I always leave EdCon feeling like I’ve learned quite a bit and more importantly that I was able to connect with MASSP members from all over the State. This year’s conference didn’t disappoint!  We had a record number of attendees with 463 building, district and ISD leaders connecting at the Grand Traverse Resort.  There were many highlights but I’m going to pull together a few key learnings…

Opening Keynote- Jimmy Casas

Jimmy’s recently released book, Culturize, was the focus of his keynote.  He emphasized the fact that every member of the school community is responsible for a buildings culture- not just the school leader.  Relationships are also a critical part of building a student-centered community focused on compassion, empathy, and responsibility.  Jimmy is a high energy speaker who’s message connected well with the audience and he provided much food for thought and a lot of social media posts:

Jimmy Casas

Sooo many awesome breakouts!

Breakouts led by colleagues who share their knowledge and skill are always popular.  This year we had some great team presentations- A panel discussion with Middle School Principals sharing schedule options and ideas, A panel of current Superintendents talking about the pros and cons of leaving the Principalship for a Superintendency and Ann Arbor Pioneer provided a breakout on the Principal’s Role in Implementing Interventions.


The MASSP Staff always provides expertise on a variety of topics during the breakout sessions! There was a lot of energy in Ryan Cayce’s Tech Tools and in Steve Seward’s breakout on Coaching.

Staff Breakouts

MDE provided a breakout on Michigan Merit Curriculum Flexibility that generated a lot of positive buzz!  Thank you to Ruth Ann Hodges for your willingness to answer the multitude of questions posed by participants.


Day 2’s Keynote- Dr. Bryan Pearlman- “I’m Sad, Mad and Traumatized and You Still Expect Me to Learn”

Student mental health concerns have been at the top of every principal’s list of worries.  As a principal turned mental health professional Dr. Pearlman brings a unique perspective and understanding that MASSP members really related to and appreciated.  Dr. P shared MANY great resources and provided context by story-telling.

Bryan Pearlman

If you haven’t attended #EdCon in the past- mark your calendar for #EdCon20.  It really is an amazing opportunity to learn, connect, network and get energized with great ideas for the next school year.  


Written by Wendy Zdeb, MASSP Executive Director