2019 MEMSPA Annual Conference

December 4, 2019 – December 6, 2019

Grand Traverse Resort and Spa
100 Grand Traverse Village Blvd, Williamsburg, MI 49610




Full Conference Member: $359
Full Conference Non-Member: $435

A $49 service fee will be retained for cancellations. Cancellations received after November 15 will be charged a 50% cancellation fee.

Participants may earn up to 13 SCECHs for this event.


Grand Traverse Resort
Call the Reservations Department directly at (800) 968-7352 and mention the MEMSPA Conference to receive the discounted rate

**If Rooms Are Sold Out

Sleep Inn & Suites (1.5 mi South)
Call the Reservations Department at (231) 938-7000 and mention MEMSPA for the agreed upon rate of  $63.00/night

The App for MEMSPA Annual Conference is Coming Soon!

Our quest to enhance the event experience for our attendees, exhibitors, and speakers is never-ending. We wanted this year to be better than the last, which is why we are constantly making improvements for the 2019 MEMSPA Annual Conference app.

Stay tuned – we’ll let you know when the app is ready.

Vendor Show Information

Booths SOLD OUT! Contact Annette Erickson at annette@memspa.org to join a wait list.

Contact Taryn Hurley


The_conference is designed to offer elementary and middle level administrators a broad range of current topics necessary for continued professional and administrative growth. A national caliber event right here in the state of Michigan!

National Experts | Michigan Practitioners | Professional Connections


  • Wednesday, December 4
  • Thursday, December 5
  • Friday, December 6

Click each day for full details…

Click Here for Full Breakout Session Details!

10:00am – 12:30pm

Keynote Presentation with Joe Sanfelippo

Changing the Narrative

When is the last time something amazing happened in your school?  How many people knew about it? The work done in schools all across the globe is spectacular. Kids gather, learn, leave and make the world we live in a better place.  So…amazing things happen all the time. Telling the story of schools helps create a narrative that builds culture and gives everyone in your community an identity. Our families want to know what is going on within our classrooms and schools. If we want to maximize the learning experience of each child, we need to give their families that type of access. BUILD CULTURE…CREATE YOUR STORY…SHARE UNAPOLOGETICALLY!!

Breakout Sessions

Session A 1:15 – 2:30 pm Session B 2:45 – 4:00 pm

Afternoon General Session Keynote

Dr. Michael Rice and Paul Liabenow

On May 7, 2019, the Michigan State Board of Education voted to appoint Dr. Michael F. Rice Michigan superintendent of public instruction. Dr. Rice officially began his work as state superintendent on August 1.

For the preceding 12 years, Rice had been superintendent of the Kalamazoo Public Schools (KPS).

Prior to serving as Kalamazoo superintendent, Rice served five years as superintendent of the Clifton Public Schools in Clifton, New Jersey. Rice began his career in the Washington, D.C. Public Schools, where he taught high school French and founded and coached awarded-winning speech and debate programs.

Among his honors have been the presidency of Michigan’s urban schools association, the Middle Cities Education Association, in 2013-14; and the Michigan Superintendent of the Year Award from the Michigan Association of Superintendents and Administrators (MASA) in 2016.

Paul Liabenow has dedicated his career to educating Michigan’s young people. With degrees from Michigan State University and Central Michigan University, Paul joined Cadillac Area Public Schools where he worked his way through the ranks of teacher, building leader, principal and district superintendent. Today Paul serves as the Executive Director of the Michigan Association of Elementary and Middle School Principals—working to build a community of educators dedicated to advocating, leading, and learning. He is also currently serving as Treasurer of Michigan Association of United Ways, Treasurer of the Michigan Association of After School Partnerships, President of The Center for Education Improvement, President of The MEMSPA Foundation, and Board Member of the Michigan Assessment Consortium.

8:30pm – PAC Hospitality Event

7:45am – 9:00am Presidents Breakfast with Marcia Tate

“Sit & Get” Won’t Grow Dendrites: 20 Professional Learning Strategies that Engage the Adult Brain

Visualize the worst presentation that you have ever been a part of as an adult learner. Now, visualize the best! No doubt, there is a discernible difference between the two. This keynote is designed for administrators, staff developers, teacher leaders, instructional coaches or anyone else who teaches the adult brain. Participants are actively engaged the entire time while they learn the answers to the following three questions: (1) What are 20 strategies that I can use to make my professional development experiences unforgettable? (2) What are techniques that appear to result in sustained adult behavior change? and, as a bonus, (3) What are 10 things that keep adults living well beyond the age of 80?

Breakout Sessions Session C 9:15 – 10:30 am Session D 10:45 am – 12:00 pm

12:00 – 3:00 pm – Vendor Show Lunch will be provided ** Don’t miss the games & prizes!!

1:00-3:00 pm Spotlight on Innovation 3.0!

The place for principals to develop networks and keep up with the latest educational tech tools and leaders around our great state! This year’s spotlight will feature a handful of Super Leaders who are committing hero like acts in their schools every day! Part of the Exhibit Show in the Governor’s Pre-function

Breakout Sessions Session E 3:00 – 4:15 pm

7:00 pm – Leadership Awards Banquet We will honor our remarkable colleagues and be introduced to the MEMSPA 2019 Outstanding Practicing Principal.

9:00 pm – Lifetouch After-Party – This year’s theme is Superhero’s!

(Continental Breakfast will be provided at 8:30am)

Breakout Sessions Session F 9:00 – 10:15 am

Closing General Session | 11:00am Keynote Presentation with Dr. Anthony Muhammad

Anthony Muhammad is an author and international thought leader.  He currently serves as the CEO of New Frontier 21 Consulting, a company dedicated to providing cutting-edge professional development to schools all over the world.  He served as a practitioner for nearly twenty years. Dr. Muhammad served as a middle school teacher, assistant principal, middle school principal, and high school principal.  His tenure as a practitioner has earned him several awards as both a teacher and a principal.

Dr. Muhammad is recognized as one of the field’s leading experts in the areas of school culture and Professional Learning Communities (PLC).  His work has allowed him to work with schools in all 50 U.S. states, 10 Canadian provinces, the Caribbean, Africa, South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia.

Dr. Muhammad is a best-selling author.  He is the author of the books Time for Change: The Four Essential Skills of a Transformational School Leader (2019); Overcoming the Achievement Gap Trap: Liberating Mindsets to Effect Change (2015); The Will to Lead and the Skill to Teach; Transforming Schools at Every Level (2011); Transforming School Culture: How to Overcome Staff Division 2nd Edition (2017); and a contributing author to the book The Collaborative Administrator: Working Together as a Professional Learning Community (2008).  He has published 26 articles in education journals and publications in seven different countries.