President’s Message:

Happy New Years to the Members of the Pioneer Division.

As your 2018 President, I want to make you aware that that the CEC Workgroup on Governance completed their report and that a link to the report was provided in the Dec. 7 issue of CEC Leadership e-newsletter. The link is:
I know that the workgroup spent considerable time on the report and CEC is requesting responses by Feb. 5.  The report calls for significant changes to how CEC members and leaders will be appointed (versus elected) to the Board. There are pros and cons to the more efficient governance model proposed.  I hope that you will take a few minutes to read this, become informed and if you would like to do so, to comment. The Pioneer board has been working on a response and posing questions about the process and requesting clarifications.  I encourage others to respond as well. 

Best wishes

Susan Fowler

Pioneers Division Goals for 2017

As part of the focus for the Pioneers Division of CEC, the Board approved the following goals:

  1. To meet membership needs though outreach, support, and services.
    1. Continue to communicate with members, lapsed members and State Pioneer Chapters
    2. Continue to develop and revise membership recruitment plan with membership chair
    3. Based on membership survey results, develop trainings such as: webinars, conference sessions, ask an expert forum, and other support services to meet members’ needs and assist in recruitment efforts
    4. Continue to communicate through the Newsletter, website, conference sessions, IDC participation, RA participation
  2. To nurture the next generation of leaders for the field and within CEC through collaboration.
    1. CEC/PD Mentoring Program participation and leadership
    2. Showcase addressing “Interagency Collaboration Triad for Success”
    3. Work with Nominations Committee on nominating future leaders
    4. Continue work on the “State of the Profession” project
    5. Outreach to Student CEC for ideas and collaboration
  3. To honor past service and preserve the history of CEC.
    1. Courtesy resolutions to recognize service
    2. Continue “Legacy Series” articles
    3. Archives work for CEC
    4. Mackie Award
    5. June Jordan Fund for Preserve CEC History



Romaine P. Mackie Leadership Award
Purpose: The Romaine P. Mackie Award is to honor an outstanding professional who has demonstrated leadership in CEC and other organizations for an extensive period of time in various areas within the field: service delivery, teacher education and professional development; research; policy; assessment; publications. The individual should be nominated by someone who is familiar with the nature and qualify of his/her work and who can speak to the nominee’s character.
Nominations are due January 3, 2018
For more information contact:

Dr. Gloria Taradash,
Honors and Awards Committee Chair




Any person who has been a member of CEC for a period of at least fifteen (15) years, or has served as an officer of a CEC Division or state/provincial unit, or is a Past President of CEC shall qualify for membership.   All members of the Pioneers Division must hold concurrent membership in CEC.

Upcoming Events

Professional Development

As part of our charge for this year the Pioneers Division is also planning on multiple presentations at the CEC 2018 Conference in Tampa, FL, February 7-11, 2018. Please look forward to the following presentations:

The Pioneers Division is planning three great sessions for you to attend in Tampa. The three presentations address leadership in one form or another.

The first session will be our Showcase Presentation. This session will focus on the status of the survey and hopefully some preliminary results related to the “State of the Profession.” The Pioneer Division has been working with CEC for the past year in the development of the survey through workgroup meetings, focus groups and sample test questions shared at the Leadership Retreat in July. The plans are for a preliminary survey to be sent out later this fall to special and general education teachers. Hopefully the preliminary results will be shared in the session in Tampa. The leaders for this project are: Susan Fowler, Mary Ruth Coleman and Bill Bogdan.  

The second presentation is going to be addressing the Mentoring Program. A panel will discuss some of the successes of the program and lessons learned, along with how this program helps to develop leadership skills of participant not only within CEC but in participants’ careers present and future. For additional information contact Jamie Hopkins.

The third session will address encouraging present and past leaders to join and participate in the Pioneers Division. The topic “How to Continue Serving as a Leader in the Field of Special Education After Your Term as a CEC Leader has Ended.”   Members of the Pioneers have been long time CEC members and /or have served as a leader at the local, state/provincial or national level. Their background and experience allows them to continue to be leaders in the field of special education. We would like to encourage past leaders and long-time CEC members to continue to be involved in the field and join and become active members in CEC/PD. For further information contact Paul Zinni and/or Diane Johnson.

The Pioneer Division will hold its annual business meeting and reception on Thursday Feb. 8, 2018 in Orlando Florida. The business meeting will begin at 4PM with an update on the State of the Profession Survey and other activities.   A reception will follow from 4:30 to 6:30. The reception will include snacks, and wine/beer for purchase. Come and catch up with friends, meet the current members of the Board, and attend the presentation of the Mackie Award. The Board meeting for the Division is scheduled from 11AM to 3:00 PM earlier in the day and all members are invited to listen to the Board discussions and speak during the Public Participation section at 11:10. Please check the program for the exact location of board meeting, business meeting and reception.

The Division is sponsoring two sessions this year: Thursday morning and Saturday morning. Mentoring Teachers as Leaders is a panel session scheduled for Thursday from 9:45-10:45 and will include Division members who have been active mentors, helping to transform teachers into leaders. They will share their experiences and strategies as will some of the teachers they have mentored. Past CEC Presidents, Fowler, Coleman and Bogdan will present on Special Education: Current and Future Trends on Saturday from 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM, focusing on what we have learned from the last three years’ efforts to identify critical trends in the field through the Representative Assembly, Focus Groups and a survey of CEC membership. The interactive session will focus on ways that the educational system must expand capacity to deliver specialized instruction, using a range of delivery options, to address the strengths and needs of increasingly diverse populations of students with exceptionalities.

The Pioneers will be presenting a program on Mentoring Teachers as Leaders at the upcoming CEC Convention in Tampa. Presenters include Joan McDonald, Bill Bogdan, Jamie Hopkins, Charlotte Brickhouse (former Doctoral Student Mentee) and Kyena Elrod Cornelius (TED member and Asst. Professor at Minnesota State University, Mankato). The session will focus on effective mentoring for university students and teachers as they develop leadership skills for their profession and within CEC. The session is scheduled for Thursday, February 8, 2018, 9:45-10:45 in Room 11 at the Tampa Convention Center. Please plan to join us!

The CEC/CEC-Pioneers Mentoring Program is up and running! Interested Mentors and Mentees may sign up using the following links. Mentees at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KZTJBL9. Mentors use https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KZTJBL9. For information about the Mentoring Program visit https://www.cec.sped.org/Membership/CEC-CEC-PD-Mentoring-Program.

The Mentor Steering Committee continues to function with experienced mentors representing CEC Divisions, Faculty Advisors and CEC Units. Members include Jamie Hopkins, Chair, Michael Thew, PD, Cheryl Zaccagnini, State Unit, Kyena Elrod Cornelius, TED, Bethany McConnel, TED, Nichole Moore, State Unit, Rebecca Crocker McMullen, Chapter Faculty Advisor, Barbara Washington, Chapter Faculty Advisor, Kaleen Schultz, Student Committee, James Heiden, CEC Past President. Judy Harrison, CEC Director Membership is the staff liaison.

Questions? Please contact Jamie Hopkins, jamiehopkins777@gmail.com.


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