A Message From Dr. Bell  

October 10, 2016

My goodness I felt ancient this week. We had the opportunity to work with Dr. Jane Ziebarth-Bovill and Vic Young from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. They scheduled time here at ESU 10 to allow over 100 students in UNK TE 100 classes to learn about the programs and services offered by ESUs. It was a delightful experience to work with these burgeoning educational professionals. I did discover that only one student in the room was born when I started working at ESU 10 twenty-three years ago. I immediately started looking for my cane so I would not fall and break a hip and had an overwhelming desire to eat some soft food. Fortunately, we also had the three bright and knowledgeable ESU 10 Directors in the room to share specific knowledge and to provide answers to the insightful questions directed to us. I am continually impressed with the professional abilities of Ron Cone, Denise O‘Brien, and Jean Anderson. My hope is the students in the room were also impressed and will look to ESU 10 for support so that we can “partner with stakeholders to meet changing needs through professional expertise in providing services, learning opportunities and support” for years to come.    

Currently, I am packing my bags and finalizing summary information to share with the five Nebraska elected officials who are representing us in Washington, D.C. I have been involved in this yearly activity since about 2000 as a member of the Association of Educational Service Agency Federal Advocacy Committee. Dr. Jeff West from ESU 13 in Scottsbluff will join me again this year. I am impressed with the quality of the Nebraska delegation.  We also appreciate the time they give us to discuss the issues. More will be shared once I get back, but the main topics on the list this year are: Environmental and Facilities Issues, Child Nutrition, Perkins CTE Reauthorization, Federal Funding – Budget & Appropriations, and the Every Student Succeeds Act. I have other ideas in non-related areas that will probably creep out during the visits, but the focus will primarily be on these identified topics.  When in Washington, I am often reminded of the comment made by Representative Bill Barrett, who did a fine job in that environment, when it came to representing Nebraskans. He often said that “Washington was 10 square miles surrounded by reality”. This opportunity gives us the chance to inject a bit of reality into the thoughts of our elected officials. I can’t say that they always agree, but we are able to often times give them a different point of view.    

Other than these two highlighted activities the work of ESU 10 goes on as usual. Some days the building is full of people being trained in a wide variety of areas. On other days we can hear the crickets chirp as this highly qualified staff takes their expertise on the road to serve school district personnel in a more individual and direct manner. You just need to let us know what we can do for you.

With that I need to finalize plans to head east. I will try to remember the wise words of Shirley MacLaine while in Washington next week when she said, “It is useless to hold a person to anything he says while he’s in love, drunk, or running for office.”  

I hope your fall season is satisfying and that the wind comes up and blows all of your leaves into your neighbor’s yard!