MASE builds strong leaders who work on behalf of students with disabilities.


MASE is organized to promote professional leadership, provide the opportunity for study of problems common to its members, and to communicate, through discussion and publications, information that will develop improved services for exceptional children. Further, its purpose is to foster high quality programs of professional development for members, to make studies of selected programs that relate to services to children with disabilities, improving the leadership of administrators for special education and to be active in the legislative process.

• Affiliated with the Minnesota Association of School Administrators

• Recipient of the Council of Administrators of Special Education Exemplary Unit Award 2002 and 2004


• Outstanding Achievement in the Area of Awards 2003, 2004, and 2005

• An Equal Opportunity Association


Thank You to SpEd Forms for graciously sponsoring our Website!


Join MASE Today!

Membership Year July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015

MASE and MASA provide powerful professional support and a wide variety of benefits such as quality conferences, skill development workshops, informative publications, and state and national legislative advocacy. MASA membership also provides personal services, including legal consultation, liability insurance and life insurance.



Exhibitor Registration 2014 MASE Fall Leadership Conference

Our Leadership Stories ~ Honoring our Past, Envisioning Our Future
October 22-24, 2014
Cragun’s Conference Center, Brainerd

Click Here for More Information 

You are invited to meet with Minnesota’s school district special education leadership at the MASE Fall Leadership Conference. Our exhibitors make a significant contribution to the quality of the event—with your help, we are able to enhance our professional development opportunities. At this year’s conference, we expect over 150 special education leaders from school districts throughout Minnesota.


  2014 MASE Fall Leadership Conference

Our Leadership Stories ~ Honoring our Past, Envisioning Our Future
October 22-24, 2014
Cragun’s Conference Center, Brainerd

Click Here for More Information and to Register

Every moment of every day, we live the continuing story of our lives. From the time we are young, the words, “let me tell you a story,” have the power to grab our attention. There is no more powerful way to relate our history, no more poignant way to connect through our feelings, no more pointed way to convey the meaning we find in our lives. As leaders, we pass on the narrative that establishes our common practice and shares its traditions. Through story we teach, learn, build community and foster understanding. This fall, gather with your colleagues and celebrate the stories that are the bedrock of our leadership history and the seeds of our future.

Meet Your Keynote Speakers

John Klaber, MASE Executive Director
Fireside Chat: Our True Leadership Stories

The best way to start a conference about stories is by telling some of those stories. On Wednesday evening join MASE Executive Director John Klaber, as he shares the funny, the frank, the heartfelt, and the hilarious tales that make us who we are! 

Rick Lavoie
On the Waterbed: The Impact of LD on the Family

Rick Lavoie has served as an administrator of residential programs for children with special needs since 1972. His numerous national television appearances include CBS Morning Show, Good Morning America, ABC Evening News and Disney Channel Presents. On Thursday morning, Rick will discuss how current research indicates that parents experience a wide variety of intense and conflicting emotions when endeavoring to deal with children who learn differently. Parents, educators, and other professionals must gain an understanding of and sensitivity toward each other's life experiences to communicate effectively and help a child who struggles in school. Rick's workshop will share strategies for collaborative and effective communication, conducting meaningful parent/teacher conferences, dealing with conflict and much more!

Nelson Lauver
Most (Un)Likely to Succeed - The Trials, Travels, and Ultimate Triumphs of a "Throwaway" Kid

Nelson Lauver is a regular guy who just happens to be a master communicator and strategic storyteller. He has the unparalleled ability to inspire people, connect with them through their hearts, make them laugh, and challenge their perceptions about themselves and others. To meet Nelson today, it’s hard to imagine that until age 29, he was functionally illiterate as a result of undiagnosed dyslexia. But it is his personal story, his very real struggles, his experiences, failures, and achievements that have made Nelson who he is today and form the basis of his capacity to move audiences. On Friday morning, Nelson's uplifting presentation, Most Unlikely to Succeed, is an inspirational story that will speak eloquently and profoundly to anyone who has ever struggled to be heard, to be understood, or to make their way in the world.

