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November 2022 President's Message from Dr. Danielle Kovach

[image of the land and sky from an airplane window during sunset in mid-flight, with the plane engine included in the view]

It is no secret that I am not a fan of flying. And when I say not a fan, I mean I REALLY do not like flying. But sometimes, it is the only way to travel. 

This month, I flew to Louisville, Kentucky, for our last CEC Board of Directors meeting of 2022. Yup, you read that right. I flew! On my return flight, I looked out my window at the 30,000-foot view and became lost in my thoughts. I reflected on the past year and all we accomplished as an organization. And from that 30,000-foot view, I realized something else; a bigger picture I did not anticipate when I began my journey in CEC. 

I never acknowledged how I have changed during my time in CEC. 

Ummm...hello... I'm flying! By myself! On a plane! 

The big-picture view is that you put faith over fear when you truly believe in something. CEC has pushed me to step beyond my classroom walls to better myself so that I can be better for others. But it is challenging. Volunteering our time often takes away from something else in our lives, whether it's our job, family, or other commitments. The added workload may make us wonder, "Why do it?" 

At our Board meeting, I challenged our Board of Directors to look within themselves and find the "why" driving their involvement in CEC. They wrote their reason on cards, laminated them, and put them in a safe space. My goal was to give them something tangible to reflect on when their commitments seemed overwhelming, and they may have asked themselves, "Why am I here?"

One of my favorite songs, sung by Garth Brooks, is "Standing Outside the Fire." For me, the song encompasses our work as educational professionals and our involvement in CEC. "Standing Outside the Fire" is a powerful song that inspires anyone afraid to take risks. When we are pushed into the fire and go beyond where we feel safe, we take chances that help us reach our full potential. 

Taking risks often helps us find inner value and worth or helps us find the purpose of our actions. Are you standing outside the fire, where it is safe and calm, or jumping into the unknown, pushing yourself and challenging yourself to reach new heights?

Life is not tried, it is merely survived if you're standing outside the fire.  - Garth Brooks, "Standing Outside the Fire"

As you progress in your special education journey, think about where you stand now and how you can fly higher.

- Dr. Danielle Kovach, 2022 CEC President     

Posted:  17 November, 2022
Kovach Danielle
Author: Danielle M. Kovach, Ed.D.

CEC President 
Special Education Teacher
Tulsa Trail Elementary School
Hopatcong, NJ

Read more from Danielle M. Kovach, Ed.D.

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