Join us for the professional development event of the year! On February 5-7, you will be joined by 425+ of your colleagues for an incredible experience. With presentations from incredible thought leaders, more than 30 sessions rooted in mental health, innovation, education equity, and leadership development, MESPA Speaks performances by your own colleagues, an Unconference in which you guide your own learning, and 80+ education-based exhibits, how could you go wrong?

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Registration is open now! Visit mespa.net/institute to register!
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Wednesday, February 5 • 3:45pm - 4:45pm
Building a Firewall: Protecting Childhood for Children

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It’s time. Let’s talk about childhood and what children and families need from it. After we talk about it, let’s commit to creating schools that celebrate childhood. And then, let’s do the work, the work of protecting children from a culture that does not always have their best interests in mind. Let’s create schools that see them, those children, as unique human beings needing to belong, to play, to feel loved, and to matter. Time to roll up our sleeves and do the work of protecting children, building a firewall around them in schools. We can do this.

avatar for Katy Smith

Katy Smith

Katy Smith is an inspired parent educator, trainer, early childhood advocate, and keynote speaker. Katy has two undergraduate degrees in social work and in parent education from Winona State University. She has a master’s degree in Education from the University of Wisconsin, LaCrosse... Read More →
avatar for Jessica Cabeen

Jessica Cabeen

Jessica is the Principal of Ellis Middle School in Austin, Minnesota. Prior to that, she was the principal of the “Happiest Place in Southeastern Minnesota”, the Woodson Kindergarten Center. She has been an assistant middle school principal, a special education supervisor, and... Read More →
avatar for Eric Skanson

Eric Skanson

Dr. Eric Skanson is a husband, father of five and elementary principal in the ROCORI District in Cold Spring. He received his doctorate from the University of Minnesota in Organizational Leadership and Policy Development in 2016, his Masters of Education from Hamline University in... Read More →

Wednesday February 5, 2020 3:45pm - 4:45pm CST
Bloomington Room