MCEL 2013 Wrap-Up
This year’s Montana Conference of Educational Leadership (MCEL) provided hundreds of our trustees, administrators and business managers with opportunity to extend their understanding of current K-12 educational issues affecting our schools and the equally important opportunity to network with colleagues from across the state. MCEL continues to serve a vital role in the lives of Montana’s educational leaders and the schools we all serve across the state. It is the only event held annually where all of state’s leadership organizations are able to assemble for two days of wide-ranging discussions and activities.
Here’s a brief summary of just a few of the key MREA events and activities taking place this year:
- Congratulations to Senator Fred Thomas for receiving MREA’s State Legislative Leadership award for his efforts in sponsoring SB 348 focusing on school safety issues and to Jim Standaert for his many years of service to Montana as the chief legislative analyst for school funding matters at the state level.
- MREA’s school safety presentation provided by Marcus Lawson on Computer and Cell Phone issues was the single largest sectional during MCEL. Marcus presented to a standing-room-only crowd that spilled out into the hallway. The success of this presentation supported MREA’s long-standing position that those attending MCEL are interested in fresh, new presentations by individuals that are talented speakers and we will continue to push for these kind of opportunities at future meetings.
- Thanks to Matt Taylor and John Frederikson of the University of Montana for providing detailed and specific information to schools on the process of implementing the safety plans required by SB 348.
- A variety of other workshops and sectionals were provided specifically designed to meet the needs of small and rural schools across the state. Rich Batterman, MREA Attorney, provided an update on recent legal issues, discussions were held on improving the superintendent/administrator search process and on MREA’s Cooperative Purchasing Program.
- One of the most important components of MCEL is providing the time for educational leaders to network with others. Once again this year MREA and MCS sponsored an all-school reception and social with hundreds attending.
- Earlier this year MREA announced that we would be taking the lead in developing a directory of Montana educational leaders that would be made available in both a traditional “hard copy” format and also as a computer/smart-phone “app”. It has been exciting to see this project evolve into a full partnership with the other organizations involved in MCEL and the initial leadership directories were handed out and installed on smart-phones during the conference.
MREA Membership Election Results!
Congratulations to Larry Markuson of Augusta and Matt Schriver of Fairfield that have been unanimously elected by the MREA membership to seats on our state Board of Directors! Also congratulations to Wade Johnson of Cut Bank and Dennis Gerke of Centerville for their re-election to the Board for another 3 year term!
Identifying Priorities and Directions for 2013-14!
MREA Announces A State-Wide Survey of Our Member Schools
School Officials in Non-Member Schools are also Encouraged to Respond
MREA has developed an informal survey of major state-level policy issues as well as an opportunity for school leaders (trustees, administrators and clerks) to provide feedback on the services provided by our association and the state agencies/departments that interact with schools from here in Helena.
School officials in both member schools and non-member schools are invited and encouraged to “weigh in” on these important issues as we begin to identify priorities and set directions for the upcoming year with an eye towards 2015 and the next legislative session.
We want to be clear that MREA has no plans to share individual responses to the questions included in the survey. Our intentions and goal is to develop an aggregated analysis of all responses that will help our state association in decision making and planning as we strive to meet the needs of our member schools across Montana.
The survey does include what may well be the very first opportunity of this kind for “grassroots school leaders” to provide feedback on the services provided by the various state agencies and departments here in Helena that interact with our local schools on a daily basis.