August 20, 2018

SIOUX CITY, IOWA (Aug. 20, 2018)—The staff of Northwest AEA was welcomed back on Aug. 14 with an "Awkwardly Awesome" theme and presentation by author and TEDx speaker, Jason Freeman. His message reminded staff to embrace imperfection and to never give up on students. Jason, who has cerebral palsy, said he was once one of those children being helped, and he is so grateful to his teachers who never gave up on him—even when he was more focused on recess than learning how to sound letters and words.

Jason encouraged Northwest AEA employees to:

1. be aware of the inner voice of perfection and ignore its persistent message of negativity; and

2. instead, give that voice love and kindness; so that

3. the next small step can be taken.

His message was to not give up on ourselves and those whom we serve! We are grateful for the message, passion and enthusiasm he brought to the opening day for the 2018-19 school year.

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With offices in Sioux City, Sioux Center, Cherokee, Denison, Le Mars and Onawa, Northwest Area Education Agency (AEA) works in partnership with public and accredited private schools in a 10-county area of northwest Iowa to help assure that all children reach their full potential. The AEA provides special education support services, media and technology services, a variety of instructional services, professional development and leadership to promote school improvement. The Iowa General Assembly created the state’s AEA system in 1975. It is widely regarded as one of the finest in the country. For more information about Northwest AEA, visit www.nwaea.org.

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