It Happens in the Hallway

Mark Johnson & Sam Stecher

Mark Johnson’s career in education spans over two decades, including serving as an elementary school teacher for 12 years before becoming a principal position. He received the Milken National Educator Award in 2004 as a teacher, and as a principal was a National Blue Ribbon Award winner in 2010. He was also named Outstanding New Principal of the Year for the state of Nebraska in 2011 and was recently served as the President for the NAESP in Nebraska. His passion for Education and Elvis knows no bounds.



Sam Stecher has served as superintendent of East Butler Public Schools in Brainard, Nebraska since 2014. Sam got his start in education as a middle school history teacher. His passion for education led him to co-found Mission Monday with Mark Johnson. Mission Monday specializes in providing teachers, schools, and communities with interventions to foster a positive school culture. The educators also are authors of “It Happens in the Hallway,” a dynamic account of their experiences in the classroom.

Legislative Lessons: What’s Next for Rural Schools?

Sam Walseth

Sam Walseth has logged 18 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 2019 legislative activities and share what’s next for rural schools.


Moving From Surviving to Thriving

Corey Martin, MD

Corey Martin is a Yale-trained family physician driven to change the delivery of healthcare and improve the mental and physical health of our communities. He is a founder of the Bounce Back Project and lead physician in Allina Health’s response to clinician burnout. Driven to do this work by the loss of two colleagues and friends, Corey strives to create an environment of opportunity in which all of us can do the deep, heartfelt work of changing the way we show up and interact in each other’s lives.