2019 Fall Conference | Michigan Association of Superintendents & Administrators

Thank you for attending the MASA 2019 Fall Conference! 

MASA’s Fall Conference took place September 18-20, 2019 at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa. This year’s conference featured thought-provoking keynote speakers and more than 30 Learning Sessions.

Keynote Speaker Dr. Bill Daggett hammered home the five characteristics of the most rapidly improving schools: Being future-focused; Being student-focused; Being growth-focused; Rigorous and relevant instruction; and effective coaching anchors PD.

He also focused on how advances in technology will change the world we live in, and the jobs that the students we are teaching now will change by the time they graduate.

On the second day of the conference, Dr. Michael Rice, state superintendent of public instruction, talked about the life lessons and gifts he received from his teachers. Dr. Stephanie Grant shared that relationships built with students can protect their genes from stress and trauma.

Conference attendees also were able to recieve one-on-one communications help with experts from the Michigan School Public Relations Association (MSPRA).

On the third and final day, MASA members heard from Judson Laipply, CSP, who ended the conference on a lighter note with this “Evolution of Dance” dance and his talk on the importance of self-care and how to adapt to change in everyday life.

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Learn, Explore, and Play in a MakerSpace at Fall Conference

Thanks to MACUL for offering the Spotlight in Innovation at the Fall Conference. Attendees entered into a MakerSpace area on the Lower Level of the resort and discovered new innovative learning experiences for their students. There were many hands-on activities for attendees to engage with while sparking an interest in transforming ytheir learning areas within their own districts.


Keynote Speaker Bill Daggett, Ed.D., Founder and Chairman of the International Center for Leadership in Education. He is recognized worldwide for his proven ability to move preK-12 education systems towards more rigorous and relevant skills and knowledge for all students. For 25 years, he has crisscrossed our nation, as well as the industrialized world, to lead school reform efforts to effectively prepare students for their future.

The Fall Conference will also include the MASA Strategic Partner Exhibit Hall on Wednesday. MACUL will also provide a spotlight on innovation.


Conference attendees will hear from State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice. Dr. Rice was the superintendent of Kalamazoo Public Schools (KPS) from 2007-2019 when was selected as the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. During his time in Kalamazoo, with the Kalamazoo Promise as a springboard, the district started full-day pre-kindergarten and quintupled the number of full-day kindergarten students;  improved student achievement in reading, writing, and math; more than doubled the number of students taking Advanced Placement courses and more than tripled the number of AP courses that students take; and increased high school graduation rates.

Conference attendees will also participate in numerous learning sessions throughout the day focused on accelerating school advancement.

Dr. Stephanie Grant will lead a Hot Topic session on Thursday on how childhood stress and trauma can change a student’s brain and body. She will briefly examine how such changes result in differences in how the student reacts to stress, in how they respond to their environment, and in what they may need from their educational environment to be successful. She will highlight why traditional care-giving strategies may be ineffective for such students and will also provide recommendations for how school administrators can support their schools in becoming trauma informed.


Keynote speaker Judson Laipply, CSP will give his talk “Life is Change.” He has been entertaining and educating audiences all over the globe since 2000, helping people and organizations deal with and create change while reminding them about the importance of growth and evolving. On top of all that, he is the world’s first YouTube Celebrity having had the first global viral video with his finale “The Evolution of Dance.”