In July 2001, I began this amazing out of the classroom adventure because one man saw potential in me. Ed Roeber started the special education division at Measured Progress and brought me on to join the team of SPED Specialists. He envisioned a team of people who understood both special education and assessment, helping states as they developed and implemented their alternate assessments. What I had in enthusiasm, I lacked in professionalism. Upon my arrival in New Hampshire, Ed began to think he may have made a mistake hiring me. I promise, I was GREEN! I had no understanding of corporate culture. Within a year, I settled in for the most part. This good man was kind enough to tell me he was wrong when he thought I wouldn’t make it. From that point on, he’s been a fabulous mentor, helping me with nearly ever career choice in the past decade. As a matter of fact, when I moved from New Market to the barn in Dover, Ed actually showed up and helped me move.
I’ve been thinking of Ed frequently over the past few days. Because I was with fellow road warriors, I was sharing tips that date back to Ed. Just in the few days that I was in Silver Spring, I thought about the travel rules like 2 beds are best because you sleep on one and keep your suitcase on the other. When folks were talking about a corporate credit card, I thought of how we used to always say “Thanks Ed” when we’d pay for something with our cards. He was such an advocate for his employees. He made sure we had the tools we needed even when others in the company couldn’t get the same benefits. Getting the Mac this week made me constantly think about the last time I got a work issued Mac. It was a sweet little reward Ed secured for me because he recognized my passion for technology. At DTW, I passed the Delta room and thought about how Ed lobbied to get MP to purchase passes for employees who were real road warriors. Seriously, this man had our backs.
I was standing at the gate getting ready to board last night when I looked up and saw Dr. Roeber at my gate. I rushed over to him and said, “It was bound to happen one of these days!” Ed moved to Michigan when he left MP. I asked what seat he was in. He’s an aisle guy. I am usually an aisle gal these days, but for whatever reason, I was in 3A. Ed was holding the ticket for 3B. I tear up thinking about it now, actually. What a delightful coincidence! I got to sit beside my dear friend, former colleague, and mentor last night by pure happenstance. Thanks Ed!