Get Your Vote On for the 2020 Board of Directors!

We need your help electing five new Members-at-Large to the CEC Board of Directors!

Meet the amazing candidates below and then send in your vote before 3pm ET on Oct. 16, 2019, to make your voice heard!

Meet the Candidates:

Jeanne Alter
Executive Director, Kennedy Children’s Center
New York, NY

“As the leader of a nonprofit preschool for children with special needs in New York City, I am proud to be part of a vibrant community of staff, parents, board members, family, and friends. Our nation is in the grips of a teacher shortage crisis. This problem disproportionately affects the bilingual, special education, low-income, inner-city children whom it is my mission to serve. Well-trained and supported staff guide children to success – and when children succeed, parents feel more confident and secure, and better equipped to handle the realities of raising a child with special needs. Investment in public education and teacher salaries is an investment in the future of our communities. I am ready to devote my time and energy to being part of a bigger solution. CEC has the voice, reputation and power to effect the change we need, and I would like to be part of that mission.”

Tachelle Banks
Professor & Associate Dean, College of Education & Human Services, Cleveland State University
Cleveland, OH

“My inspiration to apply to the Board of Directors was informed by my introspective process to examine more closely whether my goals align to the mission of CEC and its board. The mission involves forward thinking and courageous decision making, which is the embodiment of who I am as a professional — someone who can identify weaknesses in a program and seek viable solutions. I am impressed by the integrity of CEC, which is an essential component of any organization I am associated with. My work is focused on inclusiveness of all populations, and I consistently seek opportunities to contribute further to this goal. In addition to my professional commitment to special education, I possess a willingness and conviction to serve the organization. Board membership will offer a way for me to leverage my expertise and skills in a meaningful and engaging way.”

Julie Bost
Clinical Assistant Professor, Specialized Education Services, School of Education, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Greensboro, NC

“This is an exciting time for CEC, and it has been an honor to serve on the Board of Directors for the past three years! I am inspired by the mission, vision, and work of CEC and want to continue to be a part of an organization so essential to the field of education. During my tenure on the board, we have partnered with various states and districts to provide professional development on high leverage practices, along with new teacher support through membership opportunities. I truly believe now is the time to harness the momentum CEC has created around advocacy, professional development, and professional standards by continuing to partner with states, provinces, universities, and schools/districts to provide much-needed support to those in the field. My goal is to contribute and support CEC, divisions, and units to produce changes that are in the best interests of students with exceptionalities.”

Ted Burke
President & Principal Consultant, Beyond the Box, LLC
Honolulu, HI

“When I attended my first statewide CEC conference over 20 years ago as a young early childhood professional, I was immediately inspired by a few leaders there who reached out to me and took me under their wing. I came to realize that, as part of CEC, I was surrounded by the smartest and the most dedicated colleagues our field has to offer. From that point forward, I knew CEC was the organization made up of the people who I wanted to be associated with — who would help me in my work to advance the success of children with exceptionalities and their families. As a CEC board member, I will be committed to reaching out to a variety of education professionals from around the globe and taking the time to listen to the unique needs they have in their communities and the common themes that resonate for all educators.”

Kelly Carrero
Associate Professor of Special Education, Texas A&M University Commerce
Commerce, TX

“I am deeply passionate about my personal and professional mission: to advocate for those who are unable to advocate for themselves. Children and youth with exceptionalities, their families, their educators, and their service providers are all capable of advocating for themselves in many ways, but many of them lack the platform to affect systemic change. As an active member of CEC, I have been provided a platform to advocate for the pillars of inclusion, equity, and quality programming for children and youth with exceptionalities and their support systems. Through multiple professional development opportunities and leadership roles, CEC has helped me to grow as a professional, a scholar, a leader, and an advocate. Serving on the Board of Directors would allow me to collaborate with other dedicated and committed leaders within the organization to establish and promote activities, initiatives, and organizational policies that would strengthen the organization and, therefore, our community.”

Michael Dunn
Associate Professor of Special Education & Literacy, Washington State University Vancouver

Vancouver, WA
“Disability is a central component of my family and professional experiences. My father had complete hearing loss. I have been a special education teacher, and then, researcher, since 1994. The mission of CEC aligns with my interests and goals. I joined CEC in 2002. I have been an active member by contributing to a variety of Divisions and initiatives through my leadership and professional activities. I have attended CEC Conventions every year since 2005. I have attended many sessions, presented at many sessions during these 10 years, and interacted with CEC members in the process. I have participated in Division (DLD) meetings, reviewed conference proposals, evaluated nominations for the DLD student award, and written an action (research) alert.”

Claire Hughes
Associate Professor, Department of Education & Teacher Preparation, Coastal College of Georgia

Brunswick, GA
“There is a saying that ‘You are either at the table, or you’re on the menu.’ It is critically important that special and gifted education be engaged in policy and research discussions by collaborating and communicating both within itself and with other organizations as it provides input and feedback on regulations and policies that directly impact children today. Having done recent work in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, I saw first-hand the impact that CEC publications, statements and advocacy efforts have not just on children we know, but the impacts on efforts around the world. I am running because I am willing to listen, participate and ‘be at the table.’ I am inspired to run because I see the value the work of CEC has on children, teachers, parents and organizations who strive to make a more inclusive, welcoming world that values and responds to differences.”

