Our focus this year had been to keep MESPA “visible and viable” by providing our members with professional learning, support, and advocacy, while, at the same time, planning for our long-term future through the sale our office/training space and the settlement of our financial obligations.
It is with a mixture of sadness and hope that I report we have signed a purchase & sale to sell our office and education center to the Assabet Valley Collaborative. We expect to close on the sale on March 31 and, for the short-term, will rent back office space from AVC.
The sadness comes from a recognition of the work done by our members and long-time Executive Director Nadya Aswad Higgins to make the dream of owning our own space a reality more than 25 years ago. As a second year principal in 1991, I remember the sense of pride our association felt when the center opened. Over the years, the space made it possible for MESPA to offer new opportunities, including a licensure program, a doctoral program, a Technology Center, and countless other workshops.
The feeling of hopefulness comes from knowing that this sale opens new possibilities for our association. In recent years, MESPA had accumulated a significant long-term debt. Proceeds from the sale will enable us to settle our long-term financial obligations and free us to explore new opportunities.
One opportunity we are actively exploring is a unification with the Massachusetts Secondary School Administrators Association (MSSAA). Thirty out of fifty states (including all the other New England states) have combined PK-12 principals’ associations. The Board of Directors recommended exploring this course of action last year and membership endorsed the idea at last May’s annual meeting.
While the idea has been on the table for over a year, we are still only in the preliminary stages of discussion with MSSAA. Now that the sale is imminent, talks can resume in earnest. The MESPA/MESPEF Board of Directors and I believe that a new unified association would enable us to have a stronger voice in representing principals and to be in a more stable position to offer the professional development and support that members rely on MESPA to provide.
If you want to know more about MESPA’s future, please plan to attend the Annual Meeting Breakfast on Friday, March 24 at the Spring Conference. You should also feel free to contact any member of the Board or me with questions of concerns. Much more to come….