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July-August 2014

Volume 67, No. 1

School Board Leadership Matters Leadership & Partnership Student School Board Members

2014 Summer Seminar

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JulY 2014

4 ���������������� Independence Day (no meetings)

A u g u st 2 0 1 4

Divisions 4 5 6 32 35


STRAIGHT TALK Kirk Schneidawind, MSBA Executive Director P RESIDENT’S COLUMN Walter Hautala, MSBA President VENDOR DIRECTORY Pierre Productions & Promotions, Inc. Summer Seminar Preview MSBA Staff

Articles 8 12 16 22 26

School Board Leadership Matters Amber Northern and Dara Zeehandelaar

Are You Really Leading…   or Are You Just Out For A Walk? Dr. Alan R. Zimmerman

3 ���������������� MSBA Board of Directors’ Meeting 3 ���������������� MSBA Insurance Trust Meeting 3 ���������������� MSBA Summer Seminar Early Bird Workshops 3 ���������������� MSBA Officers’ Workshop 4 ���������������� MSBA Summer Seminar 4 ���������������� MSBA Phase I & II Combination 4 ���������������� MSBA Charter School Training 4 ���������������� Minnesota School District Liquid Asset Fund Plus Meeting 12 �������������� Primary Election Day (no meetings or activities 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.)

SEPTEMBER 2014 1 ���������������� Labor Day (no meetings) 2 ���������������� First Day School Can Be Held 26 �������������� Last Day for Submitting Legislative Resolutions 28–30 �������� MASA Fall Conference

OCTOBER 2014 2 ���������������� MSBA Insurance Trust Annual Meeting 10 �������������� MSBA Legislative Committee Meeting 13 �������������� Columbus Day Observed (optional holiday) 16–17 �������� Education Minnesota Conference 22–24 �������� Minnesota Association of Educational Office Professionals Conference 25 �������������� MSBA Charter School Training

Receiving Student Input at the Board Table Greg Abbott and Bruce Lombard Teaching Creativity Scott Wurdinger The New Local Optional Revenue –   How Will It Affect Your District?  Greg Crowe and Joel Sutter

The MSBA Journal thanks the students of Dover-Eyota Public Schools for sharing their art in this issue. COVER ART:

Kristine Hou

C O N T E N T S J u l y / A u g u st 2 0 1 4     V O LU M E 6 7 , N U M B E R 1


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Officers President: Walter Hautala, Mesabi East President-Elect: Kevin Donovan, Mahtomedi District Directors District 1: Kathy Green, Austin District 2: Jodi Sapp, Mankato Area District 3: Linden Olson, Worthington District 4: Betsy Anderson, Hopkins District 5: Missy Lee, Columbia Heights District 6: George Kimball, White Bear Lake Area District 7: Melissa Sauser, Farmington District 8: Carla Bates, Minneapolis District 9: Karen Kirschner, Mora District 10: Michael Domin, Crosby-Ironton District 11: Tim Riordan, Virginia District 12: Ann Long Voelkner, Bemidji Area District 13: Deborah Pauly, Jordan Staff Kirk Schneidawind: Executive Director Kelly Martell: Executive Assistant John Sylvester: Deputy Executive Director Tiffany Rodning: Deputy Executive Director Greg Abbott: Director of Communications Denise Dittrich: Associate Director of Governmental Relations Denise Drill: Director of Financial/MSBAIT Services Amy Fullenkamp-Taylor: Associate Director of Management Services Sandy Gundlach: Director of School Board Services Barb Hoffman: Administrative Assistant to Governmental Relations/Finance/Meeting Coordinator Sue Honetschlager: Administrative Assistant to Management, Legal and Policy Services/MSBAIT Donn Jenson: Director of Technology Bill Kautt: Associate Director of Management Services Grace Keliher: Director of Governmental Relations Katie Klanderud: Director of Board Development Gary Lee: Associate Director of Management Services Bruce Lombard: Associate Director of Communications Bob Lowe: Director of Management Services Cathy Miller: Director of Legal and Policy Services Sue Munsterman: Administrative Assistant to Board Development/Communications Sandi Ostermann: Administrative Assistant to Association Services and Finance/Receptionist Tim Roberts: Production Room Manager The MSBA Journal (USPS 352-220) is published bimonthly by the Minnesota School Boards Association, 1900 West Jefferson Avenue, St. Peter, Minnesota 56082. Telephone 507-934-2450. Call MSBA office for subscription rates. (Opinions expressed in the Journal are those of the writers and do not necessarily represent MSBA policy.)

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Quotes of Note captures some of the more interesting statements MSBA staff have read in local, state and national publications.

Early childhood education

Forest Lake Area referendum

“The research is so doggone clear. It’s so much harder to play catch-up once you get them into the system than it is to ensure they’re off to a good start.”

“A loss like this locks you in place for a time. We can’t be stuck in place. We need to keep moving forward. … I see how hard kids are working in school. I want our buildings, and what we do as parents, to match what the kids are trying to do. They’re preparing for something bigger. Our buildings should match that and encourage it.”

Minnesota Department of Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius on the push to expand early education opportunities in order to eliminate the state’s achievement gap

Kudos from Sen. Franken “Just the feel of the school and the feel of the kids, they seemed extremely engaged. That is to me always the number one piece of evidence that kids are learning, if they’re engaged.” U.S. Sen. Al Franken after touring I.J. Holton Intermediate School in Austin

State souring on four-day school week schedules “If we don’t get additional funding, I don’t know how we would be able to maintain what we have.” Pelican Rapids Superintendent Deb Wanek on the difficulty of her district switching from their current four-day school week schedule to a state-imposed five-day week

“We’d like to continue down that road (of four-day school weeks), unless we’re told otherwise. From what we’re seeing, it doesn’t seem to be very palatable to the Minnesota Department of Education.” Warroad Superintendent Craig Oftedahl

Forest Lake Area School Board Member Rob Rapheal reacting to voters rejecting the district’s $188 million facilities bond proposal on May 20

Pro and con: Waiver for National School Lunch Program “A temporary waiver would ease the burden on school meal programs, preventing more schools from dropping out of the National School Lunch Program altogether. …Forcing students to take a food they don’t want on their tray has led to increased program costs, plate waste, and a decline in student participation.” Via statements from the School Nutrition Association

“By allowing school districts to opt out of school nutrition standards, House Republicans are opening up the floodgates to let all the old junk food back into schools, while crowding out the fruits, vegetables, and whole grains that have been gaining ground in the program.” Center for Science in the Public Interest’s Margo Wootan

S traight Talk R :S

esearch shows chool board members CAN influence student achievement


For years, off-base critics have questioned the need for school boards – calling them “outdated” or ineffective and trying to substitute state-appointed administrators, illqualified mayors or some other governance system. However, the latest research shows that school boards focused on student achievement can have an impact on student success. When the Thomas Fordham Institute started its research project, the title was: “Does School Board Leadership Matter?” Their conclusion: A resounding yes.

Kirk Schneidawind MSBA Executive Director

As MSBA has long held true, a board member who seeks out learning opportunities can improve the board and student outcomes.

