The MSBA Leader Newsletter: June 2024

The MSBA Leader Newsletter: June 2024

Click on link headers to skip to sections below:

  • MSBA Scholarship | Student school board representatives from Farmington, East Central, and Proctor high schools earn scholarship awards
  • Running for School Board Resources | Get on Board videos | Legal Requirements for School Board Members | Running for School Board Brochure: A Prospective Candidate’s Guide
  • Summer Seminar | Learn about “Effective Leadership for Student Success” during the MSBA Summer Seminar on Monday, August 5, in Brooklyn Park | “Strategic Advocacy for Student Success” Early Bird Session set for Sunday, August 4 | MSBA offering first two phases of Learning to Leader Workshop Series and Charter Board Workshop
  • The Weekly Advocate | Submit your legislative resolutions to MSBA | MSBA and COSSBA Federal Advocacy Update | The MSBA Government Relations Dashboard
  • MSBA Management Services | MSBA Leader eBites: Your voice matters | Responsibilities of school board members serving as MSHSL representatives | Reminder: Juneteenth is a state holiday
  • Elections | Notifying counties about your general election and referendums is now required 10 days earlier
  • MSBA Webinars | Save the date for the “Impact of the 2024 Legislative Session” webinar on Thursday, June 20 | Watch recordings of “READ Act 2.0” and “New Fair Labor Standards Act Overtime Rules” webinars | Join MSBA for the next Board Chair Chat on June 5 and the Coffee & Conversation on June 18
  • MSBAIT Matters | Read “Outdoor hazards to watch for during warm weather months” by the SFM Mutual Insurance Company | Register for Liberty Mutual Insurance’s “Corporate Resilience: Spotlight on Cyber” online event set for June 20
  • Other Workshops and Events | COSSBA Federal Advocacy Conference | COSSBA Urban Board Alliance Webinar Series | Elevate Teaching Spring Convening | Hormel Foundation Gifted and Talented Education Symposium | BoardBook webinars
  • In Memory | Jerry Johnson (Upsala Area) | Carol McFarlane (White Bear Lake Area) | Kenneth Ogden (Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose)
  • Avel eCare | Are you looking for nurse support for the 2024-2025 school year?

MSBA Scholarship

Click on image for a larger version. The 2024 MSBA scholarship winners with their school boards (from left to right) are: Kennedy Gibbs (Farmington High School), Abigail Schunk (Proctor High School), and Payton Marshall (East Central High School).

Students from Farmington, East Central, and Proctor earn scholarship awards

This spring, the MSBA Robert E. Meeks Student School Board Member Scholarship was awarded to three public school students serving as representatives on their local school board.

The 2024 recipients were Kennedy Gibbs (Farmington High School), Payton Marshall (East Central High School), and Abigail Schunk (Proctor High School). Each student received $3,000 to use toward their postsecondary education.

Thank you to the MSBA Board of Directors Student Scholarship Committee for their work: Jon Karger (committee chair), Milind Sohoni, Mike Pfeil, Hunter Feldt, and Heather Naegele.

Applications for the next MSBA scholarship will be available in January 2025.

Guidelines for adding student representatives to your school board: If you are considering adding a student representative to your school board, click here to access some guidelines from MSBA.

Running for the School Board

Resources available for prospective school board candidates

School district officials, please direct any prospective board candidates to MSBA’s Running for School Board webpage. The webpage includes the following resources:

Summer Seminar

Learn about “Effective Leadership for Student Success” on August 5

The 2024 Summer Seminar — “Effective Leadership for Student Success” — is scheduled for Monday, August 5, 2024, at the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest in Brooklyn Park (7025 Northland Drive North, Brooklyn Park).

Why you should attend: High-functioning boards can increase student success. At MSBA’s Summer Seminar, see how you can focus on student learning. Hear about the relationship between good governance and student achievement. Learn from other boards who are seeing their students soar.

