All administrators know that one of the keys to a successful organization is a quality board of directors. A good board can offer advice and open doors in every important function from finance and administration to policy and personnel.
AESA is no different except their governing body is called the Executive Council. While the organization is sad to see excellent professionals rotate off the council, it does offer the chance for new blood. Three professionals have joined the AESA council: Phoebe Bailey, Suzanne Riley and Sheryl Weinberg.
Phoebe Bailey is the Executive Director of the Southwest Arkansas ESC in Hope, Arkansas. She worked her way through the ranks as a teacher, math specialist and teacher center coordinator. Her expertise is in curriculum and professional development.
Bailey sees AESA as the "foundation for service centers across the nation. The organization does the heaving lifting of vetting partner vendors for agencies as well as creating relationships that are both professional and personal."
"During my tenure on the council, I would love to see AESA continue to expand its growth and support for all level of employees in the member ESAs, not just the directors and leadership teams," she said.
Suzanne Riley is the Executive Director of the Southeast Service Cooperative in Rochester, Minnesota, a job she has held since 2003. In 2004, she worked with her staff and board to revamp the organization to better serve members in service quality, member relations, collaborative partnerships, operational efficiency and financial health. She championed programs and services to meet changing member needs. She said she plans to bring that experience as a voice on the AESA Board of Directors.
Sheryl Weinberg is the Executive Director of SERRC-Alaska's Educational Resource Center in Juneau, Alaska. She came to her position through special education working first with emotionally disturbed students in Phoenix in the late 1970s, then moving to Alaska and gradually taking on more responsibility until becoming the executive director in 2007. As executive director, she oversees between 200 and 400 grants and contracts as well as providing leadership for a staff of 80 in two locations and working with Alaska's 53 school districts and community members. She has had the job since 2007.
She sees AESA as "the voice and support regarding the place and the value of service agencies in education." She added that she wants AESA to continue to "play a role in connecting agencies at a regional level in an effort to help facilitate greater collaboration and resource development."