Lee WilliamsIt was September 2002 and I had just completed a lengthy background check and in-person interview with the Dayton Metropolitan Housing Authority to manage one of the after-school programs at a local inner city apartment complex. I was a junior English Literature major at Wilberforce University, the nations oldest private Historically Black College and University (HBCU) with aspirations of becoming an educator. Wilberforce University, a leader in cooperative education mandates that each student complete two paid internships prior to graduation and the after-school program was an opportunity to fulfill one of those requirements. Each afternoon, I drove thirty minutes to Dayton, Ohio from Wilberforce, Ohio often missing dinner and evening campus activities. In fact, I have vivid memories of the students running after my green GEO Metro as I pulled into the center each afternoon. Student participants received a snack upon arrival, homework assistance, and enrichment activities to improve standardized test scores. The experience taught me the importance of classroom management, student discipline, and most importantly the value of our work as educators; I was hooked.

The Northeast Alliance of Black School Educators (NETABSE) was founded in 2012 with the goal of creating a network of local educators who were intentional about collaborating and growing professionally to make positive and meaningful impacts within the Bowie, Cass, and Miller County communities. NETABSE, an affiliate of the Texas Alliance of Black School Educators (TABSE) and the National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE), strives to provide programming and professional development opportunities for all stakeholders associated with our area independent school districts, colleges, and universities.

Currently, our local NETABSE affiliate has 150 members and collectively we seek to do the following:

Promote careers in education to underserved and general student populations within our region.

Provide yearly scholarships in the name of Mr. Dan Haskins to local area school district graduates who want to be educators.

Collaborate with NETABSE membership to increase engagement and awareness among local, state, and national educators.

Educators often have the daunting task of mixing theory with practice while developing approaches and curriculum that will speak to the needs of the local communities they serve. Our annual Administrative Symposium and Middle School Conference is designed as a multi-generation approach to promote educational excellence within our region. NETABSE renews our commitment to work with local agencies throughout the community to provide opportunities for all residents regardless of race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation; understanding that we grow through the differences of others.

I am excited to serve as NETABSE President and thrilled to encourage you to become a part of an organization that strives to make a difference within our community.

In his Service,

Lee Williams III
NETABSE President

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