2021 MASA Fall Conference
September 27-28  •  Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC)

In March, 2020, MASA members gathered for our conference amidst rumblings about the COVID virus.  We avoided handshakes and hugs, and were liberal in our use of hand sanitizer.  We ended the conference on Friday, and on Sunday the Governor announced formally what we all suspected:  the world of public education had changed.  In the months to follow, we tackled a new list of challenges, read pounds of government guidance, and added new terms to our leadership lexicon (PPE, masking, distancing, contact tracing, herd immunity, flattening the curve, and so on).  Now, about a year and a half later, we are “restarting.”  While we contemplate our new reality as it pertains to the status of the pandemic, we consider the opportunity to provide excellent instruction with equity at its center.  We know that lessons have emerged – and continue to develop – as a result of the pandemic challenge.  Our most important take-away:  schools are up to the task.  Join your colleagues this fall, in person, and explore what we learned, how we are different, and how we will experience our next normal in Minnesota public education.

Find participant registration here:  https://events.resultsathand.com/21masafall/1398

Conference Highlights …

On Sunday afternoon, golfers will enjoy the Dale G. Jensen Classic Golf Tournament, benefiting the MASA Foundation. All conference participants are invited to play, no matter your skill level! The tournament will be held at the beautiful Nemadji Golf Course in Superior, Wisconsin, prior to the Fall Conference.  For more details and to register, visit this link: https://events.resultsathand.com/foundationgolf/1385/registration/310-Registration

What better way to kick off the conference—and the new school year—than by greeting old friends and meeting our new members?  Sunday evening we’ll gather for a casual Welcome Reception. Join us from 6-8 pm at the Garden Event Center (formerly Grandma’s Sports Garden) for food and fun. Our menu includes all-you-can-eat Pizza, Bonotta, Caesar Salad, and Breadsticks with Marinara Sauce.  Soft drinks are on the house and we will have a cash bar. We will announce the Golf Tournament prizes so the bragging rights can start early.

Throughout the conference, we will celebrate the service of our honored colleaguesIn addition to celebrating our members’ years of service with recognition marking their milestone years, we will present the 2021 Richard Green scholarship to recipient Renee Corneille, Superintendent, St. Anthony-New Brighton School District, and the Polaris Award to recipient David Krenz, Retired Superintendent, Austin Public Schools. We will also recognize our service pin and certificate recipients.

We are grateful to Ehlers for sponsoring the Polaris Award and Cuningham for sponsoring the Richard Green Scholars program.

The tag line for this conference reads, “Tough year, resilient leaders:  Learning for the Next Normal,”  First of all, it has been well over a year full of challenges, and perhaps our resilience is wearing a bit thin.  So what is our next normal and how do we get there?  We continue to lead through the uncertainties, conflict, and chaos, because it is our will to build systems that will best serve students and our wider communities with equity at our center.  Join our opening keynote session and Katie Pekel and Sebastian Witherspoon, who will share MASA’s equity work and open our fall conference by exploring how we can support the leadership we need to get us to our next normal.

The Exhibit Fair is a convenient way to visit with representatives of companies offering the latest products and services of value to school leaders. Our exhibitors’ participation also helps us reduce conference tuition for our members, so let’s thank them for being with us by being with them! Don’t forget to sign up for the door prize — a $200 Amazon gift card for your district.

Our Executive Development leaders have chosen four sets of compelling concurrent sessions scheduled for Monday and Tuesday.  Design your own program to meet your learning needs.  Sessions will be posted on the registration site in late August.

In 2019, the Minneapolis Federal Reserve released a study showing that Minnesota’s ethnic, racial, and economic disparities in test scores, graduation rates, and college readiness are among the worst in the country.  Since then, Neel Kashkari, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, and retired Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page have championed what has become known as the “Page Amendment,” an attempt to guarantee a quality public education for all children via an amendment to the state constitution.  On Monday afternoon, Justice Page and President Kashkari will be with us to present the proposed amendment and answer our questions.

During the 2020-2021 school year, 18% of Minnesota’s superintendents were women, a small increase of 2%. MASA’s strategic plan includes an initiative to increase the number of superintendents who are women to 30% by 2024. Come and celebrate the “Women’s Leadership Initiative” on Monday afternoon at 3:45.  It will be a great chance to relax and enjoy refreshments with colleagues at the end of the conference day. This event is for ALL of our participants regardless of gender!

The MASA Green Scholars program annually recognizes the scholarly work of an MASA member. Our Tuesday program features the work of our 2021 Richard Green Scholar Renee Corneille, Superintendent, St. Anthony-New Brighton School District. Join Renee and hear the findings of her research:  “Schooling and Education in a post COVID-19 world:  Using context to help understand this moment and provide a path for the future.”

Health and Safety at the DECC:
Masks are encouraged for conference participants when inside the building, but optional for those fully vaccinated.

Participants who are not fully vaccinated are respectfully asked to wear a mask.  MASA will have masks available at the registration desk.
DECC employees will wear masks within indoor spaces.
The DECC continues to have stringent cleaning protocols, including frequent wiping and disinfecting of touch points (door handles, elevator buttons, handrails, restroom stall doors and sinks).

Hand sanitizer stations are supplied throughout the facility.

Find participant registration here:  https://events.resultsathand.com/21masafall/1398

Conference Fees 

Nonmember after Monday, September 13: $399
Monday lunch tickets  $30
Retiree Members (who are not representing a business)   $99 (no late fee)
Spouses who are not themselves MASA members may attend the conference for $99 or purchase a lunch ticket if only attending Monday lunch.

There is no refund after Monday, September 13.


Find participant registration here:  https://events.resultsathand.com/21masafall/1398

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