Join us for the 2022 Fall Conference

September 20-22, 2022
Grand Traverse Resort

We’re celebrating your courage and perseverance this Fall! Join your colleagues for three days of professional learning in beautiful Traverse City and get inspired by keynote speakers Jamie Vollmer and Colin Seale. See more of the agenda below.

*Note: This conference will be held Tuesday-Thursday, rather than the usual Wednesday-Friday. We will return to the usual Wednesday-Friday schedule moving forward.

Review our COVID-19 Mitigation Policy


Cost: $450

Retiree Reception

MASA will host a reception for any and all MASA retirees on Tuesday, September 20. This event is for those who would like to gather and network with old friends and make new ones as well.

A brief presentation on what’s new for MASA retirees will be held during the reception by Dr. Tina Kerr, MASA Executive Director. We hope you can join us!

Please RSVP to Diane Dick, CMP, Associate Director of Conferences & Events at so we can get an accurate count.

Hotel Information

Several condos are still available at the Grand Traverse Resort. Hotel rooms are sold out. Reserve your accomodations with the MASA room rate online using this link, or use the offer code MAS2022 on the resort’s website or when booking through a reservations agent.

Overflow Hotels

Comfort Inn Traverse City
460 Munson Ave. US HWY 31
Traverse City, MI 49686

$169 overnight rate

Call (231) 778-8000, and give group number JS21CO for the group rate.

Cutoff Date: August 27, 2022

*Sold Out* Sleep Inn
5520 U.S. 31 North
Acme, MI 49610

$129 overnight rate

Call (231) 938-7000 (mention you are with MASA block) for the group rate. You can also book online by using this direct booking link:

Cut-off date: August 22, 2022

After this date, the rooms will be released back to general inventory. If you need to cancel your reservation, do so no later than 48 hours prior to arrival to avoid cancellation fees.

Conference Agenda

Monday, September 19

Noon – 4:30 PM  Cognia Lunch and Learning
As a longtime partner of MDE and MASA, Cognia invites you to join your Michigan colleagues for a complimentary MASA Preconference – an Unconference. Learn more and register.
 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM  Cognia Reception
6:00 PM – 7:00 PM New Superintendents Reception
Sponsored by SETSEG

Tuesday, September 20

7:00 AM – 4:30 PM Registration Open
8:00 AM – 12:45 PM New Superintendents Leadership Academy
8:00 AM – 10:00 AM MAISA Board of Directors Meeting
8:00 AM – Noon Middle Cities Education Association Meeting
10:00 AM – 12:45 PM MAISA General Membership Meeting/MISEN Meeting
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM Welcome Reception
Grab a box lunch and network with colleagues and Strategic Partners
Noon – 1:00 PM Middle Cities Education Association Lunch
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM General Session
Student Performance
Keynote: Jamie Vollmer
“Rallying Support: How to cultivate allies and strengthen partnerships during times that try our souls”
3:30 PM – 4:45 PM Concurrent Learning Sessions

  1. Michigan’s Rural Communities Need Better State Education Policies
  2. Relational Leadership: The Key to Capturing Kid’s Hearts
  3. Increasing Impact Through Unity
  4. Creating Community: Starting a Community Education Program In Your District
  5. Leading Toward New Models of Learning
  6. Expanding Graduation Pathways with Flexible, Supportive Programming
  7. Future Proud Michigan Educator Launch: Launching Educational Careers Through Credentialing
  8. New ISD Superintendent Orientation
  9. Saving Lives: Naloxone and Naloxone Safety Kits in Schools
  10. Explaining Additional Funding to Your Board and Staff
4:45 PM – 5:30 PM Region Meetings
6:00 PM – 7:00 PM MAAAS Meeting
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM MASA Alumni Reception
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM Middle Cities Reception
8:00 PM – 10:30 PM President’s Reception

