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'When was the last time you did something for the first time?'

from CASE

I love music — any kind of music. But I guess I do end up listening to country music perhaps more than the other kinds. When I am doing my Saturday morning chores, I often have the top 20 country videos on the television and I heard a song by Darius Rucker that had me stop in my tracks and just laugh out loud. So often, we miss the lyrics all together but this one really struck me as a good question, "when was the last time you did something for the first time?" The video was great with all the pictures of the "firsts" we can all tick off the list — roller coaster ride, kiss, baby's first steps and on! We should never lose our sense of adventure. As teachers, as really good teachers, we were all the time trying something new to see if it would work with this student or that one! As leaders we should constantly be learning new things to try with our parents, our staff, our students or colleagues — anything to make a difference with student outcomes. Isn't that one of the main reasons you are reading this email this morning? You are trying to find out information to help you or those you work with, right? No matter what our age, no matter how long we have been doing this job, no matter how we feel at a given moment, we need to be looking for a new something to try for the first time!

Speaking of first time ... do you remember the first award you ever received? Wouldn't you love to give that feeling to one of your new administrators? Take the time to nominate someone for the CASE Early Career Special Education Administrator Award. This award will be presented to a Special Education Administrator who is a member of CASE and in their first five years administering special education programs and/or services, and who embraces 5 of the pre-selected values of the 17 Gersh Values. The nomination should be sent to CASE Membership chair, Dr. Julie Bost (NC) at 40 Windrift Court, Gibsonville, North Carolina, 27249 336-847-0749 by June 30! Information can be found on the CASE website or download the form above!

Don't forget to sign up for the CEC free webinar... On May 30, CEC will host a complimentary webinar entitled, "Setting the Foundation for the Future of Special Education." Join the co-chairs of CEC's Standards Development Workgroup for an informative webinar about the current revision work to strengthen and refine CEC's Professional Preparation Standards. In this FREE webinar, learn about the direction and process for this critical initiative and preview the current draft of the future CEC Professional Preparation Standards.

Attendees will also receive the opportunity to participate in an online public comment survey to provide feedback and recommendations to the Standard Development Workgroup members, following the webinar.

Don’t miss this opportunity to be engaged, informed and directly involved with the development of the Professional Standards that shape our field of Special Education. This webinar is FREE! Make sure you're logged in to your CEC account (or create one!), and continue with the registration process.

Speaking of CEC... As you plan your summer professional learning opportunities, save money on speakers and use the long menu of recorded webinars through CEC. If you are a premier member, you have access to several webinars for free — ones that other people have to pay for — as part of your member benefits. You do know there are several levels of membership for CEC, right? One of my personal favorites is the District membership — which is really a professional development package! With the District membership, you get a total of five (5) free webinars! Check the different membership options out today! Remember our latest Lucky 21 (#9: What every general education teacher needs to know about special education) is at the printers right now! When we are ready to mail out, if you are not a member, you will not get your free copy! So, check out the great options and join today!


If you have never gone to the Hill to advocate, let your first time be with us! We need every state to be represented! The time is now to register for the CASE-CEC Special Education Legislative Summit (SELS)... CASE has been doing a legislative summit for 16 years! For the last 3 years we have partnered with CEC to increase our footprint up on the Hill! All the information you need to make an informed decision is right at your finger tips at the SELS website. I strongly encourage you to add the bus transportation to your registration as the DC Metro seems to always be under construction right now — the bus into the D.C. for that Tuesday is the least stressful way to go! I always encourage folks to take advantage of the great location and hotel rate and bring your family/friends — come in early or stay late and do some sightseeing. There is always something new to see in D.C.! But most importantly, we want to have special education administrators from EVERY state represented in our SELS. Last year we had over 250 people from 44 different states up on the Hill advocating for students with disabilities! We need you! Check out the information and add this to your professional learning budget!

We had a nice response to our poll this week... This is a tough time of year — full of emotion and lots of fires to put out! The question for this week was "Which would you rather do for this coming year?" First place at 47 percent was be a school/district administrator. At second place with 20 percent was teach at a university. Third place was a tie with 13 percent between change fields completely and other. Other was defined as either keeping the same job or being a consultant. Retire came in fourth at just 7 percent and I have to admit was a bit of a surprise to me on how low it was on the continuum. Maybe that is a function of those folks have already put in their paper work and aren't answering polls or maybe we just are still excited about trying something new. If you haven't ever been to SELS, maybe that ought to be your next first time event! Why not bring some of your future leaders (teachers) to D.C. this July to the SELS. Let's all continue to keep searching for the best answers for our everyday problems — big and small!

Hope you have a tremendous week full of fun, planning, completions and just overall success! Think about what you can do for the first time this next week! In just a few weeks, for some of you a few days, this school year will be history and the next big challenge will be just around the corner!

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Luann Purcell
Executive Director
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