Conference Highlights

Our theme for Wednesday evenings' Wine Tasting is “Gads-Suess!” so get out your jing tinglers, flu floppers, and tar tinkers and head for Brainerd where we will sample beverages and celebrate all things Dr. Suess, all to support MNSELF. Our MASE Areas will once again sponsor tables and our theme this year invites the regions to show off their best gads-suess through their table theme.  All of our whos down in Whoville will vote for their favorite table, and the beautiful (oo-ahhhh) MASE traveling trophy is at stake!

Shop 'til you drop during Thursday's Silent Auction. Silent Auction bidding will be open all day, closing at 6 pm. On Thursday evening, attend the Pumpkin Patch Bash, featuring the band Spirit of the Radio, and Brainy Buddy colleague consultations. Both events support MNSELF.

During the MASE Annual Meeting, in addition to a brief participants will here from Minnesota S
tate Policy Director Barbara Troolin. Claudine Knoblauch will also lead a conversation with Dr. Norena A. Hale about her insights into Minnesota’s special education administration evolution.

Thursday's Exhibit Fair features a number of MASE's colleagues in business, offering the latest in products and services of interest to special education leaders. 

Breakout Sessions

Individualize your professional learning by attending a variety of breakout sessions. Topics include:

  • The Storied Life of a Special Education Director
  • Regions 5/7 SLD Training Resources
  • The edTPA: What Is It and How Does It Impact P-12 Schools?
  • iPads and Struggling Readers: LANGUAGE! Live Comes Alive in Classrooms
  • You're Outta Here! Why Suspension and Punishment Don't Work and How We Can Move to Proactive Solutions
  • Legal Update on Special Education and Disability Topics
  • Reflections: Leading Change Through Continuous Improvement in Special Education
  • Moving Beyond the Single Story
  • This is the First Time I've Been Good at Math!
  • School Violence, Special Education and Mental Health
  • Minnesota's Comprehensive Response to Bullying: Implementing the Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Act and What it Means for Special Education
  • Options for the Provision of Mental Health Services in School Settings
  • Let Go... Be Grateful... Lead On!
  • The Plot Thickens: Addressing the More Complicated Situations Special Education Administrators May Face Under Section 504
  • MDE Complaints and Due Process Hearings: Telling the District's Story

Register today for the 2014-2015 MASE New Leaders Cohort!

The MASE New Leaders’ Cohort is a series of professional development sessions that provide opportunities for 

  • newly employed Minnesota special education directors to explore the basic information needed for a successful first year
  • mid-level leaders to enhance leadership skills either in preparation for advancement in leadership or for general skill development 
  • “newer” leaders who wish to refresh their training

Participants will have the opportunity to meet other new leaders, experienced colleagues, state department staff and other resourceful people from the special education community. Topics include federal and state special education law, finance and budgeting, state reporting, program topics and leadership. Select sessions will have role-specific content to build individual skills. Continuing education units (CEUs) will be granted for each session in the series.

Click Here to Register
 Click Here for Flyer

Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014 • Cragun's, Brainerd

Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014 • Cragun's, Brainerd

Wednesday & Thursday, Dec. 3 & 4, 2014 • TBD, St. Paul

Wednesday, March 11, 2015 • Minneapolis Marriott Northwest, Brooklyn Park

Wednesday, May 6, 2015 • Madden's, Brainerd

MASE Leadership Issues
(Formerly “Rural Issues”)
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
10 am - 2 pm

Sauk Rapids Government Center
250 Summit Avenue North, Sauk Rapids, MN 56379

Thanks to Duane Borgeson, Executive Director, Benton-Stearns Education District, for arranging the venue.

10 am - Build Agenda
10:15 am - Discussion
12 noon - Lunch
2 pm - Adjourn

MASE “Rural Issues” has a new name — MASE Leadership Issues!  We changed the name to remind all of our members that all MASE members are welcome to these popular events.  Join your colleagues from across the state for good company and great discussion about current topics in special education leadership.

Other dates for the 2014-15 school year will be communicated as soon as they are established.  Mark your calendar!


Retiring or Moving this Year?
If you or a colleague are moving or retiring this year, please be sure to let us know by emailing members@mnasa.org