The idea for this podcast originated with the MASA Professional Development Committee and the Board of Directors, who indicated a desire to “hear from our members.” The podcast format was chosen specifically to be presented in manageable time increments, available on-demand, and would represent all members throughout the state (including all regions and component groups). The podcast is an audio platform, giving you flexibility in how and when you would like to listen. We will engage the region leaders in identifying topics and thought leaders to insure statewide representation.

MASA is grateful to our online convener and podcaster, Dr. Jane Sigford, who has volunteered her services for this initiative. Jane is an MASA retiree and loves nothing more than challenging us (and herself) to think, create, and share ideas.

Check out all of the episodes online at

Here are some of the newest episodes:

Where are the women—superintendents that is?
Where are the women—superintendents that is? Over 70% of teachers are female, but in Minnesota only 16% of our superintendents are women. This number has stayed the same for a number of years. Why aren’t there more women? Contained in MASA’s Strategic Directions is an action step in to examine this issue and look at ways to support diverse leadership. This podcast poses questions, sometimes, difficult ones, for us to explore around this issue

Personalized Learning, and Standards Based Grading
Steve Jones, Superintendent of Little Falls Community Schools, talks about their work toward personalized learning, standards-based grading, redesigning professional development, and offering different career pathways for students. In addition, Steve has a working relationship with community businesses that profits both businesses and the schools. His educational philosophy has led him to concentrate on relationships with students, families, and the community. It seems that there is a climate in Little Falls that encourages innovation and yet keeps what has worked in the past to create a new future.

Renee Corneille, Superintendent, St. Anthony-New Brighton School District
Renee Corneille is a first-year superintendent at St. Anthony-New Brighton School District. She had several positions in the district, including middle, and high school principal, before being hired as superintendent. She shares her experience of what it was like to be an internal candidate. In Minnesota only 16% of the superintendents are women; Renee is one of the few. Her excitement and passion for the work she gets to do is contagious. Plus, she has a great sense of humor.

Personalized Learning in a Rural School District
Bill Adams, Superintendent of Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton or JWP, is spearheading the creation of a district, which has incorporated personalized learning to meet the needs of all students. His work in a rural district is different from that of a large system. His leadership style of using “failures” to improve a system is demonstrated throughout his conversation.

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