The Beekman Award is the preeminent award presented annually by the MAASE Organization at the August MAASE Summer Institute.
Beginning in 1973 when Marvin Beekman became the first recipient, the award has recognized individuals who have distinguished themselves in the administration and leadership of special education programs on the local, regional (ISD) or state level. The president elect appoints a representative committee who focuses on the candidate's education, experience, current administrative responsibilities, honors and special recognition, organizational memberships and involvement, community activities, and any distinguishing qualities which would make a candidate worthy of the award.
Macomb Intermediate School District 44001 Garfield Road Clinton Township, MI 48038
Following is the text of the award presentation by MAASE President John Bretschneider:
It is my pleasure as President of MAASA to be a part of this year’s presentation of the 2012 Marvin E. Beekman Award. Of all of the awards that are available for those who work in the field of Special Education, this one is a special leadership award, based those leadership strengths that Marvin Beekman epitomized. This award is also special in that the award winner is not supposed to know that they have won the award until it is bestowed. In fact, even those on the review committee don’t know who else is serving on that committee, and they do not know officially who won the award until it is presented.
Now to solve the mystery of who won:
This year’s Beekman award winner took classes from at least three (3) different universities within the state – including the University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, and Wayne State University. They started out with an emphasis in Education and School Psychology. This year’s award winner has experience in a variety of assignments as a School Psychologist and as a school administrator in several different local and intermediate school districts. He or she has been active within MAASE in a variety of capacities for many years.
Let’s hear from the individuals who nominated this individual:
“We believe [he] possesses a broad range of special qualities that makes him stand out above the crowd. . . .
“He promotes fairness and equality of all students with disabilities locally and statewide;
“[He] gives all matters deep thought and continuously strives to learn more;
“[He] constantly insists on choosing the right thing to do for children;
“[He] remains remarkably steadfast with the most difficult and volatile situations;
“Building a career on honesty enables [him to have] extraordinary accomplishments and credibility for special education;
Representatives of his county special education administrators association write:
“He is knowledgeable, insightful and engaging. His non-judgmental, approachable manner fosters collegiality and trust among us. He approaches everyone with sincerity and understanding. Even when working on the most contentious problems he is always fair minded, simultaneously focused on compliance and doing what is best for the student. Regardless of the many responsibilities in special education leadership, he never loses sight of the primary mission - which is to provide support to children and families with special needs. He is unquestionably devoted to the population we serve.”
His Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent write:
“Our candidate displays a high level of personal integrity. He is steadfast in assuring quality of service. On an interpersonal level, he is a man of honor, expecting people and districts to put the rights of students first raising the expectations of all. His outstanding diplomacy allows him to deal with others with kindness, always conveying a willingness to help. He excels in effective positive communication. He handles his unique roles in a calm, objective manner. He is also very versatile. . . . His ability to inspire confidence and respect as a seasoned professional and authority is impressive.”
Personally, I’d like to be like him when I grow up!!
The 2012 Marvin E. Beekman award winner has worked for Monroe County Intermediate School District, Wayne County Intermediate School District, Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit, Dansville School District, Ingham Intermediate School District, and Macomb Intermediate School District. He currently co-chairs an ad hoc committee of the MAASE Legislative Action Committee dealing with Part 10 of MARSE.