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MESPA Institute 2020

3 days. 400+ principals. February 5-7, 2020

Bloomington DoubleTree

Save the date for the professional development event of the year: February 5-7, 2020

Institute hosts more than 400 of your elementary and middle level principal colleagues. With presentations from incredible thought leaders; 25+ sessions rooted in mental health, education equity, innovation, and leadership development; MESPA Speaks performances by your own colleagues; an Unconference in which you guide your own learning; and 80+ education-based exhibits... you won't want to miss this! Watch this space for more information on Institute 2020, coming soon!

3 ways to be a part of Institute 2020!

1. Lead a NEW 30-minute Spark Session

Spark sessions are mini sessions designed to stimulate conversation and spark inspiration and action. Have something worth sharing but don’t want to prepare a 1-hour breakout session? Then a Spark session is for leaders like you! Click here to learn more and apply. Proposals are due to the MESPA office by Sep. 13, 2019. 

2. Present a 45- or 60-minute breakout session

We are specifically looking for engaging sessions on Educational Equity, Leadership Development, Mental Health and Student Behavior Supports, Technology and Innovation, and Principal Essentials. Click here to learn more and apply. Proposals are due to the MESPA office by Sep. 13, 2019. 

3. Wow us with MESPA Speaks!

MESPA Speaks is an opportunity for YOU to share a brief (5-10 minute) and impactful message with your peers. Do you have an inspirational message? An initiative in your school you can't wait to share with others? Click here to submit your application! Applications are due Friday, November 8, 2019. 

Questions? Please contact Rachel Dillon, MESPA Program Manager: rachel@mespa.net or 952.297.8675.

Institute 2020 Thought Leaders announced!

Wednesday Keynote

Heather T. Forbes, LCSW (@HeatherTForbes) will open our conference on Wednesday with her presentation, “The Trauma-Informed School.” Heather is the owner of the Beyond Consequences Institute and author of numerous books on the topic of working with children impacted by trauma. Heather’s presentation bridges the gap between academic research and “when the rubber hits the road” classroom situations, giving teachers and school personnel the understanding and tools they need for even the most challenging of students. Heather has worked in schools with trauma-impacted students and knows firsthand how challenging it can be on a day-in and day-out basis with these students. Additionally, much of her insight on understanding trauma, disruptive behaviors, and developmental delays comes from her own experience of raising two internationally adopted children and mentoring a severely trauma-impacted young adult.

Thursday Afternoon Keynote

Larry Thompson, M.Ed. (@RCDGivemFive) will bat second at our Institute Keynote Doubleheader on Thursday afternoon with his talk, “Responsibility-Centered Discipline: Becoming a Master of Challenging Moments with Students.” Larry’s presentation will introduce attendees to the Responsibility-Centered Discipline (RCD) model, which was developed to help schools break free from the traditional "obedience model," to train educators and school leaders how to respond to disruptive and spiraling situations, and to empower students to take responsibility for their own actions. RCD provides real skills that school leaders can start using immediately. Author of Roadmap to Responsibility and Give ‘em Five, and founder of the RCD model, Larry has served in a wide variety of roles in education – from special education teacher to alternative and traditional high school principal. As creator of the Responsibility-Centered Discipline program, Larry understands that systems must be created that can be realistically implemented and sustained.

Thursday Morning Keynote

Ken Williams (@unfoldthesoul) will kick off Institute’s Keynote Doubleheader Thursday morning with “Starting a Movement in a PLC: Building Culture from the Inside-Out,” based on his bestselling book of the same name written with Tom Hierck. This talk will focus on how to move from “doing PLC” to “becoming a PLC” by creating a culture of collective responsibility. Kenis the chief visionary officer of Unfold the Soul, an organization dedicated to helping schools both live their posters, and engage in practices that make equity actionable. A leading authority in the areas of collaboration, leadership, school culture, equity, and peak performance, Ken is skilled in joining the why of our work to the how of our work. Known for his provocative and engaging combination of ‘heart, humor, and hammer,’ Ken is an expert at helping schools build capacity in the collective commitments required of school culture’s aspiring to ensure high levels of learning for all students.

