• podcast

    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.


     

  • Epidsode 19: The "Design Thinking" Process

    by Jane Sigford Year Published: November 4, 2018

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    Jen Hegna is the Director of Information and Learning Technology for Byron Public schools. As she says, she "loves technology" particularly if it can facilitate learning. She brought a Design Thinking process to her district after attending and Innovation Conference. The work with students and staff is just beginning. Listening to her process gives a lot ideas of how this could be implemented in many ways and places.

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  • Episode 18: Life Space Crisis Intervention

    by Jane Sigford Year Published: November 4, 2018

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    Danielle Theis is a trainer in Life Space Crisis Intervention which is a method to disrupt the usual punitive pattern in dealing with students whose acting out behavior keeps them from being successful. The intervention is utilized when the crisis happens, not in retrospect so students learn about the impact of their behavior and lets them experience an alternative strategy. She is principal of New Dominion School in Austin,MN. Her website is DanielleTheisConsulting.com.

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  • Episode 17: Neal Nickerson, Co-founder of the Ed. Ad Programs at U of MN

    by Jane Sigford Year Published: October 30, 2018

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    Dr. Neal Nickerson has been a professor at the University of Minnesota since 1964. He is a "founding father" of the Educational Administration Program which has been replicated in surrounding states and provinces. In addition, he is known for his concerted effort to bring and support under-represented groups, such as women and people of color, into the programs. His influence has contributed greatly to the high quality of administrators in the state of Minnesota. Plus, he lets all of us share his wisdom, dedication, and, most of all, his sense of humor. His focus on creating high quality principals has led to the creation of high quality superintendents.

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  • Episode 16: Retired Superintendent John Thein, Roseville Area Schools

    by Jane Sigford Year Published: September 26, 2018

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    John Thein has had an interesting career as a superintendent. He was superintendent of Roseville Area Schools for the longest time, for a length of 17 years. However, he has had short term positions and interim positions in a variety of districts from rural, to suburban to integration districts, to urban. John Thein could have published his quotes, from which we can all learn, as an almanac similar to Ben Franklin, but you can listen to them here instead. Enjoy!

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  • Episode 15: Superintendent Chris Mills, Stephen-Argyle Schools

    by Jane Sigford Year Published: September 26, 2018

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    Chris Mills, Superintendent of Stephen-Argyle Public Schools in the northwestern corner of Minnesota, will tell you that being the superintendent of a small district has many advantages—getting hugs from kindergartners in the hallway, being a community leader, advocating at the legislature for equity in funding and treatment of small schools, and in creating a school community where all are welcome. Are there disadvantages? Some but the community works hard to utilize area resources in every way possible. He believes in being involved, networking, and building community to meet the needs of his students, staff, and community.

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  • Episode 14: Superintendent Denise Pontrelli, Stillwater Area Public Schools

    by Jane Sigford Year Published: September 04, 2018

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    Denise Pontrelli, Superintendent of Stillwater Area Public Schools, talked about the community collaboration process by which that area has designed a multi-faceted, multi-prong approach to providing mental health services to students and families.

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  • Episode 13: Executive Director of Education Services Jason Berg, Farmington Area Public Schools

    by Jane Sigford Year Published: August 30, 2018

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    Jason Berg, Executive Director of Education Services for the Farmington Area Public Schools, shared thoughts about change in the schools and the dynamic use of their strategic plan. Teachers and students are given more flexibility, responsibility, and ownership of their learning and time.

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  • Episode 12: Superintendent John Landgaard, Worthington Public Schools

    by Jane Sigford Year Published: August 28, 2018

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    John Landgaard is the Superintendent of Worthington Public Schools in southwestern Minnesota, one of the 27 districts in the state where white students are the minority. He sees this increasing diversity as a real asset to his community and to the rest of the state. In fact, he is establishing a “Grow Your Own” program for teachers who emulate the student body and solve some of the teacher shortages. Plus, he has ideas about what we need to stop doing and how we can change our high schools.

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  • Episode 11: Superintendent Janey Blanchard, Chisholm Public Schools

    by Jane Sigford Year Published: August 24, 2018

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    Janey Blanchard, superintendent of Chisholm Public Schools, has experience in dealing with cultures not her own. She has experience working with our Native American students and now she is learning the culture of the Iron Range. She discusses the importance of listening and relationships. Her excitement about doing good work for all students is readily apparent. Besides, she's fun to listen to.

