MSBA Leadership Conference

The 2023 MSBA Leadership Conference was held Thursday, January 12, and Friday, January 13, 2023, at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

There is no registration fee for MSBA members to attend this two-day conference. MSBA provides this conference registration-fee free every January as part of members’ annual dues. School district staff, please access the conference registration link below.

The Leadership Conference features nationally recognized speakers, workshops on a variety of topics, an Exhibit Hall, a School Excellence Showcase, and a Recognition Luncheon. Early Bird Sessions are provided the evening before the conference. See the Leadership Conference program for more information.

Exhibitors and potential exhibitors, please scroll down for information about the Exhibit Hall.

Leadership Conference Preview — What You Can Expect

Watch the Leadership Conference Preview video to learn why the Leadership Conference is the “Super Bowl” for MSBA and school board members.

Meet Minneapolis — Parking, Restaurants and More!

Visit the Meet Minneapolis website for useful information about parking options, safety and securityrestaurantstaxi services, and more.

Leadership Conference Workshop/Roundtable Session Handouts

Board Skills Sessions (8 a.m. Thursday, January 12)

Goals- and Standards-Based Superintendent Evaluation

The Minnesota Open Meeting Law

Vision 2023 on the Political Horizon


Thursday Roundtable Sessions (1:45 p.m. Thursday, January 12)

Table 2 — Increase Your Board Team’s Performance – School Board Evaluation

Table 3 —What Board Members Need to Know About Robert’s Rules

Table 4 — Considerations for Hiring a Retiree

Table 5 — Leading for the Future: How Futures Thinking Has Helped Us Consider Board Work in New Ways

Table 8 — Everything a Board Member “Might” Need to Know About Schools’ Responses to Title IX Complaints

Table 10 — Coordinating Consumer-Driven Health Care Benefits


Thursday Workshops (2:45 p.m. Thursday, January 12)

Accommodating Transgender Students: Legal Update and Best Practices

Achieving A Successful Referendum Through Multiple Financing Tools

Board-Superintendent Relations: Things That Trip Us Up

Building Excellent CTE Partnerships in Rural Schools

Cougar PAWgress Time

Critical Choices In The Superintendent’s Contract: What Should Be In and What Should Be Out?

Elevate Teaching: PELSB Teacher Recruitment and Marketing Campaign

Facility Planning for New District Administrators: Working with Your Board and Staff to Fund Priorities

How Board Members Can Support Teachers of Color

Implementing a Community and Values-Based Student Orientation Program

Insights Through Futures Thinking: Leading for the Future (LEAF)

Recent Updates to the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act

Student Health Needs and Their Impact on Learning: How Can School Boards Help Schools Support Those Needs?

Students at the Board Table

Teaching Kids to “Live Your Best Life”

Using An Equity Lens to Strengthen Understanding of System Alignment and Change at the School Board Table

What Minnesota Principals Tell Us They Need


Thursday Workshops (4 p.m. Thursday, January 12)

Decreasing the Gender Gap Among Minnesota Superintendents

Effective Threat Assessments for Schools

Fahrenheit 2022: Book Challenge, Censorship, and the First Amendment

Meeting Your District’s Space Needs Through Adaptive Re-Use of “Big Box” Retail

No Levy No More

PELSB: Issues and Topics for School Board Members

Responding to School Tragedy

School Board Members’ Role in Improving Employee Health Insurance Plans

School Meal Debt: Partnering to Produce Better Outcomes for Schools and Students

Student Entrepreneurship in Action: Taking Your Students to The Next Level

To Renew or Not To Renew: Addressing Complaints Against Coaches

Understanding Your Facility Needs: A Proactive Approach to Long-Range Maintenance Planning


Friday Roundtable Sessions (8 a.m. Friday, January 13)

Table 2 — Strategic Planning – Point Your School in the Right Direction

Table 3 — What To Do When a School Board Member Resigns

Table 4 — Q & A on ULA (Unrequested Leave of Absence)

Table 5 — Tips For a Successful Superintendent Search

Table 6 — Building Partnerships to Meet Students’ Wellness Needs

Table 10 — Aligning Resources to District Goals, Staffing Analysis, and Financial Performance

Table 11 — MN 403(b) and School Administrator Law Changes Update


Friday Workshops (9:15 a.m. Friday, January 13)

Appropriately Handling School Board Member Misconduct

Best Practices to Take a Bite Out of Behavioral Costs

Capture The Flag: The Growing Battle Over Controversial Speech in Public Schools

Courage Under Fire

Developing A Student Mentoring Program Within Your School

Implementing Innovative School Programming: The Detroit Lakes High School Academy Model

Navigating The Board Member Role in Real-World Situations

Questions That Promote Fiscally Responsible and Student-Centered Decisions

Strategic Planning – Point Your School in The Right Direction

Supporting LGBTQIA+ Students in Schools

The Best Defense is s Good Offense: Preventing and Preparing for Discrimination Claims

The Impact of Embedding Student-Focused Time During the School Day on Learning Recovery

Using Data to Better Understand and Improve the Student Experience: ECLDS + SLEDS

“You’re Good Enough, Smart Enough, And People Like You.”

Public Event Parking Options for the Minneapolis Convention Center

Visit the Minneapolis Convention Center’s Public Event Parking Options webpage to find places to park for the Leadership Conference. The Convention Center has partnered with four City of Minneapolis parking ramps to increase attendee convenience. All ramps are connected through the skyway system and are located within two blocks of the Convention Center.

Registration and Housing

REGISTRATION: Advance registration is open for the Leadership Conference. Registration will cover the general sessions, workshops, and roundtables held Thursday, January 12, and Friday, January 13, 2023, at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

School board members, please ask your school district office to register you in advance. The advance registration deadline is Wednesday, January 4.

Conference registration is closed, we will accept MSBA member walk-ins!

GUESTS: With the exception of the Recognition Luncheon on Thursday, no guests will be allowed to attend the 2023 Leadership Conference due to safety and security concerns. Everyone attending the conference must have a TSLeads-issued badge at all times. To purchase a luncheon ticket for a guest, please contact the MSBA office no later than January 2.


HOUSING: The hotel reservation website for the Leadership Conference is open! School district staff must log in to the MSBA website and click on the link below to make reservations for their school board members. The reservation deadline is Friday, December 9, 2022.

Note: The Hilton Hotel Minneapolis foreclosure auction will not impact our conference or rooms people have booked with the hotel. The auction will take place after our conference has ended.

Conference housing webpage:

Early Bird Sessions

Early Bird Sessions are scheduled for 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 11, 2023, at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Members can choose from these two options:

  • “The ABCs of Negotiations” — Presenters: MSBA staff members Tiffany Gustin, Maria Shinabarger, and John Ward

This session will provide a foundation for board members new to the bargaining team and a refresher for veteran negotiators. Participants will become acquainted with the negotiations process including applicable statutes impacting negotiations, the language of negotiations, pre-bargaining, and much more.

  • “Bridging Divides: Tools and Skills for Collaborative Problem Solving” — Presenter: Katie Pratt and Jessica Shryack, Minnesota Office of Collaboration and Dispute Resolution

Let’s face it, most people are conflict avoidant. The truth is there are ways to handle conflict that can result in positive outcomes and stronger relationships. This workshop will focus on understanding conflict and effectively using collaboration skills to establish common ground and mutual respect. Come prepared to participate and leave with practical solutions that will help your school board and district thrive.

Advance registration fee: $125 ($135 for walk-in registrants) | Advance registration deadline: Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Registration is closed, we will accept MSBA member walk-ins!

Recognition Luncheon

The Leadership Conference Recognition Luncheon is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Thursday, January 12, in Room 200 A-J on Level Two (yellow level) at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

More than 160 board members will receive acknowledgement for qualifying in at least one of MSBA’s award categories: Service Awards (20 years, 30 years or 40 years), Directors’ Award, President’s Award, or Leadership Development Certificate.

Leadership Development Certificates and Directors’ Awards will soon be distributed, but the Service Awards and President’s Awards will be handed out at the Recognition Luncheon.

MSBA Honor Roll List: Click here to see if you and/or your school district is receiving an award this year.

Advance registration fee: $40 ($45 for walk-ins) | Advance registration deadline: Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Registration is closed, we will accept MSBA member walk-ins!

Five MSBA Board of Directors seats up for election in January 2023

Each MSBA Director District will meet for a discussion, or caucus, on Thursday, January 12, 2023. Elections will be held for five open MSBA Board of Directors seats during the caucuses. Four seats are for three-year terms and one seat is for a two-year term.

In each Director District with an election, candidates will need to be nominated during the caucus, and each candidate will have the opportunity to speak.

  • If only one nominee has been named for the District Director, a voice vote is appropriate.
  • According to the MSBA Bylaws, if there are more than two candidates nominated, a vote would be taken at this time to determine the top two candidates
  • In the event of a tie, the election to that office shall be determined by the judges by lot.
  • MSBA Executive Director Kirk Schneidawind will present the newly elected MSBA Board Directors to the membership during the Closing Session of the Leadership Conference on Friday, January 13.

Exhibitor Information

Each year, the MSBA Leadership Conference attracts more than 2,000 school board members, superintendents, business managers and school leaders – concerned people who are anxious to see and hear about new and better products and services in education. This is an excellent opportunity for you to reach potential customers in a very professional atmosphere. Click on the link below to request a booth at the Leadership Conference today!

Click here to access the Exhibitor webpage

School Excellence Showcase application

Applications to submit a School Excellence Showcase proposal for the 2023 Leadership Conference are now closed. Please contact Maria Shinabarger at if you have questions.

Call for Presentations form

Applications to submit a workshop and/or roundtable proposal for the 2023 Leadership Conference are now closed. Please contact Maria Shinabarger at if you have questions regarding workshop and/or roundtable proposals.

School Board Award Nominations

Nominations closed October 17 for the MSBA All-State School Board and the Rising Star Award. Also, October 17 was the nomination deadline for the Minnesota School Board Directors of Color & Indigenous Fellowship awards.

Thank you to our 2023 Leadership Conference Sponsors!

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