MESPA Institute 2020
Registration now open. Early Bird rate ends January 17!
Don't miss the professional development event of the year!
Institute hosts more than 425 of your elementary and middle level principal colleagues. With presentations from incredible thought leaders; 25+ sessions rooted in mental health, education equity, innovation, and leadership development; MESPA Speaks performances by your own colleagues; an Unconference in which you guide your own learning; and 80+ education-based exhibits... you won't want to miss this!
Full Schedule Out Now!
Click here to check out the full conference schedule, including keynote descriptions, breakout sessions, and all the great happenings at Institute.
As an attendee, you will be invited to create a profile and customize your own personal schedule! We'll send out invites to the app soon.
Institute 2020 Thought Leaders
Heather T. Forbes, LCSW (@HeatherTForbes) will open our conference on Wednesday with her presentation, “The Trauma-Informed School.” Heather is the owner of the Beyond Consequences Institute and author of numerous books on the topic of working with children impacted by trauma. Heather’s presentation bridges the gap between academic research and “when the rubber hits the road” classroom situations, giving school leaders and their staff the understanding and tools they need for even the most challenging of students.
Heather was recently featured on our podcast! Click here to listen to her philosophy around working with children impacted by trauma.
Thursday Afternoon Keynote
Larry Thompson, M.Ed. (@RCDGivemFive) bats second at our Institute Keynote Doubleheader on Thursday afternoon with his talk, “Building a Responsibility-Centered School Culture.” The RCD model was developed to help schools break free from the traditional "obedience model," to train educators and school leaders how to respond to disruptive and spiraling situations, and to empower students to take responsibility for their own actions. RCD provides real skills that school leaders can start using immediately. Author of Roadmap to Responsibility and founder of the RCD model, Larry has served in a wide variety of roles in education – from special education teacher to school principal.
Episode with Larry Thompson coming soon to the MESPA PrincipalCast!
Thursday Morning Keynote
Ken Williams (@unfoldthesoul) will kick off Institute’s Keynote Doubleheader Thursday morning with “Starting a Movement in a PLC: Building Culture from the Inside-Out,” based on his bestselling book of the same name written with Tom Hierck. This talk will focus on how to move from “doing PLC” to “becoming a PLC” by creating a culture of collective responsibility. Ken is the chief visionary officer of Unfold the Soul, an organization dedicated to helping schools both live their posters, and engage in practices that make equity actionable.
Catch Ken's episode on our podcast! Click here to listen to his episode about school leadership, equity, and how to design an effective PLC.
Beth Houf (@BethHouf) & Shelley Burgess (@burgess_shelley) will close our conference Friday morning with “Lead Like a PIRATE: Transform Culture and Build Schools Where Students & Staff Run to Get IN, not OUT.” Participants will learn dynamic strategies to dramatically transform culture and build schools where students and staff run to get in, not out. Leaders will walk away from this session with strategies and a coaching model they can implement tomorrow! Award-winning principals and school leaders, Beth and Shelley are also the co-authors of Lead Like a PIRATE: Make School Amazing for Your Students and Staff.
Click here to listen to Episode 11 of the MESPA PrincipalCast to hear Beth and Shelley talk about how to build culture and support your staff!
Add a Pre-Conference session with Dr. Clay Cook!
Enhance your learning and attend our pre-conference session with Dr. Clay Cook: Effective Intervention Programming from Beginning to End for Students with Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Problems, Wednesday morning, 9:30-11:00am. Add this session to your Institute registration for just $25! 1 additional CEU will be distributed.
Dr. Clay Cook is the John and Nancy Peyton Faculty Fellow in Child and Adolescent Wellbeing at the University of MN and Associate Professor in the School Psychology Program. He has extensive research and practical experiences involving the implementation of multi-tiered systems of support to promote children’s mental and behavioral health.
Breakout sessions announced!
Click here to view the full schedule on our event app! Our 40+ breakout sessions are rooted in educational equity, mental health & student behavior supports, innovation, and leadership development and are designed with YOU in mind. Attend great sessions like:
Plan your learning at the Unconference!
An Unconference is your chance to plan YOUR learning! In this organic, participant-driven process, we build our Unconference sessions AT the conference based on YOUR needs and YOUR ideas.
HELP US BRAINSTORM AHEAD OF TIME! Click here to add your ideas and suggestions to the new Unconference Padlet!
Never attended an Unconference or an EdCamp? More info here.
Find your next great read at the Institute Book Fair!
You loved it so much, we're bringing it back! Join us for the Institute Book Fair on Wednesday and Thursday. Browse the latest and greatest in children's books, and do a little shopping for yourself by checking out their selection of books for school leaders! Provided in partnership with Scholastic Book Fairs.
You're invited to the 2020 MESPYs!
Join us for the 2020 MESPYs, the premier awards ceremony for elementary and middle-level principals in Minnesota, which takes place the evening of Thursday, Feb. 6 at Institute. Celebrate your colleagues, winners of the MN National Distinguished Principal, MN National Outstanding Assistant Principal, STEM Innovation, MN School of Excellence, Division Leadership Achievement, and Blue Ribbon awards! This exclusive event is included FREE with your Institute MESPA member registration (at $375/425)!
This year, the MESPYs will begin at 5:00pm and wrap up by 6:30pm. Heavy hors d'oeuvres and dessert will be provided. A cash bar is also available.
MESPA Speaks Lineup Announced!
MESPA Speaks returns for its fifth year of inspiring and motivating stories from MESPA members. On Friday, Feb 7, you'll hear personal, heartfelt stories that will be sure to amaze you! Visit mespa.net/mespaspeaks to check out all of our previous performances. In 2020, watch 5 principals share their passions on the MESPA Speaks Stage.
This year's lineup:
Principal Sarabeth deNeui in her 2017 talk, "Leadership through an Equity Lens."
Don't forget about the Annual Meeting!
All MESPA members are welcome to attend our Annual Meeting at Institute on Friday, February 7, 2020, from 7:30-8:30 a.m in the grand ballroom of the Bloomington DoubleTree. The meeting will include a financial report, adoption of the 2020 Legislative Priorities, and a legal and legislative update from Roger Aronson. No need to RSVP, just show up!
Exhibits are a vital part of our Institute experience and conference atmosphere. If you or someone you know wants to market materials and services exclusively to 425+ Minnesota elementary and middle level principals and school decision makers, MESPA's annual conference is the place to do it! We have reached our maximum booth capacity for 2020. General information for exhibitors is linked here.
In the words of Principal Lisa Carlson of Woodland Elementary in Eagan: "If you're not at Institute, principals simply don't know that you exist!"
Recommend an exhibitor!
Are you using an amazing educational product or service you think more principals should know about? Do you work with an awesome company/organization and or vendor who you think should be connecting with over 400 Minnesota principals and other educational leaders at Institute? Recommend them here! We appreciate all recommendations, throughout the year, and will follow up with your contact to make sure they know about the value of MESPA Institute Exhibits and have registration information.
Save the Date for Institute 2021!!
Institute 2021: February 3-5, 2021
Recommend a Keynote Speaker!Have you seen a keynote speaker recently that you really loved? Is there someone out there you've been dying to hear? Know of someone who would a perfect fit for Institute? Recommend them here! Any time of year, your recommendation is welcome and much appreciated.
Institute 2019 was a hit!
Thanks to our 2019 exhibitors!
Our exhibitors made our conference a huge success! You can still check out our list of exhibitors and get in touch for great resources, products, and FUN for your school!