Friday Keynote

Beth Houf (@BethHouf) & Shelley Burgess (@burgess_shelley) will close our conference Friday morning with “Lead Like a PIRATE: Transform Culture and Build Schools Where Students & Staff Run to Get IN, not OUT.” In thishighly-interactive and fun session, participants will learn dynamic strategies to dramatically transform culture and build schools where students and staff run to get in, not out. This motivational session demonstrates how to take revolutionary ideas from Teach Like a PIRATE and supercharge them for leaders so you can become the leader you’ve always wanted to be. Leaders will walk away from this session with strategies and a coaching model they can implement tomorrow! Award-winning principals and school leaders, Beth and Shelley are also the co-authors of Lead Like a PIRATE: Make School Amazing for Your Students and Staff.

Meet our 2020 Co-Chairs!

We are thankful for our 2 great Institute Co-chairs who will host Institute 2020 and keep us focused and energized throughout the conference.

Welcome Toni Baartman, principal at Hill & Brown Elementaries, Pipestone, and Andrew Dokken, principal at Hill City School, Hill City.

These 2 have done a great job planning so far and we can't wait to see what fun and exciting things they have in store for us!

Tweet with #mespamn!

Join the conversation online with fellow Institute attendees! Follow the hashtag #mespamn and tag @MESPAPrincipals to continue the learning online!

Where and When?

The DoubleTree by Hilton:

7800 Normandale Blvd

Minneapolis, MN 55439


Wednesday, February 5-Friday, February 7, 2020

mesPAW Therapy Dog Showcase

Back by popular demand: Take time to relax at the mesPAW Therapy Dog Showcase! Come learn from practicing principals about the benefits therapy animals can bring to your school community! Also, learn what it takes to become a therapy animal team. Plus, pet some puppies, of course!

Expand your learning with a Pre-conference Session!

For those who want to pack even more learning into their conference, we're offering several pre-conference sessions Wednesday morning! The sessions will be held on Wednesday, February 5th at 10:00am. Choose one as an add-on in your Institute registration and receive extra CEUs! Pre-conference sessions will be announced soon!

Preconference session 1

Coming soon!

Preconference session 2

Coming soon!

MESPA Speaks returns!

"One of THE best parts of Institute!" - said anyone at Institute ever

Join us for our 5th annual MESPA Speaks on Friday, February 7th! Watch this space for the 2020 lineup!

Can't wait until February for your dose of inspiration? Click here to check out MESPA Speaks videos from the last 4 years.

Get ready for the Unconference!

First time attending Institute? Get ready for the Unconference (AKA "EdCamps" "Participant-Driven Conferences" etc.), where you build your own learning.

The Unconference is driven by YOU and is an opportunity to lead and learn from your peers. Click the video to hear from Principal Liann Hanson, one of our Unconference facilitators.

Exhibit at Institute 2020, February 5-6

Exhibits are a vital part of our Institute experience and conference atmosphere. If you or someone you know wants to market materials and services exclusively to 400+ Minnesota elementary and middle level principals and school decision makers, MESPA's annual convention is the place to do it! Registration information for exhibitors will be linked here when available. Click here to join the exhibitor mailing list to be kept in the loop when registration opens up for Institute 2020 Exhibits next fall.

In the words of Principal Lisa Carlson of Woodland Elementary in Eagan: "If you're not at Institute, principals simply don't know that you exist!" 

Recommend an exhibitor!  

Are you using an amazing educational product or service you think more principals should know about? Do you work with an awesome company/organization and or vendor who you think should be connecting with over 400 Minnesota principals and other educational leaders at Institute? Recommend them here! We appreciate all recommendations, throughout the year, and will follow up with your contact to make sure they know about the value of MESPA Institute Exhibits and have registration information.

Recommend an Exhibitor

Save the Date for Institute 2021

Institute 2021: February 3-5, 2021

Recommend a Keynote Speaker!
Have you seen a keynote speaker recently that you really loved? Is there someone out there you've been dying to hear? Know of someone who would a perfect fit for Institute? Recommend them here! Any time of year, your recommendation is welcome and much appreciated.

Institute 2019 was a hit!

The results are in: you rated Institute 2019 as the best Institute ever! Our 2019 app is still up and you can still access materials and resources at mespainstitute2019.sched.com

Thanks to our 2019 exhibitors!

Our exhibitors made our conference a huge success! You can still check out our list of exhibitors and get in touch for great resources, products, and FUN for your school! 

Click here for a list of our 2019 exhibitors

Want more High Quality PD?

Thank you to our 2019 Exhibitors for making Institute possible! Also, a special thank you to our Business Partners for supporting MESPA year-round.

MESPA is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization

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Roseville, Minnesota, 55113
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