Previous month:
February 2021
Next month:
April 2021

March 2021

The Henton Headlines: March 25, 2021

March 25, 2021
Here’s the scoop for the week…

Sometimes it feels there are no words to express the challenges of this past year and what lies ahead. Do you need confidential support?

MASA’s Professional Assistance Team is here to help and can be trusted to remain confidential.  Please don’t hesitate to reach out to any one of the members listed below. As well, MASA’s staff is always available to assist you confidentially.

Joe Gothard
Saint Paul Public Schools
Cell: 651-587-2895
Office: 651-767-8152

Jeff Olson
Cell: 507-340-0628
Home: 507-934-9195

Patty Phillips
Cell: 651-357-0996

Gary Prest
Cell: 612-202-4684
Office: 612-626-8647

Jerry Nesland
Cell: 218-640-0267
Office: 218-894-2439
Home: 218-385-3194

Aspiring Superintendents’ Academy begins March 26 with 39 participants!

Thank you to the superintendents listed below who have agreed to be coaches, the presenters who will provide important information to the cohort members throughout the next 18 months, retiree Jane Sigford for assuming a leading role, and the MASA staff for all their work with this initiative, especially Director of Professional Learning Mia Urick!

  • Tamara Champa, Pine Island
  • Jeff Elstad, Owatonna
  • Reggie Engebritson, St. Louis County and Mountain Iron-Buhl
  • Bill Gronseth, St. Peter
  • Rhoda Mhiripiri-Reed, Hopkins
  • Chris Mills. St. Stephen-Argyle Central
  • Astein Osei, St. Louis Park
  • Scott Thielman, Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose

Interested in becoming an MASA Rep on the MSHSL Board of Directors?

Watch for an email with more information that will be sent by MASA staff member Deb Larson on my behalf tomorrow, March 26. 

Leadership Matters

damonwest7 (@Damon West) Tweeted: “The better part of communicating is listening. Everyone wants to feel like they have been heard.”  #BeACoffeeBean 

The Henton Headlines: March 18, 2021

March 18, 2021
Here’s the scoop for the week…

Belief statements...Strategic Plan...Continuous Improvement Plan...What is MASA doing?

The current MASA Strategic Plan expired in 2020.  In preparation for the next MASA Strategic Plan, the following has occurred:

  • When I started my new position as MASA Executive Director in July, the Board of Directors received my transition plan.  My plan included convening focus groups with the following goal as an initial step toward creating a new Strategic Plan:
    • “Listen and gather input from representative groups within the membership to learn what support services should be sustained to meet current needs, where there are opportunities for growth and innovation, how to advance equity for all, and to continually improve the practice of MASA.”
  • All MASA members were surveyed in September, 2020 about their thoughts regarding the expiring strategic plan.
    • Results were shared and discussed at the Board of Directors meeting in September, 2020.
  • Ten focus group sessions were held in October and November with one session for each MASA component group, retirees, retired female leaders, leaders of color, leaders who are female, regional leaders, business partners, and one additional session that was open to all.
    • The results of the focus group sessions were shared and discussed with the MASA Board of Directors at the December board meeting. 
    • The results were shared via email with all MASA members in December.
  • The December Board of Directors’ meeting featured a review of the planning steps to date and a plan for continuing the development of a strategic plan that would be approved by the Board of Directors at its late September, 2021 board meeting.
    • The Board discussed developing belief statements for MASA using feedback from the focus group sessions. The belief statements would be foundational for developing goals and action items included in the strategic plan. The expired strategic plan has five belief statements. The Board planned to review draft belief statements and member feedback at their March meeting.
  • In February, 2021, all MASA members were invited to respond to a survey of 15 draft belief statements, which were based on feedback from the focus groups and some belief statements carried over from the previous strategic plan.
    • The results of the survey were shared and discussed at the March 2021 Board of Directors meeting and will be sent to all members soon.
    • The Board of Directors decided to continue the discussion on belief statements at the June Board of Directors meeting.

There is much work ahead and MASA thanks all of you who have participated in focus groups, responded to surveys and provided feedback in countless ways, helping to inform the Board of Directors and me throughout this journey. 

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your representative on the Board of Directors or me if you have thoughts on what should be included in the plan. I often refer to the next plan as a Continuous Improvement Plan that will be reviewed annually. No matter the name, I am confident the Board of Directors will approve a plan that will be both aspirational and supportive of all of our members.  

Aspiring Superintendents’ Academy acceptance letters mailed to 37 applicants!

Thank you for helping to recruit the most applicants we have ever had for our Aspiring Superintendents’ Academy! This year’s cohort begins its first session on Friday, March, 26. Together we will assist our aspiring superintendents to learn what some of the essential elements are to becoming a successful superintendent in Minnesota. 

Resource for addressing learning loss:

Recommended to me to provide to you:

Leadership Matters: 

"A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don't necessarily want to go, but ought to be." - Rosalynn Carter

The Henton Headlines: March 4, 2021

March 4, 2021
Here’s the scoop for the week…

A call to action: MSHSL ballots due tomorrow, March 5:

Abundant thanks to all of you who have cast your ballots and the regional leaders who have been tracking who has voted and contacting those who have not.  Please note the deadline of March 5 if you have yet to vote. I urge you to cast your ballot and to vote yes!

Leading the learning: See you at the MASA/MASE Spring Conference?

I hope you are able to attend this annual event where we honor our colleagues receiving awards and where you will have the opportunity to attend some informative and interesting general sessions!  

MASA has reduced the conference fee in half and will also offer free Master Classes during the month of March.  Let’s hope this is our last virtual conference!  Looking forward to seeing you there! 

Here is a link to register:

Colleague seeking your input as part of his National Superintendent Certification Program:

Caledonia Area Schools Superintendent Craig Ihrke is collecting information from school administrators regarding what has worked during the pandemic and what changes have been made that might be beneficial moving forward.  He would be grateful if you entered your thoughts here.

New MASA offerings a success!

Three new opportunities developed in response to the focus group input received this fall are off to a great start!  Look for more information to come about MASA’s network for female school leaders, network for leaders of color, and another network focused on equity and excellence in education. Participants have provided positive feedback and the goal is to sustain all three groups and others desired by members moving forward. MASA serves you!

Leadership Matters: 

"A great leader never expects you to read their mind. They always let you know what they are thinking."@LollyDaskal