—The following remarks are excerpted from Maddy Hewitt's speech during the closing plenary, "NESA: Celebrating the Journey", at the Fall Leadership Conference in Doha, Qatar:
When the Search Committee asked me why I view the NESA Executive Director position as a DREAM job, I gave them a three-fold answer:
1. The Region of NESA: Near East/South Asia. From Athens to Bangkok. Ancient, emergent, unpredictable, diverse, vital, beautiful and cherished. . .The leaders and learners in this room have responded to Tsunamis, earthquakes, unrest, revolution and war. And somehow these challenges only deepen our love and commitment. Who does not love it here? Living and journeying in this vast, wonderful, complex, challenged and hope-filled NESA region.
2. The Mission of NESA: Professional Learning is at the heart of the mission. NESA's model developed under your leadership, David, is VALUE ADDED. You are a true learning leader, leaving behind the potpourri one-shot dalliance conference model. With your Board, with Bridget Doogan and your Professional Development Advisory Committee, with the incredible office team, Jill, Laura, Aristea and Maria, and with wisdom and support from Bea Cameron and the Office of Overseas Schools, you have forged a model that is built to last. It is a model with systems and structures, tools and tactics that strengthen schools, drive change and impact practice.
Through your leadership, NESA defines itself as a collaborative community. And NESA Collaboration welcomes
cognitive dissonance, demands honest, challenging conversations and pursues answers to life changing questions. So, the second answer to the Dream Job question is mission. You, David, have shaped and breathed life into the mission of NESA for all of us.
3. The Culture of NESA. As we have seen so powerfully in the tributes of Board Presidents, friends of NESA, presenters and delegates, NESA has got depth and soul. Socrates coaches us to see ETHOS, PATHOS and LOGOS in leadership. David, you have shaped us into an Ethical NESA, a Courageous NESA. A NESA with Feeling and Inspiration. Through your leadership NESA is a community of intellectually curious, truth seeking thinkers.
Thank you David. I embrace this region, this mission and this community with my mind, heart and soul. It will be an honor to serve this treasured organization, carry your torch, and give it my all."
Read more about the FLC closing plenary session, "NESA: Celebrating the Journey".