What did they learn? Here are a few findings: Trained board members make for effective school boards. School board members possess accurate information about their districts. Thanks to training offered by their state associations or the state, board members have accurate knowledge in school finance, teacher pay, collective bargaining and class size. As MSBA has long held true, a board member who seeks out learning opportunities can improve the board and student outcomes. Districts that are more successful academically have board members who assign high priority to improving student learning. Board members who are focused on setting academic goals are more likely to be in districts that beat the odds – with students performing better despite demographics and financial characteristics. The members do not do this by micromanaging, but by setting goals, and keeping administration focused on a learning environment where all children are challenged and can grow academically. Political moderates tend to be more informed than liberals or conservatives. Minnesota has long had a standard of nonpartisan effort toward improving student achievement. Helping kids succeed is not a liberal or a conservative issue – it is an issue all sides strive for. The Fordham

study finds fault with self-identified liberal members who may say collective bargaining is not a barrier to achievement, regardless of actual negotiated conditions. It also finds fault with self-identified conservative members who are more likely to say funding doesn’t matter in a district that may need additional funding. Another interesting conclusion is that former educators or people involved in K–12 education are less likely to have accurate knowledge of district conditions when it comes to finance, teacher pay and other areas. That diversity from non-K–12 members helps to look at issues objectively. At-large, on-cycle elections are associated with districts that beat the odds. When a school district covers a large area, it may seem wise to have representation from each area of the district. This study finds the opposite: Districts with at-large representation end up with board members who think of the school district as a whole and do what is best for the district overall, instead of what might be best for their slice of the school district. On-cycle election data also showed a 2.4 percent higher student achievement level for those districts, compared to off-cycle elections. The study also offers this advice for board members: 1. Hire well: You are mainly responsible for one leader – your superintendent. So spend the money and the time to hire the best person for the job. Hold principals and other administrative staff accountable for running your district effectively and efficiently. Board members help set the direction and goals for the school. You have to make your staff accountable for reaching those goals. 2. P  rovide oversight without micromanaging. Oversight is done by getting the training you need to ask the right questions. It’s also accomplished by setting the goals and letting the leader you hired set up the process to reach the goal. Your job is to monitor along the way, keeping your focus on student success. The study’s findings are something MSBA has long-known: Well-trained board members who work together and focus on student achievement can make a HUGE difference in student success.

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President’s Column The strongest leadership is


collective leadership

When people look back at history, they tend to emphasize the many strong leaders this country has had—from George Washington to Abraham Lincoln. But what can be missed is the reason most of these people were great leaders— they worked together with others, had an overall goal they believed in and had a mutual accountability with each other. That collective leadership is what propels people to success.

Walter Hautala MSBA President

Though the chair may lead the board, the chair is part of that collective leadership with a mutual accountability to each other and a laser focus on student achievement.

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It’s the same working on a school board. The board works together through collective leadership. It starts with everyone on the board aligning goals to the school district’s strategic plan. And though the chair may lead the board, the chair is part of that collective leadership with a mutual accountability to each other and a laser focus on student achievement. When General Henry Robert first came up with Robert’s Rules of Order, he didn’t envision the board chair to be the central power figure of a board. Robert pictured the chair as the board’s servant. The chair’s purpose was to help the collective leadership (the board) get its work done and stay on focus. The board chair isn’t there to push through his or her agenda. The chair works together through shared responsibility to get the board’s work completed. This collective leadership style is why I’m excited that MSBA is bringing Dr. Alan Zimmerman to our Summer Seminar this year to talk about the leadership experience and the partnership experience. His message resonates with me: A great leader brings out the best in the people working with him or her. It’s the board, tapping the strengths of each board member, that makes it great.

Imagine a board with seven Lone Rangers on it. Seven strong leaders with different goals and different ways to operate and a different process to get things done. It soon leads to frustration, infighting and a dysfunctional board. But when you have a six- or sevenmember board all working on student achievement, it makes a difference. The research bears it out. So how does a board develop a climate of collective leadership? It starts with leaders who collaborate with each other: A superintendent who is open with staff, faculty, principals and the community about getting the information needed to move students forward. It continues with a board that works with the superintendent and the community to address issues in the district. And it ends with leaders from across the district who are willing to partner with students, parents, faculty and people in their community to help their children succeed. A board willing to attend training, a board that works together across all political lines and social lines, and a board with a focus on student achievement CAN make a big difference. A board of this type adopts a style so it can empower people at all levels. It provides a focus so everyone can help move the district along. No one person has all the answers. So the more a board can tap the strengths of each member, and the more it can tap the resources of the community, the better off our kids will be.

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School Board Leadership Matters

Ashley Tiedemann

Amber Northern and Dara Zeehandelaar

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As researchers in an education-policy think tank, we usually focus our energies on where education policy originates – at the state and federal level. Yet policymakers housed in state and national governments are often far removed, physically and mentally, from the teachers, principals, and youngsters who labor diligently in our schools and districts daily. Let’s face it: When all is said and done, it’s up to local leaders to adopt and implement smart policies – and avoid the dumb ones! – in an effort to drive district success. Thus, attention must inevitably turn to the local school boards, presumably elected because voters believe they’re able to effectively balance student needs with community demands and state and federal mandates. Plus, unlike their state and

national brethren, local policymakers are close enough to the schools to have an impact on student performance. Or are they? That’s the question we recently sought to answer in a groundbreaking study that, for the first time, linked district achievement to school board data to see if they were linked. After all, school boards, like most other educational institutions, have their share of supporters and critics. The former characterize them as key partners in improving student learning and advancing the educational aims of their local communities. The latter describe them as foes of productive education reforms, structural relics of earlytwentieth-century organizational arrangements that have little effect on what actually happens in classrooms. So which is it? When it comes to the elected leaders of most of the 14,000 school districts in the U.S., are board members critical actors in enhancing student learning, protectors of the status quo, or simply harmless bystanders? Until now, nobody had much evidence one way or the other. So, building on a large-scale survey (done in collaboration with the National School Boards Association and Iowa School Boards Foundation), we set out to see whether school board members’ personal characteristics, knowledge, and priorities could be linked to district performance. To explore these questions, we enlisted Arnold F. Shober, associate professor of government at Lawrence University, and Michael T. Hartney, researcher in political science at the University of Notre Dame. Both have conducted significant previous research into the politics and policy surrounding the sometimes confounding world of education governance.

• What characteristics of board members are associated with greater capacity? • Is a district’s method of selecting its board members associated with its ability to beat the odds? Here is what we learned about each. First, board members, by and large, possess accurate information about their districts and adopt work practices that are generally similar across districts. Yet there’s little consensus about goals and priorities. U.S. school board members are fairly knowledgeable about district conditions. They demonstrate accurate knowledge in four of the five areas that we examined (school finance, teacher pay, collective bargaining, and class size). They’re less knowledgeable, however, about the rigor (or lack thereof) of academic standards in their respective states. Board members are also quite divided in the priorities that they hold for their districts. There is little consensus that improving student learning is paramount. They often focus on other priorities, such as the “development of the whole child” and not placing “unreasonable expectations for student achievement” on schools.

