There are rare moments in a person’s life when that person experiences a once in a lifetime event. This past week I was blessed to have experienced one these events. I attended the SMART Exemplary Educators (SEE) Summit hosted by SMART Technologies at their corporate headquarters in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. During my time in Calgary, I had to the great pleasure to meet and work with a group of the greatest educators in the world…the SEE’s. Throughout the week the SEE’s were exposed to many of the great products created by SMART Technologies, but more importantly, building personal and professional relationships with each other.
During the week of July 20-26, the SEE’s, through various venues, were given opportunities to collaborate with each other and personal from SMART Technologies. During this time, we all received the great pleasure of working with Deena Zenyk, Heather Lamb, and Ainhoa Marcos on a daily basis. These are three individuals who have dedicated countless hours away from home, family, and friends to bring the incredible experience of the SEE Summit to educators from countries including Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Egypt, Finland, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Panama, Russia, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, and United States (hopefully I didn’t miss one). Without the commitment of these three extraordinary ladies, I would not be here enjoying many priceless memories. Leaving here and leaving their incredible friendship and knowledge behind will be difficult. The one merit is knowing I will be able to work with them again in the future. I could never thank them enough.
Furthermore, I was able to meet and work with additional SMART Technologies personal in various capacities. While I would love to list each by name and discuss the details of these exchanges, I will reserve those for a later date. One person I do want to pay recognition to is product developer, Nick Wu. I was given the pleasure of working with him on the SMART Hackathon. While I cannot go into details, I can tell you he is one incredible programmer. I was given the opportunity to present Nick with a variety of product improvement suggestions. While I viewed the number of suggestions as huge and thought they would keep any programmer busy for months, Nick, in his extreme dedication, had working demonstrations of over half the suggestions in less than 48 hours. How extraordinary is it that a company as large and powerful as SMART Technologies would give a single educator the chance to work with someone of such skill and talent. I was truly impressed with the skill set of Nick and the dedication he puts forth for the SMART product development team.
Each one of the SEE’s will be taking their away their own memories from this week. Whether it was just a simple conversation in passing, the entertainment of 80’s night, being present for the well-earned special recognition of Deena for all her hard work, becoming an honorary Calgarian, an extended conversion on a bus ride through the mountains with new friends, or simply pushing a wheelchair of a great educator through one of the most beautiful landscapes on this earth; fsaor me, all I can say, the time and people will never be forgotten. Thank you everyone for making one of those rare moments in my life.