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  • Episode 10: MDE Commissioner Brenda Cassellius

    by Jane Sigford Year Published: August 24, 2018

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    Dr. Brenda Cassellius is the Commissioner of Education in Minnesota. She talks about the accomplishments of the past 8 years and shares a wish for the future. She is the second longest serving state officer in the United States, which has provided some continuity and stability in educational leadership in Minnesota. Her closing words were a wish for our superintendents.

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  • Episode 9: Superintendent Deb Henton, North Branch Area Public Schools

    by Jane Sigford Year Published: July 28, 2018

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    Deb Henton is the superintendent of North Branch Public Schools. In addition, she was named as Superintendent of the Year and is currently president of the MASA Board. She shares her experience in dealing with a district with declining enrollment. In addition, she discusses the political nature of education. As she says, "She is a common leader devoted to service."

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  • Episode 8: Principal Rob Reetz, Mounds View Public Schools

    by Jane Sigford Year Published: July 18, 2018

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    Principal Rob Reetz discusses project-based learning, and 21st century leadership.

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  • Episode 7: Superintendent Sandra Lewandowski, Intermediate District 287

    by Jane Sigford Year Published: July 06, 2018

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    Superintendent Sandy Lewandowski of Intermediate District 287 discusses the rise in mental health issues among children and discusses the increasing violence we see in schools. She talks about innovative practices that 287 is using to address these issues.

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  • Episode 6: Superintendent Matt Grose, Deer River Public Schools

    by Jane Sigford Year Published: June 18, 2018

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    Matt highlights the positive in Minnesota School Districts.

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  • Episode 5: School Shootings

    by Jane Sigford Year Published: March 28, 2018

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    Several school shootings recently that have spurred student walk-outs and protests in Minnesota and across the nation. The voices of young people have risen to challenge our current practices.

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  • Episode 4: High School Proposal

    by Jane Sigford Year Published: March 22, 2018

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    Today’s discussion is the next installment in looking at what a high school could be that allows “public school boards the flexibility to determine the course work and experience necessary to meet graduation requirements”, which is one of the items that is currently a part of the legislative platform of MASA. Because legislators wanted to know what that might look like, we get to explore this rich topic.

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  • Episode 3: Possible Vision of an Innovative High School

    by Jane Sigford Year Published: March 22, 2018

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    This is the second podcast in a series, which evolved from a discussion at the MASA spring conference in March 2018 about a legislative platform item, “provide public school boards the flexibility to determine the course work and experiences necessary to meet graduation requirements.” Our first broadcast talked about the current perception of pubic education. This one continues the discussion by focusing on high schools to perhaps suggest ways to flesh out the legislative platform.

    There are several sections to this podcast:

           What is the purpose of current high schools?
           How does one earn a diploma and what does high school graduation mean?
           Is a high school diploma relevant to today’s world of work?
           What is the purpose of a contemporary and futuristic high school?

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  • Episode 2: Message about Public Education

    by Jane Sigford Year Published: March 22, 2018

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    Today’s podcast is the beginning of a series developed in response to an item on the legislative platform of MASA. At the recent spring convention in March, I was invited to address the MASA Board to introduce them personally to this new benefit, our podcast. At that meeting, I solicited some ideas from the Board members about what topics would be interesting and beneficial to them. The answer was that people wanted to explore topics that often get put onto the “back burner”, such as the purpose of public education, how to change the public message about education, and how to shape our high schools into something more flexible and responsive to the needs of our students, to name a few. Too often we do not have time to talk and think about such topics because of the daily demands of our jobs. Yet these topics are what help shape our purpose and vision for what we do. So they are very important.

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  • Episode 1: Immigration

    by Jane Sigford Year Published: February 21, 2018

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    What Are The Issues You Deal With Around Immigration?
    How Are You Dealing With Them?
    What Is Our Role In Creating A Pluralistic Society?
    How Do We Educate Involved, Participatory Citizens In A Democracy?
    What Literacy Skills Are Mandated For All In This Time Of Rapid Change?
    What Curricular Changes Would/Could You Make?

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