Deb Henton
MASA President Superintendent
North Branch Area Public Schools

Each summer I meet with leadership team members who determine a theme for the next school year. The theme is transferred to pins all employees receive during our first district-wide professional development day of the year.  No matter the theme, it is one with the potential to bind all of us together. We always hope the chosen theme fosters a positive culture.

Interestingly, there are staff who have collected all 11 pins I have provided.This year we are breaking from our pin tradition and will be handing out wristbands in school colors that read, “It starts with me.”  It will be fun to see how the pin collectors react to the wristbands. I’ve learned that even the slightest change can impact some in ways I never expected. No doubt you can identify!

Why this theme? We know that our attitude, our well-being, our work ethic, our care for children, our learning, our relationship building, all start with ourselves.  We are also aware how often it is easy to wish it was someone else’s task to make us happy on the job, or to find solutions to our problems. We believe a simple flick of the wristband will help remind all of us that “It starts with me!” We want our staff to feel empowered when they wear their wristband and gaze down at those four words.

As President of MASA, I know that our common agenda is children. That’s my “it” as president. It starts with me to advocate for the best education for all of Minnesota’s children. It starts with me to ensure that the organization is supporting you as you educate our children. It starts with me to get to know you better and to hear your ideas for how we can further our common agenda.

So what’s your it? A new building project? An election to pass? New school board members to orientate? Leading a vision others will follow? Regardless, your it starts with you.  

I am honored to serve as president for the 2018-19 school year. Please don’t hesitate to call on me if I can help you with your it throughout the year. Best wishes for an incredible year!

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