Our office has moved:
2 Pine Tree Drive, Suite 380
Arden Hills, MN 55112
New Phone: 612-361-1510
New Fax: 612-361-6340
As we draw closer to the best holiday gift ever, time with family and friends, I want to review the gifts you have given me in 2018.
The gift of your commitment to student leadership. In an educational era of test, test, test you have given your students the timeless skill of leadership. Long after they have forgotten the significance of Jacksonian Democracy (I was an American History teacher so I can use this example) your students will be demonstrating the positive leadership in their communities. You played a significant role in that occurrence that you will most likely never see. Believe me, it will happen because of the opportunities you provided during their school years.
The gift of your time. Whether it is a weekend away from your family attending one of MAHS/MASC conferences, service event with your students, or the dance on Friday night, it is time. And time cannot be recaptured at any price. So, I want to thank you for the irreplaceable gift of your time.
The gift of your understanding. Since I have gone to written evaluations instead of the diabolical “Survey Monkey” I am impressed with your commitment to making our programs better. Your suggestions are always positive and productive. You understand from your own experiences as an advisor there is no such thing as a perfect event, but we can strive to be better. The Fall Forum is an excellent example of your understanding of how to make things better. In response to your suggestions, we moved the lunch on the Monday of the Forum back to the dinner on Sunday night. This allowed the four hundred plus participants to return to their schools on Monday for afternoon and evening events. You gave the gift of understanding and input.
Finally, the gift of friendship. As I get older, the Rolodex in my brain is overflowing with names. In the article I have attached to this letter, it talks about the importance of names. In my classes, I would try to have names learned by the second week. When I run into a student I had in the mid-seventies, I search for their name, sometimes vainly. When I see you once or twice a year, I sometimes do not immediately remember your name. This does not mean I do not value your friendship. We share a common vision of the importance of our respective positions that not everyone understands. That bond is treasured and I thank you for it.
I have attached an article entitled “Tips for Becoming an Empathetic Teacher.” It is from a group I met at a recent conference. Their website is http://www.yournameyourstory.org/ It has the bar set high but a goal that is worthy. You can see where my last gift originated.
Please use your break as a time for restoration. My wife reminds me that the “To Do” list sometimes makes this a challenging time. Don’t let that list take away your appreciation for the holiday. These experiences are finite.
The new year will bring information on our state convention in Owatonna and Medford and our nationals trip to Washington DC and Pittsburgh. Take the time to open our emails so you and your leaders have information on upcoming opportunities. Scholarship applications are on masc-mahs.org and due January 25th.
Happy Holidays and New Year!
Coordinator of Student Activities
That means it is time for the Thanksgiving letter from MAHS/MASC. Our organization has a lot to be thankful for this year. In September I met with over 40 new advisors. The future of our organization is secure if we can help make their advisor experiences positive. Their questions showed an early insight on what it takes to be a successful advisor.
Another mixed thankfulness I have is my retirement from 45 years at Orono High School. I have to admit there is not a day I do not miss the energy of high school. Grace and Jarrett, Orono’s current advisors, will verify that I seem to find my way back to OHS at least once a week. However, my new freedom has allowed me to travel to division meetings at Hennepin/Eastern, Southeast, Capital, Northwest, Central, and on December 5th Western. These road trips have allowed me to visit students and advisors who are old friends and to meet new students and advisors. Sometimes I am a presenter and other times I just drop in to say hello and answer questions. I am most thankful that I can use these contacts to discuss the issues that advisors and students are facing in their schools.
I am very thankful for the awesome response at the MAHS/MASC Leadership Forum and Advisor Workshop. I have attached the evaluation results. We still have room to improve but many said it was the best Forum ever. MAHS/MASC will return to Cragun’s next year and follow the same evening dinner/morning breakfast format.
I am thankful to Owatonna/Medford for hosting the 2019 MAHS/MASC State Leadership Convention on April 6-8 “Welcome to the Jungle.” These veteran advisors and councils have already started planning a convention that will be memorable and informative. They are assisted by an outstanding MAHS/MASC Executive Committee.
Finally I am thankful for the MASSP staff. Renee, Patti, Natalie, and Dave give me the support to promote MAHS/MASC. They send out your CEU’s, record your memberships, credit your accounts, and watch my back. The last job is their toughest. Dave Adney, MASSP Executive Director, promotes our programs whenever he meets with principals across the state. I have mentioned Jerome Johannes (MASC State Advisor) and Karrie Fredrickson (MAHS State Advisor) in this email. They help with every conference in every way. Their consistent question is “What can I do to help?”
One last request-if you have not paid your MAHS/MASC memberships for 2018-2019, please request that check. The membership opens many doors for you and your students. I am sending a link to the legal powerpoint that was presented at the MAHS/MASC Advisor Workshop held during the Fourm and the MAHS/MASC New Advisors Workshop. It makes for interesting reading.
