prestigious award. "I know that everyone from parents to bus drivers, custodians, students, teachers, and community members all play an integral part in ensuring the success of our students," said Rosen.

Rosen has revamped and expanded the district's early childhood program; it now has received a Parent Aware 4-Star rating, the highest possible. "My goal is to get people to know that we are an E-6 school supporting learning for life," said Rosen, 'and to have the Fairmont community embrace the idea that lifelong learning starts at birth, never ends, and is for everyone. As an administrator of the Fairmont Area School District, I want people to know that I will do everything I can to enhance the learning of all."

From the Outside In:  While there are many distinctions between schools and businesses, some of the most obvious may be that businesses operate for profit and control the raw materials they receive to help ensure the final product meets expectations. Not so with public schools.
  • Debates abound about whether schools
    can or should be run like businesses, or whether schools perform best when drawing strictly from educational experiences, methods and innovations.
  • In these dynamic times, the most improved outcomes will likely result from a variety of public and private models and experiences.
  • Educators themselves are best qualified to synthesize, evaluate and apply educational methodology.
Read more in the INVESTMN public relations materials created to help principals use your influence to educate our communities about the needs and state of public education.

Kudos to  2013-2014 MN School of Excellence validations:

Glendale Elementary School, Savage,
Principal Sam Richardson;
Kasson-Mantorville Elementary School, Kasson,
Principal Michelle Krell;
Lake Harriet Community School, Minneapolis – Assistant Principal Merry Tilleson, Upper Campus Principal Mary Rynchek (retired), Upper Campus Principal Walter Schleisman, Lower Campus Principal Jan Parrish; 
Lake Nokomis Community School, Wenonah Campus, Minneapolis (Minneapolis Public Schools),
Principal Elizabeth Ness;
Maple Lake Elementary School, Maple Lake,
Principal Kris Harlan;
Intermediate School
, St. Peter,
Principal Karen Coblentz;
Oak Crest Elementary School, Belle Plaine,
Principal Dr. Liann Hanson;
Roosevelt Elementary School, Detroit Lakes,
Principal Renee Kerzman;
Rossman Elementary School, Detroit Lakes,
Principal Sanford Nelson;
Twin Lakes Elementary School, Elk River,
Principal Daniel Collins;
Waseca Central Intermediate School, Waseca,
Principal John Huttemier; and
Winsted Elementary School, Winsted, Principal Jen Olson.

MESPA Colleague-to-Colleague is a web-based forum, your resource for directly asking your peers questions and sharing responses. Check out the newest conversation on: Finding Census Information on Incoming Kindergartners?  And continuing conversations on: Allowing Students to Access Personal G-Mail Accounts; PreK Classes/Programming in Elementary Schools; Schoology and the Principal; Kindergarten Retention; Admin iPad Apps; Assessment Support for Classroom Teachers; Learning Readiness; Staff Dress Code...

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Where did principals go in February?
MESPA Institute 2014!
Follow-up on one page!
3 days designed for principals.
4 strands of breakout sessions.
Exhibitor  contacts.

Who represents your district?
Find contact information for state and national legislators who represent your school district: type your zip code in the District Finder.

Science and Math Principal of the Year
Kim Hiel, principal of the School of Engineering and Arts (SEA), Golden Valley, in Robbinsdale Area Schools, has been named 2014 Science and Mathematics Elementary and Middle Level Principal of the Year.  Created through a partnership between the Science Museum of Minnesota and the Minnesota Elementary School Principals’ Association (MESPA), the award recognizes the vital importance of fostering lifelong science literacy and honors the key role principals play in developing a culture that encourages and celebrates student interest in math and science.

“Kim Hiel is changing the world and she’s changing it for the better!” said Tobi Kreifels, SEA first grade teacher.

MESPA Newsclips
Current education news: read stories culled daily from media sources across the state.

MN Bullying Prevention Initiative & Bookstore
Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, including the Peaceful School Bus. Use MESPA5 when placing your order!

Redefine the 21st Century Classroom
Implement Study Island NWEA Map link today for only $350!
Connects schools to donors!

Lexia Reading, the technology-based, award-winning reading program

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