There is little consensus that improving student learning is paramount.

The present study is, to our knowledge, the first large-scale effort to gauge the capacity of board members to lead school districts effectively. The authors started with the aforementioned survey data (published in 2010) and combined it with detailed demographic and pupil-achievement data. They probed four big questions: • Do school board members have the capacity – accurate knowledge, academic focus (i.e., the belief that improving student learning is important), and work practices – to govern effectively? • Do districts with higher-capacity board members do better academically than otherwise similar districts?

Board members have similar work practices, such as participating in training about budgeting and student-achievement issues, but most devote fewer than four full days per month to board matters, and most are not paid for their work. (This finding is perhaps not surprising, considering that members are often viewed as upstanding lay citizens who serve part-time without compensation but hire capable school managers to do the heavy lifting.)

Knowing that board members have reasonably accurate knowledge and similar work practices, but are divided when it comes to their focus on academics, is one thing. But is any of this actually related to student achievement? Yes. It turns out that school boards with more members who focus on academics are, all else being equal, likelier to govern districts that “beat the odds” – i.e., to have pupils who perform better academically than one would expect, given their demographic and financial characteristics. Thus, our second finding: Districts that are more successful academically have board members who assign top priority to improving student learning. (We also find that members who devote more hours to board service are likelier to

July/August 2014        9

oversee districts that beat the odds – although we don’t know what that time-on-task entails.)

School Board Leadership Matters

Next, we sliced the data relative to board members’ professed political ideology and background. We found that political moderates tend to be more informed than liberals and conservatives when it comes to money matters; educators and former educators are less informed. In other words, whether board members selfidentify as conservative, moderate, or liberal is linked to whether they have accurate knowledge of their districts. Members who describe themselves as conservatives are less likely than liberals to say that funding is a barrier to academic achievement, regardless of actual spending in the district. Conversely, liberals are likelier than conservatives to say that collective bargaining is not a barrier to achievement, regardless of actual collective bargaining conditions. Political moderates are most likely to have accurate knowledge regarding school funding and class sizes in the district. The background of a board member also shapes his or her knowledge. Rather surprisingly, those with a professional background in public education (former teachers or other school system employees) are less knowledgeable about true district conditions than those who are not former educators, particularly with regard to finance and teacher pay.

First, board members as a group are clearly not ignorant of what is going on in their districts. They have a reasonably accurate understanding of school finance, teacher pay, collective bargaining, and class size. While this is certainly encouraging, it’s also disquieting to see that accurate knowledge isn’t universal, even after board members receive training on the topics we explored (and nearly all of them did). A member’s background and political beliefs matter. This is worrying not because ideology or experience shapes board members’ opinions – that’s unavoidable – but because voters in today’s polarized climate might favor strong conservatives or liberals over moderates (“At least they have an opinion!”) and former educators over system outsiders (“They know what it’s really like!”). Voters need to be aware of these tendencies and respond accordingly. (So far – in what we take to be a good sign – school board members as a group are more “moderate” than the U.S. population as a whole.) At the same time, board members need to be responsible for acknowledging and addressing their biases. It’s the duty of a diligent board member to self-inventory the ideas he brings to the table. He must determine which ideas are based on careful reasoning and evidence versus limited personal experience, anecdote, or gut feelings. It’s also the responsibility of boards to raise these issues and remind their members to engage in such selfreflection often.

The background of a board member also shapes his or her knowledge.

Last, we examined whether the type of board election had any relationship to district achievement. We found that districts that elect a larger percentage of board members at large (from the entire district rather than from subdistricts or wards) and in on-cycle elections (held the same day as major state or national elections) are substantially likelier to beat the odds. Merely holding board elections concurrently with state or national elections is associated with a student proficiency rate about 2.4 points higher than in comparable districts with off-cycle elections.

In summary, board members who focus on improving student learning, and who are elected at-large and on-cycle appear to lead districts that

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beat the odds. Which naturally begs the question: In places where this is not the case, how do we improve upon it? A few thoughts.

Second, the data suggest that a district’s success in “beating the odds” academically is related to board members’ focus on improving student learning. Yet not all board members have this focus. Some prefer developing the “whole child,” not placing unreasonable academic expectations on schools, and celebrating the work of educators in the face of external accountability pressures. Nothing is wrong with those other priorities, but they ought not displace the primary goal of presidents, governors, employers, myriad

education reformers, and a great many parents in twenty-first-century America: boosting children’s learning. Responsible board members ought not overlook that. Third, how we elect many board members may affect whether the best and brightest take on these key roles. Off-cycle elections have a noble intent: isolating board elections from partisan politics. So do ward elections: attracting board members who reflect the demographics of the electorate. But given the import of recruiting board members who give top billing to student learning, perhaps communities should rethink how elections for those roles are structured. Finally, we find that training, compensation, and time spent on board business are related to beating the odds. Our data are unable to show the quality of board-member training, how they actually spend their time, and other important questions, so we’re not able to offer concrete guidance about how best to maximize board time and service. Still, we can offer commonsense board-level advice: (1) hire well; (2) hold senior managers accountable for running the system effectively and efficiently, in accord with board-set priorities; and (3) provide responsible oversight without micromanaging. More than anything, what we take from this study is that school board members and their attitudes do matter – and therefore, it’s important to take seriously who gets elected and how that’s done. Most board members are neither ill-informed nor incapable of leadership. Regrettably, however, that’s not true of all. As U.S. public education continues to debate structural reforms and governance innovations, we should also be working to get the best results we can from the structures that most communities have today, which means getting the very best people elected to school boards. To comment about this article, you can contact Amber at and Dara at

Ashley Tiedemann

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Are You Really Leading . . .

or are you just

Out For A Walk?

Dr. Alan R. Zimmerman


A while ago, when I was speaking at a Minnesota business, I heard a great story from one of the attendees. He said his third-grade son, Taylor, was upset because he had not been chosen Ryan Olson as the line leader for his class. Dad tried to console him by reminding him that he had been chosen dozens of times before . . . to be the line leader at lunch, for the bus, etc.

But Taylor protested, “You don’t understand. This was for a field trip. I had the chance to lead my classmates to a place where they’ve never been before.” My reaction was: “Wow! That’s just about the best definition of leadership I’ve ever heard.” First of all, Taylor knew that leadership was all about action; it wasn’t about title. And second, leadership is a “chance” that everyone gets. Let’s dig a little deeper into the “actions” or “behaviors” exhibited by effective leaders – because you have the potential to become a much more effective leader. In fact, you’ll learn a host of powerful strategies at MSBA’s Summer Seminar on August 4 – strategies that you will be able to use immediately in your school boards. To get you started, you need to know that . . .