Have a relaxing Thanksgiving break.
Coordinator of Student Activities
That probably means Homecoming is over and you are moving on to the next project and event. Take time to evaluate, record your impressions, and pass them onto the 2019-2020 council and chapter. Your leadership only gets better by looking backward and moving forward.
Looking forward! The Fall Forum will be held at last year’s popular destination-Cragun’s Resort on November 4/5. The evaluations were overwhelmingly positive. Delegates loved the fireplaces, the pool, the dance, and most importantly, the actual conference. Read the schedule carefully. The executive committee, based on last years input from you, has moved registration up to 3 pm. Dinner (in Plainview, my home town, it was supper) will be included in your registration on Sunday night. Breakfast will be included on Monday morning and the conference will end before lunch. Many delegates and advisors had to leave before lunch last year so we made the schedule adjustment.
Our workshop presenter this year is Kyle Willcom. Check out his website kylewillcom.com. He is an amazing speaker and workshop presenter. You may have noticed twitter has become a huge political factor. We are bringing in a social media safety expert, Kent Mollberg, to give you some direction in your social media use. I have had many former students come back and tell me how potential employers scoured their sites. You have heard the warning that nothing every completely disappears from the net. It is true. Kent will give us the most up to date information on this issue.
Of course there will be a dance on Sunday night. For those of you that attended nationals, you will remember the success of the karaoke experience. We will be bringing that back. The large indoor pool is also an option. Finally you can just network with students from around the state.
The cost this year is $50 for advisors and students. Housing forms are on the website. Some councils opted to take advantage of the large cabins that were offered as a housing choice. The housing deadline is October 23 and the registration deadline is October 26. I hope you can find your way “up north” and take advantage of this leadership opportunity.
Coordinator of Student Activities
On September 18th I met the future of MAHS/MASC at the MAHS/MASC New Advisors Workshop held at the TIES building in St. Paul. Minnesota students will have a great group of advisors to help them on their leadership journey. Jerome Johannes, State Student Council Advisor, Karrie Fredrickson, State Honor Society Advisor, and Sue Brenden, retired Sauk Rapids/Rice advisor played vital roles in the workshop.
The forty advisors were evenly divided between MAHS and MASC. I have included a link to a video titled “Let X=Student Activities.” This was produced by the Alliance for Student Activities and was requested by many of the advisors. The video confirms what we already know but sometimes school boards and administrators forget-student council and honor society play a key role in a student’s academic success. Click here to watch the video.
The MAHS/MASC Executive Committee met in Medford on September 9/10. Medford and Owatonna are co-hosting the MAHS/MASC State Leadership Convention on April 6-8. A main topic of the meeting was the state service project. MAHS/MASC has had two very successful years supporting Make-A-Wish and Food for Kidz. This year the executive committee has selected Special Olympics and Unified Sports as their service project. Each school will have complete flexibility on ways to support these two worthy organizations. Students can gain service hours and raise money for their local organizations. We will have a representative from Special Olympics at the MAHS/MASC Leadership Forum at Craguns Resort in November. There is a great picture of the executive committee on our website www.masc-mahs.org.
As soon as your division sets their fall meeting dates, let me know. As of today I will be travelling to Capital Division on October 22, Southeast Division on November 9, Hennepin/Eastern Division on November 12, and Northwest Division on November 14. The new advisors also requested information on the division meetings. I would like to include the division advisors information on the website. The website already includes a division map (by counties) and division presidents. Most of the new advisors had questions on how to get involved on the division level.
Registration is now open for the MAHS/MASC Leadership Forum and MAHS/MASC Advisory Workshop on November 4/5. The cost is $50 for advisors and students. We are starting earlier on Sunday and finishing by 11 am on Monday. The registration includes dinner (supper at the Erickson household) and breakfast. I am excited to have Kyle Willcom as our workshop presenter. Kyle is an outstanding speaker. Students and advisors will both love his presentation. He has just recently moved from Nashville to Minneapolis. Kent Mollberg will present his Internet Safety message to both students and advisors. Kent comes highly recommended after presenting to schools around the state. Finally, we are going to offer advisor roundtables. I am asking for advisors to share their “best practices” with their colleagues. Presenters will get a chance to win a free registration to next year’s MAHS/MASC Advisor Workshop.
Finally, my new schedule allows me to visit your school. However, I can help your council or chapter, I am available.
Coordinator of Student Activities
Yes, this is my last email of the year. I am sure most of you are consumed with proms, election, honor society inductions, and, of course, teaching. I just want to make sure as we go into summer, you have all the necessary information about the upcoming year.
