Event Details

MESPA Institute 2019

  • 06 Feb 2019
  • 11:00 AM
  • 08 Feb 2019
  • 12:00 PM
  • DoubleTree by Hilton Bloomington, 7800 Normandale Blvd, Minneapolis, MN 55439


(depends on selected options)

Base fee:
  • The standard registration rate increases after 1/18/19
  • To keep it affordable, this registration does NOT include meals. Register for the option WITH meals to include them!
  • This registration DOES include meals. To register without meals ($75) choose the option without meals.
  • This registration does NOT include meals.
  • For members of MASSP who choose to attend Institute! Use the shared promo code or contact MESPA @ 651.999.7310!
  • This covers one day at MESPA Institute & meals. You can indicate which day you prefer next.


Surround yourself with 450+ principal colleagues, innovation, collaboration, and learning @ Institute 2019! 

This three-day conference includes...

  • 40+ breakout & Unconference sessions rooted in equity, innovation, and leadership development
  • Short, impactful MESPA Speaks presentations by your very own MESPA colleagues
  • The return of our Makerspace Showcase - a hands-on display area filled with makerspaces from Minnesota schools 
  • A member-led Unconference - learn from your peers and consider leading a session
  • 80+ education-based exhibits featuring non-profits, curriculum, supplies, field trips, technology, and more!

PLUS keynotes by Todd Nesloney, Dr. Clay Cook, and a brand new Friday program with 6 all-star school leaders!

Click here to view the full Institute schedule!


Principal Todd Nesloney (@techninjatoddauthor of Kids Deserve It, will open our conference on Wednesday with "Building a Powerful School Culture." Todd is the Principal/Lead Learner at a PreK-5 school in TX. Todd has been recognized by the White House as a Connected Educator "Champion of Change", the National School Board Association as one of the "20 to Watch" in Education, and by the BAMMYs as the "National Elementary Principal of the Year" among many other accolades. Todd is extremely passionate about education and innovation. He took over a struggling campus, brought in a brand new staff, and used creative ideas to completely transform his school's culture. Todd also co-hosts two iTunes Top Rated podcast series called "Sparks in the Dark" with Travis Crowder and "Kids Deserve It" with Adam Welcome.

Dr. Clay Cook (@ClayCook_phd) will kick us off on Thursday morning with "Going Beyond Why Awareness of Trauma is Important: Focusing on the What and How of Integrating Trauma-Informed Practices." In this session, we will go beyond the awareness that trauma negatively impacts student development and functioning and go deeper: we'll dive in to what schools can do to integrate trauma-informed practices and procedures into their school. Dr. Cook is the John and Nancy Peyton Faculty Fellow in Child and Adolescent Wellbeing at the University of Minnesota in the School Psychology Program. Clay has extensive research and practical experiences involving the implementation of multi-tiered systems of support to promote children's mental and behavioral health. In addition to his research, he consults with school systems throughout the US to integrate a continuum of social, emotional, and behavioral supports to enhance student academic and life success.

And what better way to end the conference than the keynote to end all keynotes? Join us for this brand new collaborative, interactive, JOINT KEYNOTE featuring 6 incredible school principals from around the country: Jessica Cabeen, Jimmy Casas, Linda Cliatt-Wayman, Brad Gustafson, Salome Thomas-El, and Joe Sanfellipo!

Register by January 18, 2019 to save $50!

PLUS, don't miss our Pre-Conference Session add-ons - Sign up within registration!

This year, we are offering TWO pre-conference sessions from exceptional educational leaders in MN. Enhance your learning and add it to your Institute registration for just $20! Pre-Conference sessions will run 10-11:30am ahead of the conference kickoff (11:45am) on Wednesday, February 6th! 

#1 - Hacking Early Learning: Working together to create the foundation for PreK-3rd grade learning by leading.

Wondering how to better align the learning in the early years with other grades? Wanting to make meaningful connections with families before they even enroll in your school? Ready to take the next steps to ensuring alignment of play is embedded in authentic learning experiences? Jessica Cabeen, 2017 MN NAESP National Distinguished Principal, will offer ideas and take aways school leaders can use tomorrow that will amplify the early learning experience and give leaders grounding steps to take their own knowledge of these critical years to the next level. Registrants will receive a copy of Hacking Early Learning at the session! 1 additional CEU will be granted.

#2 - Supporting Social-Emotional Learning Through Literacy 

Presented by 2018 National Distinguished Principal Curtis Slater and a team of principals, this pre-conference session will focus on useful tools for integrating social-emotional learning into literacy in your school! Schools are an excellent setting through which to promote mental health and well-being, and educators are well-positioned to provide related instruction and support in our schools. However, educators often report that they lack the knowledge, skills, and confidence to deliver social-emotional learning instruction and to support students who struggle with mental health challenges. At this pre-conference session, we are going to share strategies that are working around the state and work together to collaborate around how literacy can help support social-emotional learning for your students, staff, and families. Free books and resources will be provided by Scholastic, and 1 additional CEU will be granted to participants. 

Plan your learning at the Unconference!
The 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. Start planning today! Suggest ideas or even plan to lead a session by going to our brainstorming page here!

Get ready for goosebumps @ MESPA Speaks!

MESPA Speaks returns for its third year of inspiring and motivating stories. On Friday, Feb 8, 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.

Hotel information
This conference is located at the DoubleTree in Bloomington, MN. A block of rooms has been reserved at the reduced rate of $142/night at the MESPA rate. Click here to reserve your room or call 952.835.7800. Book your room by January 18th to guarantee the MESPA rate!

For more information on this exciting conference, visit www.mespa.net/institute.

Event Cancellation Policy 

A completed online registration constitutes a bill and a commitment to pay for a full seminar payment. Due to MESPA's incurred costs (i.e. materials, meals, speaking fees, etc.) please know that unfortunately, we are unable to grant refunds within two weeks of the event's start date. Prior to the two-week mark, we are able to issue a refund, less a $50 processing fee.

For Institute Exhibit registrations, please see the Cancellation Policy at mespa.net/exhibit.

Hotel Accommodations

Attending a professional development event in the Twin Cities? Consider booking at the Radisson Hotel in Roseville. For reservations, call 651.636.4567 and ask for the MESPA rate - $113 a night! 

Institute 2019 Accommodations

Reserve your hotel room for Institute at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Bloomington under the MESPA block by January 19, 2019 by clicking here or calling 952.835.7800 and asking for the MESPA rate - $142/night. 

MESPA is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization

1667 Snelling Avenue North, Suite C101
St. Paul, Minnesota, 55108

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