Office of the Superintendent

2022-2023 Superintendent’s Message

This past year we used the metaphor of a flashlight for our annual plans and the theme Bright Spots to shine a light on the great progress we are making in our systems approach to continuous improvement. As we kicked off this 2022-23 School Year, we shared with our Governing Board and entire NSSEO staff that we have intensified our focus by turning up illumination on our purpose, our identity as NSSEO. The relentless focus on student outcomes and customizing our efforts shines through a brighter, stronger, more intense illumination on doing what is essential and intensely purposeful  to build promising futures for students.  

Beginning our 55th year as a vibrant, evolving and progressive special education cooperative,NSSEO is so proud of the depth, growth and evolving practices that advance our positive influence as an organization dedicated to serving students with special needs. With an exciting start to a robust school year ahead with an amazing and expanded group of educators and paraprofessionals who have joined our NSSEO family, we are so excited and energized to expand learning opportunities across our NSSEO community, reflective of our identity and purpose.

Quote Beginning our 55th year as a vibrant, evolving and progressive special education cooperativeNSSEO’s success is contingent on the ongoing collaboration with our families, districts and community partners and we cherish those relationships and the positive impact it has on our work. We will shine a brighter light by expanding events throughout the school year in addition to incredible learning opportunities occurring every day across learning environments. Among the growth areas collectively mastered this past year, positivity, resilience and flexibility will continue to be important tools that help us navigate change in our future work together. 

This summer our leadership team worked hard to finalize an updated Continuous Improvement Plan that was approved by the NSSEO Governing Board in August, 2022 to build upon the success and growth of this past year and making adjustments, refinements and additions designed to intensify our efforts on important areas that have the greatest impact on students. 

The NSSEO 2022-23 Continuous Improvement Plan focuses on:

  • Supporting and aligning effective use of curricular resources and related assessment tools within instructional frameworks 
  • Refining guidance/training in best practices for Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) the foundation of all learning 
  • Providing expanded ongoing, high-quality Professional Learning for all staff/parents/districts specially designed for the identified focus areas 
  • Development of a Customized NSSEO Equity Action plan through collaborative stakeholder committee process to ensure our systemic efforts reflect  the important focus areas identified that will enhance our systems of support 
  • Advancing clear, defined vision for transition planning, supports and linkages to adult services
  • Expanding NSSEO Bright Spots visits to engage partners and legislators with our students to enhance meaningful partnerships across our community

I am inspired every day by the heart, courage and perseverance of our students and families These rigorous and exciting goals require action steps, measures of growth delineated for each area on our dashboard coupled with the passion and perseverance to build the momentum to accomplish great success. We are going to accomplish that together through a variety of engaging approaches that  customized plans and expansion for districts and our NSSEO leadership teams, supporting parents through expanded PERC (Parent Education Resource Center) events, expanding our NSSEO Parent Advisory Council (PAC) and delving into various ways to enhance school-family-community partnerships, expanded vocational opportunities and sequence of vocational experiences in various educational environments in school and across communities. To intensify the illumination of our purpose we are also going to facilitate community forums, participate in partnership and community events and student-focused opportunities and engage in fundraisers and grant opportunities all to support our efforts for students.

This is a uniquely special and bittersweet year for me as I will retire in July, 2023 after living my purpose through a rewarding career in education. I have served in leadership roles in special education for several decades with the most special and memorable the past 16 years here at NSSEO. I am so immensely proud of our amazing dedicated and talented NSSEO team, our visionary leaders, our awesome students and families and guided by our incredible NSSEO Governing Board who together emulate our purpose through dedicated service to our organization every day. I am so fortunate to continue to do what I love and love what I do, inspired every day by the heart, courage and perseverance of our students and families.

Thank you so much for embarking on this purposeful illuminating journey of advancing our identity this year. It will undoubtedly be a very special and memorable year of growth and promise and one I will treasure always. Please join me in making every day count, celebrating  every special moment as we learn and grow together by illuminating our purpose in everything we do every day in every special way. Our students will always be the center of our focus and guide a brighter future ahead.


Judy Hackett, EdD

“The purpose of life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.”
Albert Schweitzer