Michigan Association of Administrators of Special Education

MAASE is a statewide professional educational organization affiliated with the National Council of Administrators of Special Education and the Council for Exceptional Children. MAASE members are dedicated to the enhancement of the worth, dignity, potential, and uniqueness of each individual in society.

Those who receive special education services are individuals who possess basic rights and responsibilities, and who command respect at all times. Special education embraces the right to a free appropriate public education.

The Mission of MAASE is to provide leadership for the development and implementation of quality programs and services for students with disabilities within the total education community.

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President's Corner

MAASE President Andrew Claes
Andrew Claes

June 28, 2017

Well, another school year has flown by with all the success and struggles that come with every year.  For me, MAASE and all its members, are the wellspring that sustains and reassures that I am on the right track throughout the school year.  After each MAASE event, I return to my ISD with a renewed commitment and energy in service to our students.   

I am truly honored to be a member of the organization and humbled to be President.  I hope to fulfill these duties in the spirit of those who served before me and continue to be a good steward of the organization, the members, and ultimately students with disabilities.  As long as I have been a MAASE member, I have been in awe of this incredible group of people.  This dedicated group continues to inspire me through the many activities, awards, professional learning, advocacy, networking, and committee work that occurs annually.   

Many of the leadership teams or past presidents have promoted a central theme during their tenure.  John Bretschneider often talked about being “proactive” rather than reactive.  In many ways this idea set the stage for current legislative action and lobbying.  Carolyn Smith-Gerdes often spoke about “connecting” as a means to bring in new members, strengthen partnerships across the state, and develop relationships within the organization.  Diane Heinzelman, at the recent retirement celebration, encouraged us to “find our voice” and to speak out for justice and equity.  Most recently, Eric Hoppstock discussed “simple improvement together” as a way to advance in a strategic way, as a team to the next step in our organizational progression.  These are but a few of our past presidents, who have helped move us forward as an association.  

I hope to present the next step in our progression together by promoting the idea of “engagement”.   I challenge all of our members to be engaged with the organization, whether that be participating on a committee or in a community of practice, attending a legislative summit, or attending the professional development sessions. I would encourage you to engage with the members, to seek out our newest members, and connect with our experienced members.  MAASE, through all the members, has a depth and breadth of knowledge that is vast.  I implore you to support our organization in these critical times by actively engaging, in a manner of your choosing, to improve the lives of students with disabilities, and by extension, the lives of all children.