It’s hard to believe that we would normally have been in Traverse City for EdCon this past week. MASSP’s biggest event of the year, EdCon – our annual conference, is something that the membership has come to look forward to. It is the time of the year when you can start to breathe easier as you head up I-75 to the Grand Traverse Resort. You can count on networking and connecting with your colleagues from all over the state, learn about the latest and greatest programs and resources and grab some alone time to reconnect with your spouse and/or your family. I hope that you will be able to carve out this time for yourself, even if it isn’t possible for all of us to be together for EdCon this year.

Connected to EdCon every year are two very important meetings for the MASSP Board of Directors. The first meeting would be conducted by the 2019-20 President, Jennifer Bustard and the second meeting would be conducted by the 2020-21 President, Andy Kowalczyk. The night between these meetings we hold a Transition Dinner to recognize the accomplishments of the outgoing President and that of the Board and MASSP staff. It is also a time for the President-Elect to formally accept the position of President and to share some thoughts about their vision for the Association in the year to come. These Board meetings and the Transition Dinner have been a long-standing tradition, and this is the first year anyone can remember when it has not taken place. As a Board we are not exempt from having a key event in our lives taken away by COVID-19.

Just as every high school in Michigan found a way to honor seniors differently this year, MASSP still believes these traditions and recognitions are important and we hope to hold an in-person Transition Dinner for the Board in October. To begin to recognize our change in leadership we shared social media posts announcing Andy Kowalczyk, the Assistant Principal at Bay City Central High School as President, Nina Davis, the Principal at L’Anse Creuse Middle School East as President-Elect and Jennifer Bustard, the Principal at Mona Shores High School as the immediate Past-President. These three amazing leaders now make up the Executive Board of the Association. We also recognized the leadership of Steve Carlson, the Principal at Sandusky Jr/Sr High School, who after serving on the MASSP Board of Directors for nine years will end his tenure on the Board. We are excited to announce that Steve Carlson has been selected to represent Midwestern states on the NASSP Board of Directors and will begin a four-year term at the national level. 

MASSP bylaws include a term limit for those who serve on the Board. Region and Commission positions can be held for (two) three-year terms and a member can potentially serve three additional years if they are elected President. We had two Region Representatives who reached their two-term limit – Region 8: Cory Mc Elmeel, the Principal at Skyline High School (Ann Arbor) and Region 12: Steve Hawley, the Principal at Lake Orion High School. We greatly appreciate their contributions and service on the Board. Region 8 will now be represented by Mike Kapolka, the Principal at Chelsea High School and the Region 12 seat has been filled by Lara Dixon, the Principal at Troy Athens High School. 

The leadership of the Board of Directors is always critical to the Association as they provide direction and guide decision making. During these uncertain times, the guidance of the Board is even more paramount as their concerns, needs and direction will shape the work of the MASSP staff. As a membership driven organization, we encourage you to work closely with your Region and Commission members on the Board. Board members are the “eyes and ears” of the field and they will ensure your voice is heard. 

To this end, we look forward to implementing some new communications this year which you will receive directly from the board representatives in your Region and Commission. It is difficult to fully understand the individual needs from specific areas of our state if we are not getting feedback regionally. The MASSP website has pages specifically dedicated to the Board of Directors and their function. If you are unsure of your Region and/or who the Assistant Principal and/or Middle Level Representatives are for your area, please consult the region map and the Board of Directors page. We are all here to serve.

Written by Wendy Zdeb, MASSP Executive Director