General Sessions 2018


Wednesday  |  5:00–6:30 p.m.
Celebrate – Honor – Engage

Marcia Tate
Opening General Session Speaker

Join CEC president-elect Laurie VanderPloeg to honor CEC’s best and brightest with our annual professional awards. Following the awards program, attendees will enjoy an energizing session with Marcia Tate.

Don’t know what a dendrite is? You will after you attend the CEC 2018 Opening General Session. Marcia Tate will have you on your feet and ready to use brain-based teaching strategies when you get back to your classroom.

Marcia is a renowned education leader who will inspire you to make the most of every day with your students. Get ready for learning strategies that you can implement immediately!

Once the session concludes all attendees are invited to the Expo Hall for refreshments and fun at the President’s Reception.


Thursday  |  8:00–9:00 a.m.
Life, Animated

Ron Suskind
Second General Session Speaker

Ron Suskind, a respected journalist and best-selling author of
six books, will join the CEC community as the Second General
Session Speaker during the CEC 2018 Convention & Expo.

His work is characterized by his passion for giving a voice to the
voiceless—most evident in his recent best-seller, “Life, Animated:
A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes and Autism.” The book tells the story
of his youngest son, Owen, who, after being diagnosed with
autism, found a way to reengage with the world around him.
Seizing upon Owen’s love of animated Disney movies, the Suskind
family reenacted the films with him, pioneering a now widely
acknowledged method of emulative communication known as
affinity therapy.

Suskind is a Senior Fellow at Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center for
Ethics, where he serves as a lecturer on narrative and justice. He is
also the Founder and CEO of Sidekicks for Autism, which provides a
free education app to help parents connect and communicate with
their children with autism.

Come and experience an amazing story about sidekicks, heroes,
and autism.


2017 Yes I Can Recipients

Friday  |  8:00–9:00 a.m.
Yes I Can Awards Celebration

Honoring the accomplishments of children and youth with exceptionalities. Don’t miss this very exciting event. This is why you became a special educator! 12 outstanding students and young adults will be honored in the following categories:

• Academics • School & Community
• Arts • Technology
• Self-Advocacy • Transition