Message from the President

January 2021

Dear MPAEA Members,

Happy New Year and welcome to 2021!

What a year it has been personally, professionally, and politically. The pandemic has changed the way education functions, how business operates, and how families interact. As an organization, we too are navigating these unusual circumstances in order to serve our members and stay aligned to our mission.

Our pride has always been in bringing adult education communities together for our annual conference held every spring. The MPAEA conference is known for its reasonable cost to attend and various ways it highlights large, small, rural, and urban programs. The conference has always been a time for professionals to gather in person and learn new ways to help students be successful, garner ideas on how to collaborate with core partners, learn about new policies, or give vendors an opportunity to showcase their tools to assist programs. Most importantly, the conference has been a time to celebrate, communicate, collaborate, and support each other.

In February 2020, we gathered in New Mexico and listened to Cheryl Keenan from OCTAE reinforce the importance of adult education and the role we all play in adding value to the communities and economies we work in. MPAEA announced that in April of 2021, we would convene again in Cheyenne Wyoming. We had no idea that within a month there would be a shift that would produce ripple effects for our students, our jobs, our families, our education systems, and so many other world changes.

These changes will prevent us from meeting in person in Wyoming this year. Your MPAEA board of directors has been brainstorming since July on alternative ways to support each of you without adding more expense to your programs, time away from your jobs and students, and ways to avoid adding to the virtual terrain we all seem to be overloaded on.

Updated information will be distributed in February and in the meantime, may your new year be filled with health, happiness, and many blessings.

Kind Regards,

Tammie Hickey, MPAEA President

tammie.hickey@gfps.k12.mt.us

406-771-5104



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