Wednesday, September 21

7:00 AM – 4:30 PM Registration Open
7:00 AM – 8:00 AM SETSEG Fun Run
7:30 AM – 8:30 AM Breakfast Buffet
8:30 AM – 10:30 AM General Session
Keynote: Colin Seale
“Thinking Like a Lawyer: A Framework for Teaching Critical Thinking to All Students”
10:00 AM – 10:15 AM Break
10:15 AM – 11:45 AM Concurrent Breakout Sessions
  1. Student Success is in the Data
  2. Supporting Adult Education in Your District
  3. Growing Your District’s Teacher Capacity Through System Redesign
  4. The Aftermath: Navigating a Perilous Path After a Tragic Event
  5. Tangible Equity A Guide for Leveraging Student Identity, Culture, and Power to Unlock Excellence in and Beyond the Classroom
  6. Strengthening Literacy and Learning with Technology
  7. Future Ready? The Impact of Technology on Learning Environment Design
  8. Middle Grades New School Design for Safety and Innovation
  9. Highlighting EduPaths Through a Literacy/Math Lens
  10. One Issue. One Common Solution
  11. Beyond the Alarm: Accessible Resources to Solve a National Emergency
11:45 AM – 12:30 PM  Lunch
12:30 PM – 12:45 PM  Break
12:45 PM – 2:00 PM  Concurrent Learning Sessions
  1. Power of Afterschool and School/Community-Based Partnerships
  2. Let’s Get Real: Implementing School-Wide Project-Based Learning
  3. Designing Schools of the Future
  4. Succession Planning: What Happens Next?
  5. The Future of Learning Today
  6. Beyond Equity: MASA’s 18-Month Professional Learning Support Through the Lens of the Midland Public School District
  7. Learning 2025: AASA Demonstration Network
  8. From Conversations to Practice: The Equity and Inclusion Journey of ELPS
  9. School Design Strategies to Mature from Personalization to a Mastery Model
  10. COVID Made Us 1:1 – Now What?
  11. Bringing Voice and Choice into District-Provided Professional Development
  12. The Importance of Student Voice and Community Engagement, Designing the Future of Learning for Your District
2:00 PM – 2:15 PM  Break
2:15 PM – 3:30 PM  General Session Facilitated Networking
3:30 PM – 3:45 PM  Break
3:45 PM – 5:00 PM  Concurrent Learning Sessions
  1. Leading While Female: Joining the Circle of Sister Leaders
  2. Project SEARCH: Transition to Work Program
  3. Building Community Pride
  4. Launching a Winning Bond Millage in an Uncertain Economy
  5. School Nurses, What’s Best for Kids!
  6. How Do I Improve my Graduation Rate, Lower my Special Education Rate, and Save Money
  7. Crack-Open the Educator Pipeline in Your District
  8. Insurance 101: Is Your District Adequately Covered
  9. Horizon Leadership Academy – Alternative Pathway to Central Office Certification
5:00 PM – 6:30 PM  Leaders in Education Networking Reception


Thursday, September 22


7:30 AM – 8:30 AM Breakfast
8:30 AM – 11:00 AM General Session
Legislative Update

Keynote Speakers

Jamie Vollmer, Author and Champion/Defender of Public Schools

Jamie Vollmer is defender and promoter of public education. He works to increase support for America’s public schools and for the millions of educators who heroically strive to ensure student success.

Jamie is the author of the book, Schools Cannot Do It Alone, proclaimed by the American School Board Journal to be one of the “Top ten books of the year.” He received the Learning and Liberty award from the National School Public Relations Association in recognition of his success in strengthening school/community partnerships.

With a background in law and manufacturing, Mr. Vollmer entered the education arena in 1988 as a founding member of the Iowa Business Roundtable. At the time, he was president of the Great Midwestern Ice Cream Company, declared by People magazine to make the “Best Ice Cream in America!”

Once a harsh critic of America’s public schools, over the last thirty years he has become an articulate champion, working with educators, parents, business and community leaders to remove the obstacles to student success.

Vollmer holds a Juris Doctor from Catholic University, and a B.A. from Penn State. He is married to his college sweetheart. They have three grown children who they love, but they love their two granddaughters way more.


Colin Seale, Critical Thinking Evangelist, Founder and CEO of thinkLaw, and Author

Colin Seale was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, where struggles in his upbringing gave birth to his passion for educational equity. Tracked early into gifted and talented programs, Colin was afforded opportunities his neighborhood peers were not. Using lessons from his experience as a math teacher, later as an attorney, and now as a keynote speaker, contributor to Forbes, The 74, and Education Post and author of Thinking Like a Lawyer: A Framework for Teaching Critical Thinking to All Students (Prufrock Press, 2020). His most recent book, Tangible Equity: A Guide for Leveraging Student Identity, Culture, and Power to Unlock Excellence in and Beyond the Classroom, shows how you can overcome barriers and create sustainable pathways to realizing equity for your students. Colin founded thinkLaw, a multi-award-winning organization to help educators leverage inquiry-based instructional strategies to close the critical thinking gap and ensure they teach and REACH all students, regardless of race, zip code or what side of the poverty line they are born into. When he’s not serving as the world’s most fervent critical thinking advocate, Colin proudly serves as the world’s greatest entertainer to his two young children.