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Leaders are good communicators That’s right. Leaders are good communicators. In fact, even if you didn’t know who was who in a group, you could probably spot the leaders by just watching and listening to the group for a few minutes. Typically, the leader is articulate and authoritatively expresses ideas persuasively. He or she may speak last on a subject, or may be the one that the rest of the group really listens to. Consultant John Zenger says, “Most leaders instinctively enjoy community. They are comfortable in large settings and in one-on-one discussions. They use brief interactions to gather and give information. Wherever they go, they exploit every opportunity to convey what they deem to be the important messages about mutual goals.” If you don’t fall into that category of being articulate and persuasive, if you say “I didn’t go into business to be a communicator . . . I’m more of a hands-on guy,” don’t worry. Many great leaders were basically shy and introverted in their early, formative years. They did not automatically or “naturally” gravitate towards the limelight. Lincoln, Gandhi, and Washington fall into that category as do more contemporary business leaders such as Bill Marriott, Jr. of the huge Marriott Corporation, or the late Oral Roberts, founder of Oral Roberts University. In many cases, great leaders are propelled into the limelight because of their deep convictions about a particular mission or cause. They simply had to speak out on the issues that were very important to them and their organizations. Mind you, some of those leaders never felt comfortable in the limelight. They were never totally at ease in the leadership role, but they learned to do it nonetheless. But they learned to be good communicators. Whether through trial and error . . . specific training . . . or a series of difficult events where they had to either sink or swim . . . effective leaders learn how to communicate with others. And so can you. You can learn how to take others to a place they’ve never been before.

Leaders communicate their vision of a “better way” Of course, you may be thinking that you know several good communicators in your organization, but they’re not necessarily effective leaders. That may be true. Some of your coworkers may be quite articulate as they complain about the management of your organization or the direction of your company, but none of us would put them into the category of being an inspiring, effective, motivating, or team-building kind of leader.

So let me be more specific when I say leaders are good communicators. Good leaders focus their communication on their vision of the future. They help define that vision or how things can be better than they are at present. As a leader, you could focus on one or two emotional issues that will help you connect with your team or your customers. You may talk about the high quality of your products and service, or your dedication to customer service, or your commitment to respect in the workplace. Zenger says, “They focus on values that appeal to employees, enlisting them in a noble course that gives meaning and purpose to their work.” Of course you may be thinking of “leaders” who might be considered effective – but certainly not good . . . people like Hitler, Stalin, Bin Laden, and Saddam Hussein. You might argue that all of them were good communicators, and they all talked about their vision of the future. So how do they fit into my definition of “good leaders”? They don’t. Each of them failed the ultimate, leadership communication test. Each of them was a liar. As Dr. Spencer Johnson, author of Who Moved My Cheese?, says, “Integrity is telling myself the truth. And honesty is telling the truth to other people.” None of those “notorious” leaders ever did that.

Effective leaders also use partnerships to get the biggest payoff It doesn’t matter if you’re a painter, architect, business owner, football coach, spouse or school board member, you want the answer to one question. You want to know how you get others to do what you want them to do. Unfortunately, a number of books and seminars have answered this question in the negative. They tell you how to push, force or maneuver people into doing what you want them to do. And it may work in the short run, but it never does over the long haul of a personal / professional relationship. The really smart person and, ultimately, the truly effective communicator asks a slightly different question. He asks, “How do I get someone to do what I want him to do because he wants to do it?” There is a process you can follow. The first step in the process has to do with your presence or demeanor. Quite simply, people are much more willing to cooperate with you if they like you, or respect you. So you start by doing some things that Create A Respectful Rapport between you and the other person. Start by looking your best. Fair or unfair, people will decide to cooperate or not cooperate with you based on how you look. July/August 2014        13

You also need to sound your best. Men and women with poor diction and a limited vocabulary, for example, are generally not allowed to rise to the top of their capabilities in business. The same is true for people who shorten words or use too much slang.

Are You Really Leading . . . or are you just Out For A Walk?

The next step is to give the person what they need. You start the cooperation process by establishing rapport, and in some cases, that’s all you will need to do. The other person will just go along with you. For most individuals, however, you have to take a second step. You have to give the other person what he needs. You have to give something before you receive something. The trouble is, many people have this backwards. A parent says he’ll praise his kids after they get better grades. A manager thinks she’ll empower her employees if they prove themselves. And a salesperson knows he’ll get really excited when he makes the sale. What works is just the opposite. First a parent encourages his kids, and then they get better grades. First a manager empowers her employees, and then they use their full potential. First a salesperson exhibits enthusiasm; then he sells the product. So if you have to give the other person what he needs before he cooperates, what does the other person need? What do they need? They need to feel welcome. They need to feel comfortable. They need to feel like you understand them and think that they are important. And, they need to feel appreciated. The final step is to ask for what YOU need. Tip O’Neil, the late Speaker of the House, learned an important lesson in his first campaign. It came from Mrs. O’Brien, his high school speech and drama teacher. The night before the election, she said, “Tom, I’m going to vote for you tomorrow even though you didn’t ask me to do it.” O’Neil was shocked. “Why, Mrs. O’Brien,” he said, “I’ve lived across the street from you for 18 years. I cut your grass in the summer. I shoveled your walk in the winter. I didn’t think I had to ask for your vote.”

Ashley Tiedemann

14        MSBA Journal

Mrs. O’Brien replied, “Tom, let me tell you something. People like to be asked.” How true! People don’t want to be told, and people don’t want to be taken for granted. They want to be asked. When you ask, be direct, specific, positive, polite and firm. Most of us will probably live and work with others every day for the rest of our lives. Nothing makes those personal or professional relationships more rewarding than cooperation, and nothing makes those relationships more frustrating than a lack of cooperation. So don’t leave your relationship to chance. Start using the three-step cooperation process. Then watch your business grow and your life improve. As Plato said, “Civilization is the victory of persuasion over force.” For over 20 years, best-selling author and Hall of Fame professional speaker Dr. Alan Zimmerman has spoken to more than a million people in 49 states and 22 countries. To respond to this article, you can contact him at

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Receiving Student Input at the Board Table Duluth, Hopkins students earn $3,000 MSBA Student School Board Member Scholarship

Erik Thibault School: Duluth East High School College: University of Minnesota Extracurricular activities: Speech, Congressional Debate, National Honor Society


One way school boards have succeeded in gathering student input is to have a student from their district serve at the board table. More than 80 districts have a student school board member representative. To honor their input and encourage student board members, MSBA offers two $3,000 scholarships. This year Duluth student Erik Thibault and Hopkins student Tim Bergeland received the awards.

Greg Abbott and Bruce Lombard

Erik Thibault

When Erik was nominated to be one of two student board members on the Duluth School Board, he realized he needed to dig in to some of the bigger issues the district was facing. He went to board committee meetings and joined a youth political group called Students for the Future. “The more I spoke with board members and volunteered with my peers, the more I could contribute to the board conversation and have my opinions taken seriously,” he said.

