That first line from the Eagles hit song, “Hotel California” always comes to mind when I think about my experiences and times with CoSN.  I’ll come back to that story in a moment, but for now, I’m going to keep you in suspense. 
It’s Nominations season at CoSN, and as chair of the Nominations and Bylaws Committee, it gives me a chance to reflect on my CoSN experiences. For the past seven years I have had the honor to serve on the CoSN Board of Directors.  I’ve served as a Member of the Board, as Treasurer, and as Chair.  It’s been a tremendously rewarding experience, and it’s provided me with great opportunities to grow both personally and professionally.  I’d like to share some of those experiences with you and encourage you to consider Board service.
The CoSN Board consists of some of the finest edtech leaders in the US.  These individuals work together to create initiatives and policies that shape the educational landscape.  Their efforts on the E-rate Modernization is just one example of the changes that they have helped make possible.  It’s been a great opportunity to grow professionally.
Board service isn’t all fun and games.  It’s real work.  The CoSN Board is a working Board.  Whether you’re serving as an officer, the chair of a CoSN committee, a Board liaison to a committee, you’ll find that the phrase Board service has real meaning at CoSN.  But, every one of those opportunities will provide you with experiences that will make you a better leader.  I’ve grown in ways that I could never have imagined before serving on the Board.
You can prepare for Board service by working at your state level and by working on any of the many CoSN committees.  These activities help others to know you and your skills.  If you’re ready to step up to serving on the Board, then I encourage you to submit an application.  You can find additional information about submitting your application here.  Nominations are open until October 7, 2018.
So, what does the Eagles’ song have to do with CoSN?  Well, my first exposure to CoSN was at a conference in Fort Worth in 2008.  That’s where I met Keith Krueger, gave him a ride to another conference that we were both attending in Dallas, and decided that my district needed to be a part of CoSN.  Okay, it wasn’t dark, and the road from Fort Worth to Dallas doesn’t go really through a desert, but that ride paid great dividends to me, to my district, and to our students.
Somehow, those first five words come to mind and make me smile whenever I think about that encounter.  The song ends with the words, “You can check out any time you want, but you can never leave.”  I’m retiring in just a few months, and I won’t be checking out.  CoSN has become an important part of my life, and I don’t expect to ever leave.
I hope that you’ll consider service on the CoSN Board as part of your personal growth.  Nominations for this year’s slate close on October 7.