Annual Leadership Conference

Nov. 1 – 4, 2018
Amway Grand Hotel and DeVos Place, Grand Rapids

Building a Better Michigan

  • Dozens of Sessions.
  • Hundreds of Attendees.
  • Countless Opportunities.

We need YOU to help us Build a Better Michigan. Meet us in Grand Rapids for MASB's 2018 Annual Leadership Conference!

Download the Registration Form Here

Schedule Outline

Preconference (Nov. 1)

Download Detailed Schedule PDF

Michigan Council of School Attorneys Fall Conference
Thursday, Nov. 1, 8 – 11 a.m. and Noon – 3 p.m.

The 2018 edition of the MCSA Fall Conference includes two preconference sessions for MASB’s Annual Leadership Conference that will focus on the legal issues currently confronting school officials. Whether you are a board member, school administrator or an attorney, the sessions are designed for you if you are interested in cutting-edge legal issues that impact school districts.

8 – 11 a.m.

Education Records and Student Data: Confidentiality Requirements and Best Practices

The legal issues regarding the privacy of student data and education records continue to evolve due to new guidance issued by the federal government and additional requirements passed by the Michigan Legislature.

Student Discipline: Process, Process, Process

Discussion will cover what due process and Michigan law requires and legal pitfalls to avoid when a school board conducts a student discipline hearing or appeal.

School Safety Panel Discussion: Legal Issues and Liability

A panel of school attorneys will discuss multiple topics relating to school safety, including new laws or pending legislation, legal concerns associated with safety initiatives and liability issues.

Noon – 3 p.m.

Tenure Act Update: Layoffs, Recalls and Other Personnel Decisions

Recent court decisions have provided new interpretations on the legal rights that tenured teachers have in regard to layoffs and recalls based on their evaluation outcomes.

School Law Update and Q & A Panel

School law experts will share a short update on special education, employment law and other areas that they specialize in while also answering all of your legal questions.

Identifying and Managing Board Member Conflicts of Interest

This session will cover conflict of interest laws that apply to school board members and will provide guidance on identifying potential conflicts of interest and what steps are necessary to navigate the situation.

Topical Workshops
Thursday, Nov. 1, 8 – 11 a.m.
Helping Students Overcome Adverse Childhood Experiences
Alison Arnold, Ed.D., Director, Interdisciplinary Center for Community Health & Wellness, Central Michigan University, College of Medicine and Susan Ludlum, Director of Special Services, Van Dyke Public Schools

Simply put, childhood experiences have a tremendous, lifelong impact on our health, ability to learn and the quality of our lives. The ACE Study showed dramatic links between adverse childhood experiences and risky behavior, psychological issues, serious illness and the leading causes of death. This session will explore how trauma related to adverse childhood experiences affects children and what communities and schools can do to foster resilience that will lead to better lifelong outcomes for our students.

Thursday, Nov. 1, Noon – 3 p.m.
Supporting a Blueprint: How School Boards Lead Systemic Reconfiguration
Grant Chandler, Ph.D., Executive Director at MI Excel Statewide Field Team, Calhoun Intermediate School District

In the last several years, more than 100 school districts have been disrupting the status quo and embracing systemic reconfiguration to dramatically increase student, teacher and leader performance in a short amount of time. The Blueprint for Systemic Reconfiguration provides a road map and the tools needed for district leaders to enhance or build district systems to better support teaching and learning. This significant work must be led by courageous superintendents and school boards who recognize how disrupting the way it's always been done can lead to powerful changes in how they support leaders, teachers, students, and families. How does the board lead this work? What must they understand to successfully support their leaders in this work? How do boards assist with this level of change? This session will provide an overview of the Blueprint for Systemic Reconfiguration and will focus on the differences between a traditional and Blueprint district and, ultimately, a traditional and Blueprint board.

Conference (Nov. 2 and 3)

Keynote Speakers
Friday, Nov. 2, 8 – 9:15 a.m.
Is Your School District Better Because You Lead It?
Principal Baruti Kafele—Internationally renowned education speaker

Book signing: Yes
Books published: Is Your School Better Because You Lead It? (to be released in November 2018); The Teacher 50: Critical Questions for Inspiring Classroom Excellence; The Principal 50: Critical Leadership Questions for Inspiring Schoolwide Excellence

A self-reflective journey that will force participants to view with a critical eye who they are as leaders in their districts including the intentionality behind all aspects of their practice. Participants will be challenged to look within themselves for deeper meaning of their own personal worth and value to the schools and educators they lead.