Will Hunter
Associate Professor, Special Education Instruction Curriculum & Leadership, College of Education, University of Memphis
Memphis, TN
“My inspiration to apply to the CEC Board of Directors revolves around the notion that I aspire to be a servant leader for an organization that has a global impact on the special education community. I have demonstrated the ability to serve people through listening, being a good steward, making data-driven decisions, and displaying commitment to the growth of the organizations in which I serve. These characteristics align very well with the responsibilities and duties of a CEC Board Member. I have the privilege of being a parent of children with exceptionalities. Additionally, I have worked with P-12 students with exceptionalities and their families in a variety of capacities including teacher, professor, and educational leader. These experiences have provided me with a unique perspective and, consequently, have helped me recognize the importance of being aligned with CEC’s mission to advocate and promote the advancement of our field.”

Kristine Melloy
University Professor, School of Special Education, College of Education & Behavioral Sciences, University of Northern Colorado Greeley, CO
“The main thing that inspired me to apply to the Board is my lifelong commitment to the service of children and youth with exceptionalities and the alignment of that commitment with CEC’s mission. The other thing that inspired me to apply is that, throughout my professional and personal life, members of CEC and its subdivisions have been my partners in serving children and youth with exceptionalities and their families through advocacy, high standards and professional development. Being a member of the CEC Board will benefit me professionally because this will allow me the opportunity to continue my commitment of service through volunteer work with others on the Board that will positively impact the lives of children and youth with exceptionalities. Through CEC, I developed my closest and dearest friends and colleagues. Being on the Board will benefit me personally by deepening these relationships and building new ones.”

Cindy Perras
Special Education Consultant, Learning Disabilities Association of Canada
Toronto, ON
“Many years ago, I became a member of CEC at the suggestion of my Superintendent, who said it would be of professional benefit in my position as a Special Education Resource Teacher. Since then, CEC has become so much more than a professional organization; in CEC, I found a home. CEC ‘connected the dots’ among my various roles as an educator, as the parent of a child with special needs, and as someone who believes in giving back through volunteerism. I am proud to be a member of CEC and grateful to have served on the Board for Ontario CEC and CEC’s Division on Autism and Developmental Disabilities (DADD). Additionally, I was honored to serve as CEC’s Convention Program Co-Chair in 2018 and 2019. I would welcome the opportunity to share my passion for special education and my respect for our profession, on the CEC Board of Directors.”

Laura Receveur
Teacher on Special Assignment (SPED), Ridley High School
Folsom, PA
“In the past, I have had the pleasure of working alongside the CEC Board of Directors and staff in various capacities. This amazing group of people inspire me to join them in making a difference in the lives of students with disabilities. In 2014, I served as the Local Arrangements Chair for the CEC Convention in Philadelphia . I learned so much about the structure of the Convention and worked closely with CEC staff. It was an absolute pleasure to work with them all. They made me feel like an integral part of the team and included me in many decisions. At that time, I was invited to become a member of the Convention Workgroup. This group worked to improve the convention experience for all those involved. I agreed to become a part of this group and found the experience to be enlightening. As the only classroom teacher in the group, and a relative stranger, I was welcomed with open arms. This group of leaders listened to my thoughts, ideas and strong opinions. I felt accepted and respected. Our work truly changed the convention forever! I felt as though I was the voice of classroom teachers around the country and my voice was heard. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?!”

Donna Sacco
Clinical Assistant Professor, Cato College of Education, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Charlotte, NC
“Simply put, I do not feel that my contribution to strengthening the Council for Exceptional Children as the preeminent association in the field of special education is complete. I have served CEC in many capacities because our mission of advancing the success of children and youth with exceptionalities is critical work for the field. I served on the Board of Directors from 2012-2014. In that time, the Board was responsible for initiating many of the changes that are in place today. Understanding the history of the progress we have made and the strategic plan that we developed in those years is important to moving forward. I am currently a teacher educator working with in-service and pre-service teachers, parents, and children with disabilities. My drive to continue service to this organization and my commitment to improve lives for all stakeholders is what inspired me to apply to the Board of Directors.”

Kareem Thompson
Assistant Principal, Congress Middle School
Boynton Beach, FL
“The Council for Exceptional Children values the meaning of inclusiveness. As an African American male raised by a single mother of six, who herself would have been identified illiterate, I have pushed through the odds of societal statistics and assumptions to become a successful educator. I believe it is essential to support all students, and I have committed my life to doing so. Being a Board member would allow me to support this mission on a global perspective and scale as I support the vision and goals of such a fine institution. As a member for 10 years, I have been able to assist on a local, state, and even international level by serving in many positions at CEC.”

Ben Tillotson
Transition Specialist/Teacher, Salt Lake City School District
Salt Lake City, UT
“I have been actively involved in CEC since I joined as a student during my undergraduate program. The networks and relationships I have gained as a CEC member have directly influenced numerous opportunities in my career that has changed the course of my life. Within CEC, I have found mentors and friends who have educated me, supported me and pushed me as a teacher and as a person. I am immensely grateful for each individual who has helped me and to be involved in an organization whose mission is to better the world through education and advocacy. I want to continue that legacy of CEC by supporting and creating strategies and policies that empower educators and students of all abilities.”

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