Closing Letter from Our Past President


Haley Moehlis

Haley Moehlis

Friends and Colleagues,

My term as president has come to a close and I’d like to take a moment to thank you. What a beautiful, educational ride this has been; I’ve learned as much about organizational leadership as I have about myself. I am so deeply honored to have had the opportunity to serve in this capacity.

ICTE has forever been my shelter from the storm; its leaders and members are my steady lighthouses who have guided and nourished me time and again. The leadership opportunities ICTE has afforded me makes it all the more clear that this organization is the gift that keeps giving. I will be forever indebted for all it has and will continue to provide.

Serving on the executive board has opened doors and taught me lessons I never anticipated. It has refined my views on leadership, provided me the tools and fortitude to read and analyze public policy and to understand the power our stories have to shape legislation, and has informed me about cultivating active membership. I have learned countless lessons about measurable outcomes and how a focused, intentional strategic plan can be implemented to yield success. Through ICTE, I’ve had the fortune to travel across the country for NCTE conferences and events where I’ve connected with writers, journalists, leaders, elected officials, and brilliant educators. This work has deepened my understanding of mission, vision, and service. It has invited me to reflect on my strengths and the areas in which I still need to grow. I am humbled and grateful beyond measure. I have been given so much — more than I ever could have imagined. What a pleasure and an honor and a gift it has been to be able to serve ICTE. I am so, so proud of the work of the board and our members. The work you do is remarkable.

Saying yes to ICTE leadership has been one of the greatest rewards of my life. It has given me hope and opportunity and a sense of community. If even the quietest voice is nudging you to become more involved, I invite you to heed it. Perhaps you’d like to facilitate a book club or propose a conference session. Maybe you’d like to help out with Eng-Camp, contribute a teacher-writing, or coach a Battle of the Books team. For some of you, the time may be right to volunteer for a board position. Wherever you are in your ability to give time and energy, please know what an asset you are. Yes, leadership adds another scoop to an already full plate, but if my experience has taught me anything, it’s that ICTE is bountiful in its reward. Please reach out if you are curious about ICTE leadership. Our organization’s strength lies within each of you.

Thank you, ICTE members, for showing up in all the ways you do. Thank you for your involvement, your minds, your compassion, your writing, and your dedication to our young people. To my fellow board members, thank you for your grace and encouragement as I navigated this role and stumbled through Robert’s Rules of Order. Thank you for your leadership and energy and for all you give on behalf of ICTE. You amaze me. To our newly minted president, Nikki Smith, thank you for your willingness to carry the torch forward. I know you will do it beautifully. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for ICTE, but there is no question that it will be bright. I’ll leave you with Octavia Butler’s words: “Your teachers / Are all around you. / All that you perceive, /All that you experience, / All that is given to you / Or taken from you, / All that you love or hate, / Need or fear / Will teach you– / If you will learn.” Thank you, thank you, thank you, ICTE, for being my teachers. Thank you for offering me the tremendous gift to be of service. It has been my honor.


Haley Moehlis, Past President