I want to congratulate ACGC on hosting a fantastic MAHS/MASC State Leadership Convention. The perfect convention has never been held in the history of all conventions since the beginning of time. The MAHS/MASC executive committee, the convention coordinators, and Shane approached that unreachable goal. If you have not had a chance to look over the evaluations I sent earlier, take some time to do so and you will share my gratitude for the good work that went into the convention.
The date and venue for next year’s MAHS/MASC State Leadership Convention has been changed. The convention will be held on April 6-8, 2019. Medford and Owatonna will be co-hosting with the activities occurring at Medford High School. Our earlier date for the convention conflicted with Palm Sunday. Our choice for an alternative date was the first weekend of the month or the last weekend of the month. With testing, sports, prom, and other events happening at the end of the month, the first weekend was the better choice. This will be a home stay convention with a hotel option for schools that need that choice.
I announced at the advisor business meeting I would not be teaching at Orono High School next year. I am not going to lie. It will be difficult to clean out the many storage areas I have tucked away in the last 45 years. However, this will open more opportunities in my position as coordinator of student activities. Starting on July 1 I will be available to visit your honor society or student council. I would like to attend every fall and/or division meeting in the state. If you need a last minute speaker or workshop presenter, I would love the opportunity (no cost.) Otherwise, I would like to just attend to connect with the students and advisors. I am thankful that the MASSP has given me the opportunity to reach every corner of the state. The MAHS/MASC has a few underrepresented areas where students have not been given the leadership training opportunities that some of us take for granted.
Our next three events are the MASC Middle Level Workshop on May 22 at the TIES Conference Center, the MAHS/MASC New Advisor Workshop at TIES Conference Center on September 18th and the MAHS/MASC Leadership Forum and Advisor Workshop at Cragun’s Resort on November 4 and 5.
I want to thank you for the great support our organization has received this past year. My hope is to grow the organization even more to reach as many students and advisors as possible. A big thanks to David Adney, MASSP Executive Director, the office staff of Renee, Natalie, and Patti, and my state advisors Jerome Johannes (MASC) and Karrie Fredrickson (MAHS.) As I bring my sixth year to a close, I am grateful for the collaborative effort of TEAM MAHS/MASC. I am sure you all have your summer plans set. Who knows what great adventures lay ahead. Please be safe and I am looking forward to seeing you in the fall.
“Every New Beginning is Some Other Beginnings End” – Semi-Sonic,
Coordinator of Student Activities
Welcome back! As I travelled through the halls of Orono High School on my first day back after the holiday break, it looked like an episode from “The Walking Dead.” I think a combination of the holiday sleep schedule and the sub-zero temps made the transition difficult. And the students did not look much better.
Here are some important dates to put on your calendar:
January 26 is the deadline for the MAHS, MASC, and Ardis Kyker scholarship applications. Please follow the directions carefully. Only one student from your school may be nominated for each scholarship. The applications are on the website. Your students should be sending in the applications as soon as possible. The application must be post marked by January 26.
This is a hotel stay for students and advisors. The hotels are located in Willmar. They are the Best Western Plus, the Holiday Inn Express and Suites, and the Country Inn and Suites (over flow hotel.) Reservation information is available as an attachment to this letter. We are setting the number of delegates for MASC at five plus state and division officers. MAHS has its own set of regulations. If numbers allow, we will open up more spots for students to attend.
March 8 is the due date for all the individual and school awards given at the MAHS/MASC state convention. All the award applications are on the website. This year the state student council advisor of the year award will be selected from the Division Advisor of the Year winners. The MAHS advisor of the year is selected from at large nominations.
March 16 is the registration deadline for the paperwork for the spring convention. Checks may be sent later.
April 7-9 The MAHS/MASC state convention held a ACGC High School.
NAWD is sponsoring a Spring Advisors’ Workshop in Grand Rapids, Michigan on April 20-22. I checked on flights to Grand Rapids on Delta. They are $176 round trip (flight DL898 Thursday and DL 898 Sunday). I know a number of advisors are planning to attend this conference including myself. Grand Rapids is beautiful in April (I think).
Finish strong and may the New Year bring many new great memories.
Thanks for all your support,
Coordinator of Student Activities
I am sure you are all starting to make plans for the much anticipated winter vacation. My break will be filled with our children and grandkids then an escape to warmer weather. Hopefully your travels will be filled with memories even if it is just “over the river and through the woods.”
The MAHS/MASC Executive Committee met on December 12th. They studied the MAHS/MASC Leadership Forum evaluations and recommended a return to Cragun’s Resort. The students overwhelming enjoyed Houston Kraft. The advisors appreciated the practical approach of Tom Heethuis. Next years’ dates are November 4 and 5. As mentioned earlier, we will go with an earlier start on Sunday, include the Sunday night dinner and Monday morning breakfast in the registration, and finish before lunch. This should take care of the issue of schools needing to leave before the conference ends. Thanks again for all you comments. It definitely shaped the way we plan MAHS/MASC events.