The featured speakers for the 2024 Summer Seminar are:

  • Dr. Phil Gore, Chief Learning Officer, Idaho School Boards Association, “Governing for Improved Student Success”
  • Dr. Terry Morrow, Director of Legal and Policy Services, Minnesota School Boards Association, “The Impact of School District Policies on Student Success”
  • Dr. Sonn Sam, National Director of Partnerships, Big Picture Learning, “What Happens When We Believe All Young People are Brilliant?”

Build your advocacy foundation through Summer Seminar Early Bird Session

The MSBA Government Relations team of Denise Dittrich and Kim Lewis will present the Summer Seminar Early Bird Session, “Strategic Advocacy for Student Success,” from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, August 4, at the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest.

Why you should attend: This interactive workshop is designed to equip school district leaders with a thorough understanding of the legislative process and effective advocacy strategies. Tailored specifically for education professionals, participants will learn to engage with elected officials at state and federal levels. The program provides practical tools for building strong relationships and valuable insights into the political landscape. Attendees will gain the foundational knowledge and skills needed to advocate effectively on behalf of their community, schools, and students.

MSBA presenting first two phases of Learning to Lead Workshop Series during the week of Summer Seminar

The first two installments of the MSBA Learning to Lead Workshop Series will also be offered during Summer Seminar week at the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest. Please coordinate registration through your school district office.

The Learning to Lead — School Board Basics: Phase I Workshop is scheduled for 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, August 5. Why you should attend: The Phase I workshop covers the role of the school board, the role of the superintendent, the leadership team relationship, and common scenarios facing new board members. Visit the MSBA website for details.

The Leadership Foundations — School Finance and Management: Phase II Workshop is set for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, August 6. Why you should attend: The Phase II workshop covers core topics such as the budget, school finance, local levies, policies, significant laws affecting school boards, collective bargaining, and personnel issues. Visit the MSBA website for details.

Also, a Charter School Board Member Workshop will be offered from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, August 6. Why you should attend: The Charter School Board Member Workshop offers all three state-required training components for charter school board members: Board’s Role and Responsibilities, Financial Matters, and Employment Matters. Visit the MSBA website for details.

The Weekly Advocate

Watch “How to Create and Submit a Resolution,” hosted by MSBA’s Denise Dittrich and Kimberley Dunn Lewis. Learn how you can create and submit your own resolution to help the students in your district and get your resolution to the MSBA Delegate Assembly.

Make a difference: Submit your legislative resolutions to MSBA

MSBA member school boards are encouraged to propose resolutions to the Delegate Assembly for the 2025 legislative session. Your resolutions are the first step to developing the MSBA’s official positions on important education issues.

Each resolution is researched and voted on by the members of the Delegate Assembly. Once adopted, these positions guide the MSBA Government Relations team as they represent you at the Minnesota Legislature. Resolutions should cover any education topic of significant statewide concern and address desired legislative outcomes. Resolutions are not legislation.

New this year, please note: All resolutions must be submitted by the school board and must include date of approval. Submissions from individual school board members will not be accepted.

Deadline: Resolution forms must be submitted by Friday, September 20, 2024.

Please direct questions to MSBA’s Jen Ebert at

MSBA and COSSBA Federal Advocacy Update

The MSBA and COSSBA Federal Advocacy Update provides timely news about current public education issues affecting Minnesota schools. Please visit the MSBA website here to access the May 31 edition of the MSBA and COSSBA Federal Advocacy Update and previous updates.

The May 31 edition includes information concerning: U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s summer food programs are now called SUN programs; E-Rate funding can be used for school bus Wi-Fi upgrades; and Minnesota Senator Tina Smith pushes for more funding for early childhood education, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and improved school climate.

Check out the MSBA Government Relations Dashboard to catch up on the legislative session

The MSBA Government Relations Dashboard is an MSBA-members only feature where you will find important information relevant to the 2024 legislative session. The Dashboard includes:

  • The 2024 MSBA Legislative Platform
  • Bill introductions
  • Talking points in key issues
  • Information about Minnesota House and Senate education committees
  • A link to the Friday Chat Room webpage (to access the 2024 recordings)
  • And much more!

Please click here to access the Dashboard (members will be prompted to log in).