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Tim Bergeland School: Hopkins High School College: St. Olaf College Extracurricular activities: Soccer, Music, National Honor Society

The biggest issue he tackled with the board is trying to pass an operating levy – especially after a move many years ago to build facilities without going to a public vote. Board Chair Michael Miernicki said Erik jumped right in to involve the Students for the Future group and mobilize them to advocate for the referendum. “We were told by many citizens that it was the action of Students for the Future that convinced them to vote for the referendum in a very tough economy,” Miernicki said. “Erik’s leadership was evident in television and newspaper coverage of this important vote.” Erik said that his “aha moment” was seeing how his student opinion on issues shifted after he talked to taxpayers, other students, the superintendent, finance director and parents in the community. “Serving the public is more than just acting on your opinion. A well-functioning government works WITH the community, balancing the interests of people with the needs of society to move forward,” he said. His opinion of what makes a good politician also changed. In the beginning, he thought representatives needed a good background in law and policy. But he noticed how each board member used the range of life experiences from their jobs and their own individual backgrounds to add depth to each conversation. Blended together, the board made better decisions when it made decisions as citizens first and politicians second.

His time on the board has only reinforced his goal to work in some type of community or public service. One example is how many students are somewhat apathetic when it comes to contacting the school board. Part of the reason behind the Students for the Future group was to find a way to get student opinions in front of the board. And as a student board member, he could also be that voice at the board table. Duluth teacher Catherine Nachbar said what impressed her about Erik is that he recognized the budgetary needs of the schools. “And instead of just watching the treasurer reports and commenting about the problems within our school system, he took action.” Tim Bergeland Though just a teenager, Tim can truly call himself a “veteran of the board” after serving 3 years on the Hopkins School Board. “I was very excited to apply for the student representative position because I knew I would love to represent the interests of students as well as learn more about how the school decision-making process worked,” Tim said. Early on, Tim said the thing that surprised him most was the community’s interactions with the board. “It was so cool to see community members approach the board and discuss the issues they cared about,” he said. “The community cares deeply about the Hopkins educational experience, and the school board cares deeply about what the community has to say. It was amazing to see these interactions play out.”

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One of the toughest issues Tim faced while serving on the Hopkins School Board was a contentious boundary battle between the Hopkins and Edina School Districts. Residents of an Edina neighborhood located within the Hopkins School District sought to detach from the district.

Receiving Student Input at the Board Table

“Emotions ran very high on both sides, as it was an extremely divisive issue,” Tim said. “It was hard to see the community so divided, but at the same time it was very cool to see an abundance of community members attend the board meeting to make their voices heard.” Hopkins School Board Chair Warren Goodroad – in his letter of recommendation for Tim’s MSBA Scholarship application – wrote that Tim “is thoughtful and informed and has represented the student body well at the board table. He participates in discussions on matters before the board, and keeps the board informed on overall student activities at the high school.” Hopkins High School counselor Jean Davidson also had high praise for Tim in her recommendation letter. “In my 39 years as an educator, few students have shown the breadth of involvement, leadership and excellence that Tim has. He is involved to make things better for others, not to pad his resume. …He is a dream student – inquisitive, a creative thinker, respectful and hard-working.”

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Among Tim’s very long list of activities and achievements was being selected as one of two student delegates from Minnesota to attend the U.S. Senate Youth Program from March 8–15. He said that week made a big impression on him. “My experience was nothing short of life-changing, as we got to hear from various speakers – including President Obama – about their unique experiences and passion for public service,” he said. Tim said his time on the Hopkins School Board had a huge impact on him. “I appreciate my education so much more after seeing the tremendous amount of work that goes on behind the scenes,” Tim said. “It was also great to be able to work with a board that was so responsive to my thoughts and the thoughts of the other two student delegates. They listen and care about what the students have to say.” Greg Abbott is the communications director for the Minnesota School Boards Association. Bruce Lombard is the associate communications director for the Association. To contact them, you can call 800-324-4459 or e-mail or

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July/August        21

Teaching Creativity It’s often overlooked in this age of standardized testing

Emma S chmit


Scott Wurdinger

When I ask parents what they believe the most important skills are that their children should learn during their high school or college experience, the answers always center on skills such as creativity, problem solving, responsibility, and integrity. I have had the opportunity to ask this question to many different audiences, and no one has ever said they want their child to learn better note-taking or test-taking skills, or want their child to be a better memorizer. The skills that matter most to parents and employers, for that matter, are being overlooked in our classrooms. The education system, however, often views academic achievement as the ability to memorize information for tests. Schools that are identified as successful are those that meet Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) and have a high acceptance rate into college, both of which require high test scores. However, many students find memorizing information for these tests tedious and boring, requiring hours of reciting information over and over in their heads until it sticks. Many students are not skilled at memorizing information, nor do they enjoy it; yet it continues to be the dominant learning process promoted by schools and colleges.

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directed with this approach and identify the projects for students, whereas others are more student-centered, allowing students to create their own projects based on their own interests. Although project-based learning is a more intensive learning process that requires more time to complete projects, it allows for deeper learning, which inspires and motivates students. The learning is rich. Students learn useful skills that they carry with them after they graduate, which have a lasting effect on their lives. Project-based learning allows students to be actively involved in the learning process so they can learn different life skills. Students learn life skills by practicing them, and in order to practice them, they must be placed in situations where they need to manage their time, collaborate with peers, solve problems, and communicate their ideas to an audience. They can’t learn these skills by sitting in a classroom listening to a teacher, and memorizing information for a test. In-depth projects are vehicles that can help students learn these skills.

lattner Blake B

Project-based learning is a different teaching approach that motivates students to learn important life skills. It has been defined as “a teaching method where teachers guide students through a problem-solving process which includes identifying a problem, developing a plan, testing the plan against reality, and reflecting on the plan while in the process of designing and completing a project” (Wurdinger, Haar, Hugg, & Bezon, 2007, p. 151). This definition places an emphasis on student-centered learning. With this approach, students design and complete projects, many of which require solving multiple problems during the process. Solving problems in order to complete a project takes more time than passive methods of learning because students may have to undergo multiple trial-and-error attempts before completing the project to their satisfaction. This is an important concept for educators to understand before attempting to implement project-based learning in their classrooms. With this teaching approach, students create and produce projects. For instance, students might construct a model from a blueprint, design a web page, or create a learning portfolio as a project. Some educators are more teacher-

Learning life skills doesn’t happen overnight. Students must be immersed in projects that involve confronting numerous problems along the way. A good project includes multiple problems where students are not able to complete it in one attempt. The project must be complex enough so that students go through several trial-and-error episodes before the project is finished. This is how students learn life skills like problemsolving, and they must practice them over and over in order to learn them. Project types are endless and the sky is the limit. High school teachers I have worked with have created a number of projects for their students. One teacher had students develop a healthy snack shop for the school. They worked as a group to figure out what types of snacks they would sell, where they would purchase the snacks, and how they would run the shop. During this process, they were learning how to be responsible by completing their assigned tasks, as well as how to run a small business. Other teachers have had students draw blueprints and construct objects from them, design community gardens, build websites, create podcasts, and design skateboard parks. Most of these projects entailed doing formal presentations in front of city council boards, peers, and teachers on what they learned from these experiences. This helps students solidify their learning by explaining what they did and what they learned.