Check the MAHS/MASC website for scholarship information. Please note that your council or honor society should only nominate one person for each scholarship. Also, check the qualifications carefully. You must be a member of MASC, MAHS. or MASCA for specific scholarships. The student council and honor society awards are also up. I received a great question concerning what year does a council/honor society use when filling out the application. Allowing for flexibility, March of 2017 to March of 2018 makes the most sense. The March deadline for submissions makes this work.
I will be sending registration information for the NASC national conference at Wayzata High School in early January. Because the conference is in Minnesota, the cost per person will be significantly lower. That being said, the students want to have a national’s type experience. Students that are part of the Minnesota delegation will be staying in the conference hotel. There will be a two day pre-trip that we are planning with other states. The MAHS/MASC is very proud of Wayzata student council for undertaking this task. I hope we have a large Minnesota delegation to continue the tradition of “Minnesota Nice” on the national level.
Progress on the MAHS/MASC State Leadership Convention is moving forward. It will be held at ACGC High School. The theme is “Leadership-It’s Out of this World.” The theme recognizes the first “C” of ACGC. Cosmos is one of the three cities that make up the school district. The convention will be a hotel stay for students. We are excited to have Keith Hawkins to open Saturday’s general session. Jerrid Sebesta, the news personality, will be Sunday’s keynote. We will benefit from the ACGC hospitality on Saturday evening. Students will be attending community dinners while the advisors attend their awards banquet.
If you have not joined the MAHS or MASC please consider it. You will discover a great group of advisors who have a shared vision of student leadership. Your students will have opportunities for training and scholarships. Your school will benefit from the collaborative sharing that takes place every time we meet. I would love to come to your school and meet with your council or honor society. I know I would come away with the best of your best and hopefully I can add something to your organization.
In that spirit, I would like to share an article that should prompt an interesting discussion with your students. The Atlantic Monthly article states that since the advent of the smart phone most at risk behaviors amongst teen-agers has gone down… and the news is not all good. Here is the link.
Again, thanks for your continued support this past year. I enjoy every phone call I receive about Minnesota Honor Society and Student Council. The calls represent how much you care. Hopefully the holiday break will be a time of rest and regeneration.
Coordinator of Student Activities
If one were to roam the halls of Orono Senior High School, asking students how they feel about their principal, Mr. Benson, almost universally the response would be "Benson's the best!" I know that because before writing this I walked down Orono's halls asking that same question, and that was the almost unanimous answer. As evidenced by the prior informal polling, Mr. Benson is a principal who knows how to run a high school in which kids are happy to be. What makes Mr. Benson so outstanding, however, is his uncanny ability to make everybody in the walls of the school appreciated. Before class, one can catch Mr. Benson standing by the main entrance, greeting students with a warm smile and an open ear to suggestions and concerns. During lunch, Mr. Benson patrols the lunchroom, picking up trash and stray trays; going out of his way to do a job that isn't his just to make the lives of the staff and students a little better. In doing this and many more things, Mr. Benson displays that he takes his students and their ideas seriously. He is nothing short of an inspiring ally to the student body.
His work does not go unseen nor unappreciated by the student body; Mr. Benson sacrifices his time and effort in order to run an organizationally and academically stellar school with a culture that keeps kids excited about learning. While it's entirely apparent from test statistics and ratings that Mr. Benson has taken the school leaps and bounds forward academically, it cannot be reiterated enough how appreciated and valued Mr. Benson is by every member of the district; thank you, Mr. Benson. You're the best.
– Andy Baran
Mr. Toso does an extraordinary job as principal at Becker High School. If you walked into our school you would never be able to tell that it is only his first year at our school. He has done so much to get to know all the students. He makes it his responsibility to show up and participate in all of our student council meetings. This helps our council brainstorm new ideas as well as get immediate approval on our ideas. Mr. Toso’s motto is, “Work Hard, Be Nice, Make Good Decisions”. This is simple yet affective and a great reminder for students everyday. I appreciate how great of a job Mr. Toso has done with being involved with students and keeping our school a safe and friendly environment.
– Georgia Thom
Mr. Brekke is Lincoln Senior High School’s interim principal; Mr. Zutz, our principal last year, resigned to take a position at Digi-Key. This transition between principals has been hard especially because we lost an amazing friend and leader. However, Mr. Brekke is working hard to keep the same atmosphere and positive attitude that the school held last year.
Whenever I see Mr. Brekke, he is either in a meeting or on his way to one, but he never misses a chance to greet the students. Despite how busy he is, he always makes time to schedule visits with me to discuss the upcoming summit we are hosting. He encourages students and staff to work hard and engage in the activities.
– Kathryn Kruta