MSBA Management Services

MSBA Leader eBites: A topic to chew on

Your voice matters

By Tiffany Gustin, MSBA Associate Director of Management and Insurance Trust Services

The legislative session wrapped up in mid-May. The MSBA staff, along with leaders of other educational organizations, are busy reading and interpreting the language changes, answering questions, and developing resources to assist school districts with implementation.

Since starting at MSBA, I have come to realize I didn’t fully understand the importance of advocacy when I worked for a school district. I didn’t think my voice was important. I didn’t think what I thought mattered. I didn’t think I could make a difference. I was wrong.

Whether it’s through your school board passing a legislative resolution to be considered at Delegate Assembly, making a phone call or sending an email to your legislator, testifying in a legislative committee meeting, or attending Day at the Capitol, your involvement is important. If you would like to get more involved, MSBA has a variety of resources available. Attending the Summer Seminar Early Bird, “Strategic Advocacy for Student Success,” would be a great place to start.

How have recent legislative changes impacted your school district? What changes would your school board like to see in 2025? How can you get involved?

Responsibilities of school board members serving as MSHSL representatives

By Gary Lee, MSBA Deputy Executive Director

Many MSBA members have inquired: “Is it mandatory to designate a school board member as a representative to the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL), if so, what are their responsibilities?”

To address this, we refer to the MSHSL’s constitution, bylaws, and information provided by MSHSL staff.

MSHSL membership and representation:

  • The MSHSL’s membership for the 2023-2024 school year consisted of roughly 500 member schools (independent public, public charter, and private).
  • The MSHSL’s constitution requires each member school to appoint two voting representatives for district, region, and section meetings, as well as mail ballots.
  • One representative must be a member of the school’s governing board (school board member), while the other can be an administrator or full-time staff member.

Responsibilities of the representatives:

  • Attend one of the 16 regional meetings to represent the school’s interests and cast votes.
  • Participate in selecting regional representatives who will attend the MSHSL Representative Assembly. This assembly votes on proposed bylaw changes and can also initiate bylaw change proposals.

Staying informed:

If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact MSBA.

Reminder: Juneteenth is a state holiday

June 19, 2024, will be the second time Minnesota celebrates Juneteenth as a state holiday. Juneteenth recognizes the historical pronouncement of the abolition of slavery on June 19, 1865, when the Emancipation Proclamation was said to have been first publicly read in Texas by Union soldiers.

As is the case with other holidays defined in Minnesota Session Laws 2023 Chapter 5, no public business can be conducted on this day. This means schools cannot hold classes or programs, school board meetings, athletic practices and competitions, and other school-associated events.


Notifying counties about your general election and referendums is now required 10 days earlier

The new election law passed during the 2024 session and signed by the Governor takes effect July 1.

It requires school districts to notify county auditors about their General Election or any type of bond/operating levy/capital levy by August 13, instead of August 23.

The move to an 84-day notification means that if your board approves a resolution for a general election or a special election, you’ll need to put it on the agenda for early August or in July.

MSBA has updated both Election timelines and those are now available on the website to download at

MSBA Webinars

Join MSBA for “Impact of the 2024 Legislative Session” webinar on June 20

The next installment of the MSBA Third Thursday Webinar Series, “Impact of the 2024 Legislative Session,” is scheduled from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, June 20, 2024.

Why you should watch: Trying to make sense of how all the legislation passed this year will affect your schools? MSBA staff members Gary Lee, Terry Morrow, and Tiffany Gustin will recap all the new legislation and provide analysis on how it will impact you, your students, and your staff.

Watch “New FLSA Overtime Rules” webinar

Watch a recording of the webinar, “New FLSA Overtime Rules: What Schools Need to Know to Ensure Employees are Classified Correctly by July 1, 2024,” recorded May 30.

WATCH: Visit to watch “New FLSA Overtime Rules” now!

On April 23, 2024, the U.S. Department of Labor released a Final Rule that raises the minimum salary thresholds for certain overtime exemptions from the minimum wage and overtime pay requirements under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The Final Rule goes into effect July 1, 2024. Jordan Soderlind (an attorney at Ratwik, Roszak & Maloney) addresses what changed and what remained the same under the new FLSA overtime rules.