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Teaching Creativity

My research with different students, including high school and college age, suggests that project-based learning helps them develop important life skills that they can use throughout their lives. For example, when alumni from Avalon Charter School, a project-based learning school in St. Paul, were asked what the most important things were that they learned in their time at the school, they said: self-directed learning, time management, learning how to learn, and leadership and teamwork are the top life skills. In another study at Minnesota New Country School in Henderson, my research found that students ranked themselves as having much higher life skills than academic skills. For instance, most life skills were ranked in the 90th percentile compared to academic skills -- like note taking and test taking that were ranked in the 30th percentile or lower. Yet, over 50 percent of the alumni were able to navigate their way through a fouryear college degree, compared to the national average of 33 percent. In a study a colleague and I conducted with graduate students who were immersed in a 16-week project-based learning course, we found that the following life skills had increased significantly: responsibility, problem solving, selfdirectedness, communication, and creativity. And time management, collaboration, and work ethic also increased, but not to the point where there was a statistical difference.

w n Wisko Madiso

So, what does this all mean? It means educators should consider using some project-based learning, which not only excites and motivates students to learn, but also provides them with opportunities to learn important life skills that can be used throughout their lives. Scott Wurdinger is the doctorate program coordinator for the College of Education at Minnesota State University, Mankato. You can reach him at

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Kaylee Schloegel

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The New Local Optional Revenue

How Will it Affect Your District?


In 2013, the state made sweeping changes related to operating referendums. The changes have continued in 2014 with approval of a new “Local Optional Revenue” (LOR) to replace the “Location Equity Revenue” (LER) approved in 2013. LER is available for FY15 only, to two groups of districts:

Greg Crowe and Joel Sutter

• Districts which have any property in the seven-county metro area can access $424 per pupil unit. • Outstate districts with 2,000 or more students can access $212 per pupil unit. Local Optional Revenue will now be available to all school districts beginning in fiscal year 2016, at $424 per pupil unit.

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The new revenue will cause a subtraction to existing referendum allowances, so it will not result in an increase in revenue for districts with more than $424 of referendum authority. Also, it will be equalized at the same level as the “2nd tier” of referendum revenue. There is one key difference between the two formulas: If a district that qualified for LER did not wish to receive the revenue, the school board had to adopt a resolution “opting out” of the revenue. This will not be true for LOR. As part of the levy planning process, MDE plans to ask each school district to indicate the level of LOR they would like to receive.

Johanna Partanen

Key Implications Following is a summary of the five key implications of the new LOR formula for districts: 1. All districts will now have the option to access up to $724 per pupil unit of revenue (referendum and LOR) without voter approval. 2. Some districts will have the opportunity to increase their revenue from FY15 to FY16 without voter approval. This includes: a. districts which did not qualify for LER in FY15 and have referendum allowances less than $724; and b. outstate districts which qualified for $212 in LER in FY15 and have referendum allowances less than $512. 3. For metro-area districts that qualified for $424 of LER in FY15, the conversion to LOR will have no significant impact on revenue or property taxes. 4. For all other districts not included in #2 or #3 above, the addition of LOR will have no significant impact on revenue, but could cause either a decrease or an increase in property taxes. 5. Most districts will have more room under the “cap” on referendum allowances, so they may have a greater capacity to increase revenue with voter approval.

The Rest of the Story The option for up to $300 per pupil unit in boardapproved referendum authority, approved in 2013, will remain in law. So if the LOR subtraction causes a district’s referendum allowance to drop below $300, the district will have the ability to increase its referendum allowance up to $300 through board action. The deadline for this board approval will be September 30, as it was in 2013. This may also mean that a board that adopted a conversion resolution last year may be required to adopt another resolution this year. One positive change is that the subtraction to referendum authority resulting from LOR will not apply to referendum allowances approved in calendar year 2014 and later, and will not apply to board approved allowances. This will eliminate the “election gap” associated with the 2013 legislation, which required districts that qualified for LER to include a larger referendum allowance on the ballot than they would actually receive, to compensate for the subtraction for LER. Districts should also be aware that the “converted” value of referendum allowances approved before 2013 will continue to change until FY15 pupil units are finalized, well over a year from now. The 2013 provisions required that all referendum allowances approved before 2013 be converted to compensate for the changes in pupil

July/August 2014        27

The New Local Optional Revenue How Will it Affect Your District?

weightings, the elimination of the “alternative attendance adjustment,” and the conversion of referendum revenue from an amount per resident pupil unit to an amount per adjusted pupil unit. For purposes of calculating 2013 payable 2014 levy limits, MDE estimated these converted FY15 allowances based on district-submitted projections of FY15 pupil units. But those converted allowances will be recalculated multiple times, as districts submit revised projections of pupil units. There is also a “hold-harmless” aid guarantee for FY15 and future years, which also could be affected by changes in projected pupil units. These recalculations of allowances and aid guarantees will cause levy and aid adjustments for several years. Districts that are planning referendum elections will need to be careful to account for the impact of these adjustments on their existing allowances. For example, if you plan to vote in 2014 to renew an expiring referendum allowance, the amount of that allowance will be affected by any change in FY15 resident and adjusted ADM.

Chloe Davis

Jenna Rasmussen

Greg Crowe is financial advisor and Joel Sutter is senior financial advisor/principal for Ehlers. If you have questions about this article, you can contact the writers at or

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Annika Jueneman



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MSBA’s Vendor Directory

MSBA’s Vendor Directory helps connect school districts with the products and services they need. The directory is always at your fingertips. You’ll find it printed in the back of every Journal magazine as well as on the MSBA Website at Most listings in the Web version of this directory include a link so you can head instantly to a Website or e-mail address. The directory includes everything you need to know to contact a company quickly—phone numbers, fax numbers and addresses—in an easy-to-read format. If you have a service or product you would like included in this directory, please contact Erica Nelson at 763-497-1778 or Architects/Engineers/Facility Planners Architects Rego + Youngquist, inc. (Paul Youngquist) 7601 Wayzata Blvd., Suite #200 St. Louis Park, MN 55426 952-544-8941, Fax 952-544-0585 Arvig 888-992-7844 ATS&R Planners/Architects/ Engineers (Paul W. Erickson) 8501 Golden Valley Road, Suite 300 Minneapolis, MN 55427 763-545-3731, Fax 763-525-3289 Clark Engineering Corporation (Douglas Fell) 621 Lilac Drive N Minneapolis, MN 55422 763-545-9196, Fax 763-541-0056 Cuningham Group Architecture, Inc. (Cuningham Group®) (Judith Hoskens) 201 Main Street SE, Suite 325 Minneapolis, MN 55414 612-379-3400, Fax 612-379-4400 GLTArchitects (Evan Larson) 808 Courthouse Square St. Cloud, MN 56303 320-252-3740, Fax 320-255-0683 Hallberg Engineering, Inc. (Richard Lucio) 1750 Commerce Court White Bear Lake, MN 55110 651-748-1100, Fax 651-748-9370 ICS Consulting, Inc. (Pat Overom) 5354 Edgewood Drive Mounds View, MN 55112 763-354-2670, Fax 763-780-2866 I+S Group (ISG) (Rod Schumacher) 115 E Hickory Street, Suite 300 Mankato, MN 56001 507-387-6651, Fax 507-387-3583