Friday, Nov. 2, 3:30 - 5:15 p.m.
School Board Rap

Year after year, school board trustees report that sharing ideas and best practices with trustees from around the state are what they value most about the Annual Leadership Conference. This engaging session will deliver that and more! While modeling a protocol that is often used by educators in their communities of practice, we’ll work together in teams to explore and idea share about a few of our most vexing school board issues. Check your badge for your team assignment and join the fun!

Jay Bennett, M.Ed., Leadership Services Manager, MASB
MacKenzie Feldpausch, M.A., Learning Manager, MASB
Donna Oser, CAE, Director of Leadership Development and Executive Search Services, MASB
Debbie Stair, M.N.M.L., Assistant Director of Leadership Development, MASB

Saturday, Nov. 3, 7:45 – 9:30 a.m.
Governance That Supports Student Literacy
Nell K. Duke, Ed.D., Professor, Literacy, Language and Culture, Department of Education, University of Michigan

There are so many ways that literacy development can go wrong—or right—for young children. In this presentation, Duke discusses specific actions that school boards can take, from supporting professional development to fostering support in the community, to make literacy “go right” for more of Michigan’s children.

Saturday, Nov, 3, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
MASB Legislative Update
Jennifer Smith—MASB Director of Government Relations and Mitch Albers—MASB Assistant Director of Government Relations

Get the latest scoop about legislative activities, proposed bills, and what’s happening in Lansing and Washington, D.C. from the MASB Government Relations staff.

Saturday, Nov. 3, 3:15 – 4:30 p.m.
Lead Like a Pirate: Dynamic Strategies for Transforming School Culture
Shelley Burgess—Award-winning teacher, principal and renowned author

Book signing: Yes
Books published: Lead Like a Pirate: Make Your School Amazing for Your Students and Staff; P is for Pirate: ABCs for Educators

Pirate leaders seek the greatest of all treasures—amazing schools, engaged students and empowered educators who know they’re making a difference. In this thought-provoking session, educator and author Shelly Burgess will help us explore what it takes to be a pirate leader and dramatically transform culture. Join us as we chart the course to create schools where students and staff are knocking down the doors to get in rather than out.

Featured Clinic Sessions (a sampling of the 40+ offered):

  • Ethics and Fraud Prevention in School Districts
  • Information Overload—How to Keep Track of it All
  • Active Shooter/Intruder Response: Giving Your Schools the Tools to Prevail
  • Rallying Your District for Change
  • Raise Your Voice—Advocate for Public Schools
  • Social Media Policies: Key Elements and Enforcement

Postconference (Nov. 4)

MASB Annual Leadership Conference

Registration Policy

Coordinate all registrations through your district office. One registration form per participant. Registrations are appreciated at least seven days before an event. Classes are filled in the order that completed registrations are received at MASB. You’ll receive an email confirming your registration. MASB reserves the right to CANCEL any classes.

Programming canceled by MASB may be rescheduled or delivered via electronic means due to weather or those who cancel due to health/safety-related concerns.

Confirmations are generated upon receipt of your registration by MASB. If you don’t receive a confirmation within five business days, please contact Mary McCarthy at

Registration and attendance at, or participation in MASB’s conferences, Board Member Certification Classes and other activities constitutes an agreement by the registrant to MASB’s use and distribution of the attendee’s image or voice in photographs, videos, electronic reproduction and audio of such events.

Guest and Meal Policies

MASB makes every effort to keep costs for programs and services as reasonable as possible for members. To help with that effort, and out of respect for all of our registered attendees, we ask that you please understand the following:

  • All meal functions are for registered attendees ONLY
  • All registered attendees should have their conference name badge on during all scheduled functions
  • Meals provided by MASB are to be consumed in the designated meeting space identified for that portion of the programming
  • Food and beverage items are not permitted to leave the meal function room unless already agreed upon by MASB staff
  • Guests are required to be preregistered by a Conference Registrant in order to participate in conference programming and meal events
  • A guest is defined as a spouse, significant other, family member or friend of a Conference Registrant
  • School board members and school district staff are not eligible to register as “guests”
  • Guests are not eligible for education credit or SCECHs
  • Guests will receive and MUST wear their conference badge at all times while attending conference events.

Cancellation Policy

No refunds will be given for cancellations received within seven days of the event. Cancellations prior to this date will be charged a $25 cancellation fee. Substitutions may be made in lieu of cancellation. All cancellations must be in writing. Walk-ins accepted on a per space availability.

Special Accommodations

Registrations requiring special accommodations and specific dietary considerations should contact Angel Davis at 517.327.5926 or at least seven days prior to the class/event you plan to attend.