Watch “READ Act 2.0” webinar

Watch a recording of the MSBA Third Thursday Webinar Series’ “READ Act 2.0,” which was originally presented on May 16.

WATCH: Visit to watch “READ Act 2.0” now!

The Minnesota Department of Education’s Bobbie Burnham (Assistant Commissioner, Office of Teaching and Learning) and Julie Novak (State Literacy Director) gave an overview of the READ Act implementation efforts and provided an overview of what is expected from READ Act 2.0. Bobbie and Julie highlighted how school board members can play a key role in successful implementation efforts in their district.

SPONSORS: The Third Thursday Webinar Series is sponsored by Ehlers and Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation.

Board Chair Chat

Next session: 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Wednesday, June 5

The Board Chair Chat conversations center around the board chair’s skill, roles, and responsibilities. School board chairs, look for an email invitation in your inbox on June 4.

Coffee & Conversation Meeting

Next session: 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Tuesday, June 18

The virtual Coffee & Conversation meetings are led by MSBA Executive Director Kirk Schneidawind and MSBA staff. Network with your school board colleagues during this series. School board members, look for an email invitation in your inbox on June 17.

Sponsor: The Coffee & Conversation series is sponsored by PFM Asset Management.

MSBAIT Matters

Outdoor hazards to watch for during warm weather months

By SFM Mutual Insurance Company
SFM is a Participating Insurer in the MSBAIT Risk Protection Program

The end of any winter often brings a welcome reintroduction to the great outdoors for our Minnesota public school districts and your employees.

You may not need to worry about hypothermia and other dangers of the cold, but warm weather is not without its own risks, especially for people who work outdoors. Depending on what kind of outdoor exposure you’re getting, there are a few warm-weather hazards to monitor.

Share the following tips with your employees to help them stay safe during warmer months.

Outdoor slips and falls: Icy sidewalks aren’t the only cause of falls when you’re outdoors — potential tripping and slipping hazards can happen all year long.

Pay attention to the conditions of the surfaces you’re walking on. Parking lots, sidewalks, ramps and stairs can all have cracks, holes or uneven surfaces that could cause you to trip. Use handrails on stairs or ramps, and try to keep your hands free of encumbrances. Do not carry more than you can handle or items that block your vision.

Don’t take shortcuts through lawns or center islands. Uneven ground and concealed or hard-to-see holes can result in twisted ankles or worse.

Also, summer months might have employees wearing different footwear than at other times of the year. Flip-flops, sandals, loose-fitting shoes, high heels, cowboy boots, etc., all increase the risk of slip and fall injuries or feet and ankle injuries. School district employers should mandate proper footwear and enforce it with employees.

Also, report any unsafe outdoor conditions to the appropriate person.

“Corporate Resilience: Spotlight on Cyber” online event set for June 20

By Liberty Mutual Insurance

Like other organizations, school districts face risks related to cybersecurity.

Join us for from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, June 20, 2024, for “Corporate Resilience: Spotlight on Cyber” — an online discussion with leading experts in the field of cyber risk management about what challenges are on the horizon and what to consider in the wake of a breach.

This event is hosted by Wesley Hyatt with Patrick ThielenKatie JenkinsNasrin RezaiLiz Rychling, and Lynn Peachey.

The discussion will cover what challenges are on the horizon and what to consider in the wake of a breach.

Other Workshops and Events

COSSBA Federal Advocacy Conference: September 8-10, 2024

What: COSSBA Federal Advocacy Conference

When/Where: September 8-10, 2024, in Washington, D.C.

Why attend? Influence policy at the highest level and make your voice resonate in the halls of change. Prepare for an empowering experience with special guest Dr. Miguel Cardona, the U.S. Secretary of Education.

COSSBA Urban Board Alliance Webinar Series

The COSSBA Urban Board Alliance Webinar Series returned in April with “Strategies for Addressing Equity in Your District.” The webinar addressed the importance of fostering equity among students within your district. Visit the COSSBA webpage to access a recording of this webinar and to see the upcoming webinar schedule.

