Thank you, thank you very much!

Today I was honored to receive the MACUL Educator of the Year Award. There wasn’t time for an acceptance speech, so here it is online, where you can skip past it easily!

Thank You, MACUL

Photo by Orin Zebest
Photo by Orin Zebest

I remember the first time I attended and presented at MACUL in 1998. I had just been hired by Jim Bembenek (past MACUL president) and he told me I was presenting at MACUL. I will never forget my feeling of awe when we faxed in the application and he wrote on it “This one’s good!” Wow, he has so much power, I thought! To a young teacher just back in Michigan, it was mind boggling!

Ever since then, I have presented every year, and soaked up the great learning and networking that the MACUL conference offers. This organization has provided so many of the opportunities that provided me professional growth: serving on the board, serving as an ATA Technology Trainer, organizing featured speakers, printing my column, supporting the TWICE videoconferencing sessions, and many others. MACUL has and will continue to make a significant impact on my learning and networking.

Thank You, Sue
It was Jim Bembenek, Sue Porter, and Connie Solis who thought we should have a videoconferencing organization in Michigan. We met in a restaurant and discussed how we could start TWICE. Just a few months later Sue and I started the videoconference celebration of Read Across America for TWICE (now Read Around the Planet). Sue taught me so much as we started our distance learning program, including the paper towel demonstration of how video and audio are compressed! Thank you, Sue, for all that you’ve taught me and shared with me!

Thank You, Arnie
When TWICE got started, I met Arnie Comer, distance learning manager at Macomb ISD. Arnie taught me about the ASK program started by Jim Wenzloff at their ISD. Arnie shared a few ASK programs with me and then he and Jim helped me get my own ASK programs going. Thank you, Arnie, for bridging connections for me that I couldn’t get to work on my bridge, and teaching me so much about best practice in videoconferencing! Particularly, thank you for the nomination for this award, and all the mentoring beforehand that got me to where I am now!

Thank You, Kevin
Thank you also to Kevin Clark, my current supervisor, for the nomination, as well as for support, feedback, and great input on all my crazy ideas.

More Thank Yous
Thank you to everyone who has taken my online classes (PICC & K2K), then created great projects and shared them back with me to benefit my schools.

Thank you to all my local coordinators and teachers, without whom we wouldn’t have a successful videoconferencing program. Each of you have worked so hard to bring engaging learning experiences to our students in Berrien and Cass counties. I appreciate your time and effort!

Finally, I thank God for providing opportunities and blessings so that I can do my work. I give Him the glory for what I’ve accomplished, for without Him I can do nothing.

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