A Message From Dr. Bell  

February 05, 2013

In November, I started looking at changes at ESU 10. It’s time to continue that discussion. I was reminded by a less than tactful employee that the color of my hair has changed. That fact can no longer be denied. The last driver license has changed hair color from brown to gray so it is official.

Another thing that was difficult to change around her was this very publication. We used to send out 3,500 copies of the Connector every two months. Now publication is entirely on line. Some still lament this fact. I’ve been slowly awarding school districts cases of the old brightly colored paper that adorned the covers of the ancient versions. It is my goal to stay one step ahead of the warehouse termites.

Federal revenues continue to dwindle. We have only about 75% of what we had five years ago. That’s good news and bad news. The good news is that we are less dependent on “soft money”. The bad news is we don’t have funds to help create incentives for program participation or some really neat, groovy new widgets or funds to meet the needs of a special population or program. The trend is for these funds to become even less in the future.

One change, that is an upswing, is the number of psychologists wandering the halls here at ESU 10. The unit has eight of these fine professionals on staff at this time and their roles have changed as they do much more than evaluations. They are integral parts of the Response to Intervention process and the Central Region Autism Spectrum Disorders Team. We started with two brave pioneers back in 1995 and one of them, Dawna Sigurdson, has been on the road as an ESU 10 employee ever since.

William Bolen has changed his role around here about five times since he became an ESU 10 employee and is in charge of one of the most exciting, and underutilized, new things here at ESU 10. That would be the new recording studio. Expect much more from William in the future as we discover new ways to use this special space and special man. I have a feeling you will see much more of me and others as we share short blurbs of knowledge and information. Maybe we’ll need to hire a fulltime make-up person.

Another change that I really like is the work of the professional development group. More and more of their efforts are multi-year, imbedded efforts at staff development and support. This is exciting – although those “one day make it-take it sessions” of the past were excellent for us old timers when it came to getting graduate credit to move across the salary schedule!

Yes, change does abound here at ESU 10 as we “partner with our customers to meet changing needs thorough professional expertise, training, and support”.