Elevate Teaching Spring Convening: June 4, 2024

Join the Elevate Teaching project team for the spring convening of the Action Network to Elevate Teaching. The event will be held virtually from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, June 4. Visit the Elevate Teaching website for more information.

Hormel Foundation Gifted and Talented Education Symposium: June 11-13, 2024

The Hormel Foundation Gifted and Talented Education Symposium is scheduled for Tuesday, June 11, through Thursday, June 13, 2024, at Austin High School. The symposium provides an opportunity for educators, counselors, administrators, and parents to gain greater understanding of the unique needs of gifted and high potential learners. Participants attend in-depth sessions focusing on foundational knowledge, creativity, curriculum strategies, and social/emotional needs of gifted and high potential learners provided by the field’s finest regionally, nationally, and internationally recognized presenters. All are welcome to register and attend the symposium. Visit the event website for more information.

BoardBook: Informational Webinars

BoardBook reduces meeting preparation from hours to minutes. Join BoardBook for a live 45-minute informational webinar to learn how to reduce the time, money, and stress associated with board meeting preparation. BoardBook is an MSBA-endorsed product.

When: The next webinars will be held 10 a.m. Tuesday, June 11; 11 a.m. Monday, June 17; and 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 26.

Student Success for All

Student Success for All resources available for MSBA members

Visit the MSBA Student Success for All webpage to access providers and resources.

Job Openings

Visit the MSBA Jobs webpage for application information:
(Application deadlines are noted in parentheses for all listings.)

Minnesota School Boards Association Positions

  • MSBA — Associate Director of Board Development (Open until filled)

Superintendents and Executive Directors

  • Renville County West — Superintendent (June 12, 2024)
  • Schools Advocating for Fair Funding (SAFF) — Executive Director (Open until filled)


  • Duluth — Elementary Principal – Laura MacArthur Elementary School (June 4, 2024)
  • Duluth — Elementary Principal – Piedmont Elementary School (June 4, 2024)
  • Holdingford — Principal – Secondary Grades 7-12 (June 12, 2024)
  • La Crescent-Hokah — Middle School Principal (Open until filled)
  • Willmar — Assistant Principal – Area Learning Center (Open until filled)
  • Willmar — Assistant Principal – Prairie Lakes School (Open until filled)

Other Administrators

  • Bagley — Director of Indian Education (Open until filled)
  • Eden Prairie — Director of Transportation (Open until filled)
  • Elk River Area — Manager of Early Childhood (June 12, 2024)
  • Marshall — Director of Finance (Open until filled)
  • Marshall — Director of Operations (Open until filled)
  • Osseo Area — Executive Director of Human Resources (Open until filled)
  • Red Wing — Senior Human Resources Generalist (Open until filled)
  • St. Cloud Area — Executive Director of E-12 Education Services (Open until filled)
  • Tri-City United — Director of Business Services (June 14, 2024)

In Memory

  • Jerry Johnson – a former Upsala Area School Board member – died May 11, 2024. MSBA extends its condolences to Jerry’s family, friends, and colleagues.
  • Carol McFarlane – a former White Bear Lake Area School Board member and a former member of the Minnesota House of Representatives – died May 26, 2024. MSBA extends its condolences to Carol’s family, friends, and colleagues.
  • Kenneth Ogden – a former Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose School Board member – died May 13, 2024. MSBA extends its condolences to Kenneth’s family, friends, and colleagues.

Avel eCare

Learn how MSBA-endorsed Avel eCare can help your schools

Avel eCare offers one of the largest and most comprehensive virtual health networks in the world – partnering with more than 600 health care systems, rural hospitals, outpatient clinics, long-term care facilities, assisted livings, and schools. Avel eCare is an MSBA-endorsed company.

Visit the Avel eCare website for more information and access the following resources:

About the Leader Newsletter

The Leader Newsletter is published as a member service by the Minnesota School Boards Association, 1900 West Jefferson Avenue, St. Peter, MN 56082. The Leader is edited by Bruce Lombard (, the MSBA Associate Director of Communications.

The contents of this newsletter are provided for informational use only and are not to be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, consult your attorney.

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