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Johnson Controls, Inc. (Kathleen Donovan) 2605 Fernbrook Lane N Plymouth, MN 55447 612-554-5160, Fax 763-566-2208 Kodet Architectural Group, Ltd. (Ed Kodet) 15 Groveland Terrace Minneapolis, MN 55403 612-377-2737, Fax 612-377-1331 MSBA Playground Compliance Program (in partnership with National Playground Compliance Group, LLC) (Tim Mahoney) PO Box 506 Carlisle, IA 50047 866-345-6774, Fax 515-989-0344 Nexus Solutions (Mike David) 11188 Zealand Avenue N Champlin, MN 55316 612-747-1003, Fax 763-201-8410 TSP Architects and Engineers (Gary Sabart) 18707 Old Excelsior Boulevard Minnetonka, MN 55345 952-474-3291, Fax 952-474-3928 Wendel (Jim Wilson) 111 Washington Avenue N, Suite 300 Minneapolis, MN 55401 612-332-1401, Fax 612-332-1405 Widseth Smith Nolting (Kevin Donnay, AIA, President) 7804 Industrial Park Road Baxter, MN 56425 218-829-5117, Fax 218-829-2517 Wold Architects and Engineers (Vaughn Dierks) 305 St. Peter Street St. Paul, MN 55102 651-227-7773, Fax 651-223-5646 Athletic Facilities I+S Group (ISG) (Rod Schumacher) 115 E Hickory Street, Suite 300 Mankato, MN 56001 507-387-6651, Fax 507-387-3583

Athletic Sports Floors/Surfacing Fisher Tracks, Inc. (Jordan Fisher) 1192 235th Street Boone, IA 50036 515-432-3191, Fax 515-432-3193 Midwest Tennis & Track (Brian Launderville) 22 South Main Street Denison, IA 51442 712-263-3554, Fax 712-263-5110 MSBA Playground Compliance Program (in partnership with National Playground Compliance Group, LLC) (Tim Mahoney) PO Box 506 Carlisle, IA 50047 866-345-6774, Fax 515-989-0344 Attorneys Booth Law Group LLC (Laura Tubbs Booth) 10520 Wayzata Boulevard, Suite 200 Minnetonka, MN 55305 763-253-4155, Fax 763-253-4160 Kennedy & Graven, Chartered (Neil Simmons) 470 US Bank Plaza, 200 S 6th Street Minneapolis, MN 55402 612-337-9300, Fax 612-337-9310 Knutson, Flynn & Deans (Thomas S. Deans) 1155 Centre Pointe Drive, Suite 10 Mendota Heights, MN 55120 651-222-2811, Fax 651-225-0600 Pemberton Law (Kristi A. Hastings) 110 N Mill Street Fergus Falls, MN 56537 218-736-5493, Fax 218-736-3950 Ratwik, Roszak & Maloney, P.A. (Joseph J. Langel) 730 2nd Avenue S, Suite 300 Minneapolis, MN 55402 612-339-0060, Fax 612-339-0038

Construction Management & Consulting Services ICS Consulting, Inc. (Pat Overom) 5354 Edgewood Drive Mounds View, MN 55112 763-354-2670, Fax 763-780-2866 Johnson Controls, Inc. (Kathleen Donovan) 2605 Fernbrook Lane N Plymouth, MN 55447 612-554-5160, Fax 763-566-2208 Knutson Construction (Todd Vigil) 7515 Wayzata Boulevard Minneapolis, MN 55426 612-600-4464 or 763-525-3085 Kraus-Anderson Construction Company (John Huenink) PO Box 158 Circle Pines, MN 55014 763-792-3616, Fax 763-786-2650 MSBA Playground Compliance Program (in partnership with National Playground Compliance Group, LLC) (Tim Mahoney) PO Box 506 Carlisle, IA 50047 866-345-6774, Fax 515-989-0344 Stahl Construction (Josh Schultz) 5755 Wayzata Boulevard St. Louis Park, MN 55416 952-931-9300, Fax 952-931-9941 Educational Programs/Services The Minnesota Service Cooperatives (Jeremy Kovash) 1001 East Mount Faith Avenue Fergus Falls, MN 56537 218-739-3273, Fax 218-739-2459 Minnesota State Academies for the Deaf and Blind (Brad Harper) 615 Olof Hanson Drive Faribault, MN 55021 507-384-6602, Fax 507-332-5528 Electrical Engineers/AV Systems Widseth Smith Nolting (Kevin Donnay, AIA, President) 7804 Industrial Park Road Baxter, MN 56425 218-829-5117, Fax 218-829-2517

Energy Solutions Johnson Controls, Inc. (Kathleen Donovan) 2605 Fernbrook Lane N Plymouth, MN 55447 612-554-5160, Fax 763-566-2208 Facilities Maintenance & Supplies Clark Engineering Corporation (Douglas Fell) 621 Lilac Drive North Minneapolis, MN 55422 763-545-9196, Fax 763-541-0056 Financial Management Ehlers (Joel Sutter) 3060 Centre Pointe Drive Roseville, MN 55113 651-697-8514, Fax 651-697-8555 Eide Bailly LLP (Ross Manson) Fargo, ND; Minneapolis, Mankato, MN 855-220-8634, Fax 507-386-6268 MSBA-Sponsored Administration and Compliance Service (A&C Service) Administration and Compliance Service (Paige McNeal, Educators Benefit Consultants, LLC) 888-507-6053 or 763-552-6053 Fax 763-552-6055 MSBA-Sponsored MNTAAB (Minnesota Tax and Aid Anticipation Borrowing) Program (Patty Heminover, Springsted, Inc.) 800-236-3033 or 651-223-3058 Fax 651-268-5058 MSBA-Sponsored P-Card (Procurement Card) Program 800-891-7910 or 314-878-5000 Fax 314-878-5333 MSBA-Sponsored (Jim Sheehan, Ann Thomas) Sheehan: 952-435-0990 Thomas: 952-435-0955 MSBA-Sponsored PaySchools-Data Business Systems (Andy Eckles) 17011 Lincoln Avenue Parker, CO 80134 303-779-6573 or 855-210-8232 X 130

