Role(s) on the Reason2Smile Board of Directors: Secretary
Susan received her BA in Elementary Education from SUNY Oswego and her MS in Emotional Disturbance from Syracuse University. She is a certified elementary and special education teacher. She has 18 years of classroom experience and served as Coordinator and Instructional Specialist at Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES in Auburn, NY for 8 years. Susan is currently Director of Elementary and Secondary Education at Wells College.
Susan’s reason for accepting the invitation to be on the Reason2Smile board of directors:
“I agreed to serve on this board for some of the same reasons that I entered the field of teaching. I believe we make our professional choices, in part, to define our role in life. We seek answers to the question, ‘What can I do that will provide an outlet for my skills and enable me to act on my beliefs as I try to make sense of this world?’ I see my participation on the Reason2Smile Board as an incredible opportunity—a way to learn, connect to others, and make a difference.
“This is not a selfless act. As any good teacher knows, burn-out comes quickly if you are not fueled by the process. As corny as it sounds, my goal is to become, as Sonia Nieto says, ‘more fully human.’ We are living in troubled times. Now, more than ever, it is critical to develop profound empathy for those who are trying to navigate this world within challenging contexts. I am blessed and I know it. Many have to struggle far harder than I to find food, shelter, and a support system. In addition to understanding some of the uncomfortable issues that contribute to the struggle, it is critical to take action . . . to do something . . . ‘to be the change that you want to see.’ Reason2Smile is doing just that.
“Keela has provided us with an amazing model of what one person can do when he/she reaches out to those around. Her energy, commitment and positive attitude inspire all she encounters, including me. My answer to her invitation to serve on the Board came quickly and confidently. To support, in any way I can, her goal of creating a better life for the children of Jambo Jipya, is an honor.”