The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) has instituted a comprehensive and inclusive process to ensure a highly competent, diverse, and inclusive volunteer leadership base by establishing a Leadership Development Committee (LDC). Duties of the committee include intentionally identifying, cultivating, recruiting, and orienting a well-qualified and diverse pipeline of volunteer leaders for board of director and committee positions that are responsive to the current and future needs of the organization.
A more diverse board of directors has been linked to a greater strategic orientation. Diversity is important when it comes to understanding the changing environment from a broader perspective; developing creative new solutions to new problems; understanding the client populations served by the organization; and strengthening programs and services. CEC recognizes that diversity includes race, ethnicity, culture, language, age, [dis]abilities, family status/composition, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, religious and spiritual values, geographic location, and country of origin.
The LDC chair and CEC past president, Mikki Garcia, reached out to more than 60 CEC members of diverse backgrounds―46 completed applications were received. On May 9, 2018, the CEC Board of Directors approved a motion to appoint the following members to the inaugural LDC.
Mikki Garcia, Ed.D. Chair
Consultant, JEM Educational
Anna M. Adl, M.S.
Diagnostician/New Teacher Induction Coordinator, School District of Cudahy
Sheila B. Bailey, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Virginia Council of Administrators of Special Education
Prince George, Va.
Robin D. Brewer, Ph.D. (Governance Assessment Workgroup Representative)
Associate Professor, University of Northern Colorado
William K. Bogdan, Ed.D.
Maureen O’Leary Burness, M.S.
Special Education Leadership Consultant
Technical Assistance Facilitator
Marilyn Friend, Ph.D.
President of Marilyn Friend, Inc. (consulting and publishing)
Professor Emerita, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Kelly J. Grillo, Ph.D.
High School Biology LEAD Inclusion Teacher, Flagler County Schools
Title I Tutor and Adjunct Instructor, University of Central Florida
Ormond Beach, Fla.
Gloria Niles, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Special Education, University of Hawaii West Oahu
Zachary Walker, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, University College London Institute of Education
Every effort was made to match the needs and requirements of the committee to the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) of prospective committee members. In addition to having the necessary KSAs to contribute to the LDC, the applications of the appointed candidates demonstrated an extreme depth of understanding of the charge and expectations of the LDC, grasp of the body of knowledge related to the process and content area for which the group is responsible, and a commitment to giving back to the organization and the profession.
One candidate’s application stated: “Member engagement is integral to growing and sustaining organizational capacity. I believe that the newly restructured model of leadership development provides tremendous potential to recruit and engage new members and inspire existing members to explore leadership opportunities. Through mentorship and training, aspiring leaders will be prepared to serve in leadership capacities in a manner that is efficient and effective in supporting and promoting the purpose, mission, and values of CEC.”
The LDC will hold its initial meeting at CEC Headquarters in late June 2018. For more information about CEC’s governance structure, visit the leadership area of the CEC website.