PFM Asset Management, LLC MSDLAF+ (Donn Hanson) 800 Nicollet Mall, Suite 2710 Minneapolis, MN 55402 612-371-3720, Fax 612-338-7264 Fire & Security Arvig 888-992-7844 Fitness Equipment 2nd Wind Exercise Equipment (Shon Hartman) 7585 Equitable Drive Eden Prairie, MN 55344 952-224-1240, Fax 952-906-6905 commercial Floor Coverings Hiller Commercial Floors (Dave Bahr) 2909 S Broadway Rochester, MN 55904 507-254-6858 or 888-724-1766 Fax 507-288-8877 Food Service Products & Services Taher, Inc. (Erin Hove) 5570 Smetana Drive Minnetonka, MN 55343 952-345-2891, Fax 952-945-0444 Health Insurance PreferredOne (Mike Thielen) 6105 Golden Hills Drive Golden Valley, MN 55416 763-847-3549, Fax 763-847-4010 Indoor Air Quality Minnesota Department of Health Indoor Air Unit (John Olson) PO Box 64975 St. Paul, MN 55164-0975 651-201-4614, Fax 651-201-4606 schoolenvironments Insurance Bullis Insurance Agency - Assured Risk Protection (Marc Bullis) 407 East Lake Street #201 Wayzata, MN 55391 952-449-0089

Minnesota School Boards Association Insurance Trust (MSBAIT) (Denise Drill, Gary Lee, Amy Fullenkamp-Taylor, John Sylvester) 1900 West Jefferson Avenue St. Peter, MN 56082-3015 800-324-4459, Fax 507-931-1515 Riverport Insurance Company (Dave Kyllo) 222 South Ninth Street, Suite 1300 Minneapolis, MN 55402 612-766-3227, Fax 612-766-3397 Labor Relations Kennedy & Graven, Chartered (Neil Simmons) 470 US Bank Plaza, 200 S 6th Street Minneapolis, MN 55402 612-337-9300, Fax 612-337-9310 Playgrounds MSBA Playground Compliance Program (in partnership with National Playground Compliance Group, LLC) (Tim Mahoney) PO Box 506 Carlisle, IA 50047 866-345-6774, Fax 515-989-0344 Public Finance Kennedy & Graven, Chartered (Neil Simmons) 470 US Bank Plaza, 200 S 6th Street Minneapolis, MN 55402 612-337-9300, Fax 612-337-9310 Roofing North Central Insulation (Brett Geboy) PO Box 91 Eau Claire, WI 54702 715-210-4307, Fax 715-835-8830 Security/Communication Systems Arvig 888-992-7844 Software Systems MSBA-Sponsored PaySchools-Data Business Systems (Andy Eckles) 17011 Lincoln Avenue Parker, CO 80134 303-779-6573 or 855-210-8232 X 130

Technology Arvig 888-992-7844 MSBA-Sponsored PaySchools-Data Business Systems (Andy Eckles) 17011 Lincoln Avenue Parker, CO 80134 303-779-6573 or 855-210-8232 X 130 Technology Education PreciouStatus (Julie Gilbert Newrai) 275 Market Square, Suite 519 Minneapolis, MN 55405 888-959-8982 Transportation Hoglund Bus Co., Inc. (Jason Anderson) PO Box 249 Monticello, MN 55362 800-866-3105, Fax 763-295-4992 Minnesota School Bus Operators Association (Shelly Jonas) 10606 Hemlock Street NW Annandale, MN 55302 320-274-8313, Fax 320-274-8027 National Bus Sales (Paul Thompson) 8649 S Regency Drive Tulsa, OK 74131 800-475-1439 North Central Bus & Equipment (Sandy Kiehm) 2629 Clearwater Road St. Cloud, MN 56301 320-257-1209, Fax 320-252-3561 Telin Transportation Group (Dave Mohr) 16290 Kenrick Loop Lakeville, MN 55044 612-850-6348, Fax 952-435-9066 Wireless Communications Arvig 888-992-7844

July/August 2014        33

Advertisers ATS&R Planners/Architects/Engineers.......................... Page 15 Booth Law Group LLC...................................................... Page 30 Eide Bailly LLP..................................................................... Page 7 Hoglund Bus Co., Inc........................................................ Page 15 I+S Group (ISG)................................................................ Page 19 Kennedy & Graven, Chartered .......................................... Page 7 Knutson Construction....................................................... Page 29 Knutson, Flynn & Deans, P.A............................................ Page 21 Minnesota Department of Health – Indoor Air Unit..... Page 20 MSBAIT.............................................................................. Page 36 MSDLAF+........................................................................... Page 19 North Central Insulation................................................... Page 30 PreciouStatus...................................................................... Page 34 PreferredOne....................................................................... Page 2 Ratwik, Roszak & Maloney, P.A. ...................................... Page 31 Riverport Insurance Company.......................................... Page 25 Rupp, Anderson, Squires & Waldspurger, P.A................. Page 25 Scholastic............................................................................ Page 29 The Minnesota Service Cooperatives............................... Page 21


2009, 2010 & 2012 Best Print Publication by the Minnesota School Public Relations Association Cited for “Comprehensive Coverage” “Impressive Student Artwork” Brought to you by YOUR MSBA

34        MSBA Journal

2014 Summer Seminar Preview: The Partnership/Leadership Experience

Join MSBA for the 2014 Summer Seminar Monday, Aug. 4, at the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest. The Seminar features Keynote Speaker Dr. Alan Zimmerman, talking about the Leadership and Partnership experience; hear how to best implement the Safe and Supportive Schools Act and get a 2014 Legislative Session Update with a peek at 2015. In the afternoon, choose from a list of Fast Track sessions that include: Questions and Answers with Commissioner Brenda Cassellius, Becoming a More Effective Advocate for Public Schools, Planning the Final Three Months of Your Referendum Campaign, Minnesota’s World’s Best Work Force Reporting Requirements, and Case Law Updates. Come early on Sunday for MSBA’s Officers’ Workshop and a special Early Bird session on Teaching Each Other Good Digital Citizenship. KEYNOTE Dr. Alan Zimmerman Success in today’s world requires an extraordinary amount of raw people skills. You have to know how to build relationships so teamwork becomes a reality, instead of a buzzword. As a leader at any level, you trigger the other person’s motivation and cooperation. Learn how the best leaders bring out the best in others so you can lead. REGISTER: Coordinate registration through your superintendent. Registration closes Friday, July 25. Registration is just $240. LODGING: To receive special housing rates, call 877-303-1681 for the Minnesota School Boards Association group rate of $125. Reservations must be made by July 25. You can also register online at

July/August 2014        35




1900 West Jefferson Avenue, St. Peter, MN 56082-3015

Protection assurance when you need it. The Minnesota School Boards Association Insurance Trust (MSBAIT) endorses companies with a proven record of service.

Property, Inland Marine, and Crime Workers’ Compensation School Leaders’ Legal Liability Automobile

Your MSBAIT contacts

Denise Drill ddrill@

Amy Fullenkamp-Taylor ataylor@

Gary Lee glee@

John Sylvester jsylvester@

Quality Coverage and Service Tailor-Made For School Districts Find out what MSBAIT can do for your district. Call 800-324-4459 or visit

Group Term Life Long-Term Disability General Liability Excess Liability

MSBAIT — addressing the needs of public schools’ risk-management programs since 1972

MSBA Journal: July-August 2014  

The Minnesota School Boards Association 2014 July-August Journal Magazine, featuring the article, "School Boards DO Matter."

MSBA Journal: July-August 2014  

The Minnesota School Boards Association 2014 July-August Journal Magazine, featuring the article, "School Boards DO Matter."