Held Virtually At

Schedule At a Glance

Sunday, Nov. 15

6:30 pm
Awards Ceremony

Monday, Nov. 16

3:30 pm
Building Hope in Rural America
*On-Demand Breakouts Any Time

Tuesday, Nov. 17

*On-Demand Breakouts Any Time

3:30 pm
Legislative Lessons: What’s Next for Schools?

4:45 pm
Annual Member Meeting

Wednesday, Nov. 18

*On-Demand Breakouts Any Time

3:30 pm
A Message from Gov. Tim Walz
Rural Recovery, Resilience & Renewal

2020 MREA Annual Conference

Rural Proud

Join us at the 2020 MREA Annual Conference as we celebrate 35 years of being the voice for Greater Minnesota students and share practices on tools on being #MNRuralProud.

The MREA Annual Conference is the only conference in the state that brings together educators, administrators, school board members and other advocates across Greater Minnesota for quality professional development, networking, and career recognition.

For the first time in our history, we’re hosting it completely virtually and allowing schools and other organizations to register as a site so all of their team members have access.


“I had great conversations with a variety of professionals—superintendents, principals, teachers, school board members. I LOVE the professional energy in celebrating and learning from success!”



  • Keynote speakers and general sessions streamed live at 3:30 pm each day so we can get inspired together
  • On-demand breakouts on a variety of relevant topics for teachers, school administrators and school board members (View breakouts)
  • Virtual Gallery Walk of best practices for schools today
  • Awards ceremony engaging our communities in celebrating and honoring educators and the innovation we’re seeing in Greater Minnesota schools. Join the livestream at 6:30 pm on Nov. 15 at ruralproud.org.
  • Live Q&A and panels to connect and gain new resources


Employees and school board members of organizations that have pre-registered for the MREA Annual Conference may sign up here to gain access to the daily live-streamed general sessions (at 3:30 pm) and on-demand breakout sessions here: ruralproud.org.

Jamie Mead

Building Hope in Rural America

3:30 pm Monday, November 16

Rural educators, families, and community members understand the critical need to foster Hope—especially during these ever-changing, uncertain times. We’ll explore the evolving science of hope across two decades of research—and learn why hope matters now, more than ever before. Learn more. Jamie also will lead a breakout on Taking Action to Empower Every Learner. Join us for a live Q&A with Jamie immediately after her keynote address.


Sam Walseth

Legislative Lessons: What’s Next for Rural Schools?

3:30 pm Tuesday, November 17

Sam Walseth has logged 19 legislative sessions lobbying at the Minnesota State Capitol and leading successful coalitions to improve equity in educational opportunities for rural students. He will provide an insider’s perspective on the 2020 legislative activities and share what’s next for rural schools. Join us for a live Q&A with Sam immediately following his session.


Dr. Allen Pratt

Rural Recovery, Renewal & Resilience

3:30 pm Wednesday, November 18

Rural educators are working so hard and are essential to America’s well-being. Dr. Allen Pratt brings his experience and findings as the executive director of the National Rural Education Association as he shares how rural communities and schools across America are at a critical stage in their journey of recovery, renewal and resilience. We’ll explore what we’ve learned and next steps. Join us for a live Q&A with Allen immediately following his presentation.

Here’s a sampling of the 30+ on-demand breakout sessions available for teachers, administrators, school board members and other education advocates:

  • Taking Action to Empower Every Learner
  • Flip Your Classroom By Next Week
  • Supporting Parents with Distance Learning (Survey Results & Next Steps)
  • Rewriting the Rural Narrative
  • Panel: Distance Learning with Rural Teacher Leaders
  • Minnesota Youth & Community Relationships (Teen Survey Results & Fostering Connections)
  • Social Mobility in Rural America
  • Collaborative Planning and Collective Decision-Making

View more breakouts on student learning and engagement, leadership and planning, rural proud efforts and responding to COVID-19.

The conference also will feature some bonus mini sessions to allow you to quickly get an overview on some key topics in 10-20 minutes.

Presented by: