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az student chapter

About Us

We are a statewide student chapter. Join us to connect, network, and change the world with special education students and allies from ASU, NAU, UA.

The purpose of this organization is to inform students and community members about the educational success and needs of individuals with disabilities and/or gifted and talented. The Arizona CEC student chapter will educate others about governmental policies, professional standards, and professional development opportunities. And we will strongly advocate for individuals with exceptionalities in schools and communities.

I'm Your Biggest Ally

CEC President Dr. Danielle M. Kovach, Ed.D

University Faculty Advisor

Curious or have questions? Contact our faculty advisory and let Heather Hall know you would like to join our amazing team.

Email Advisor

Get Involved…

The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) is the international nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the educational success of individuals with disabilities and/or gifts and talents. CEC supports children and youth with exceptionalities by advocating for appropriate governmental policies, setting professional standards, providing professional development, and supporting the professionals who work on behalf of children and youth with exceptionalities. CEC represents all disciplines in the field, including teachers, early interventionists, administrators, researchers, and higher education faculty who are teaching the next generation of special educators.

CEC works to ensure that the needs of student with exceptionalities, and those of special educators, are heard and heeded by policy makers, and engages an active grassroots advocacy network to advance CEC's critical messages. CEC's advocacy focuses on federal policies that:

  • Recognize and support the unique role of special educators as integral to achieving positive academic, developmental, and functional outcomes for children and youth with exceptionalities.
  • Spur stronger collaboration and coordination between special education and general education.
  • Increase funding for special and general education, early intervention, gifted education, and research.
  • Promote the expansion of research opportunities in special and gifted education and bridge the research-to-practice gap.

An essential element in CEC's vision is having well-prepared special educators working with all children and youth, birth through age 21. CEC works to enhance the knowledge, skills, diversity, and cultural competency of the profession by providing the resources its members need, including:

  • A Convention & Expo that is the premier gathering of special and gifted education professionals in the world.
  • Cutting-edge professional development products and services.
  • Award-winning journals, TEACHING Exceptional Children and Exceptional Children, which is the most cited special and gifted education journal.
  • A vibrant online networking community built exclusively for CEC members to share, collaborate, and connect with one another.

CEC members gather to network, learn, and share within state and provincial units in the United States and Canada. CEC's 18 special interest divisions focus on the most critical issues in special education:

  • Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE)
  • Complex and Chronic Conditions: The Division for Physical, Health and Multiple Disabilities (CCC)
  • Division of Leaders and Legacy (CEC-DLL)
  • Division for Research (CEC-DR)
  • Council for Educational Diagnostic Services (CEDS)
  • Division on Autism and Developmental Disabilities (DADD)
  • Division of Visual and Performing Arts Education (DARTS)
  • Division for Communication, Language, and Deaf/Hard of Hearing (DCD)
  • Division on Career Development and Transition (DCDT)
  • Division for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Exceptional Learners (DDEL)
  • Division for Emotional and Behavioral Health (DEBH)
  • Division for Early Childhood (DEC)
  • Division of International Special Education and Services (DISES)
  • Division for Learning Disabilities (DLD)
  • Division on Visual Impairments and Deaf Blindness (DVIDB)
  • Innovations in Special Education Technology Division (ISET)
  • The Association for the Gifted (TAG)
  • Teacher Education Division (TED)

Together we will nominate three students representing five regions in our state. FYI – this looks great on your resume when applying for a school job!

  • Northern (Flag, Page, Window Rock, Winslow, Kingman)
  • Western (Yuma, Parker, Lake Havasu)
  • Central - Phoenix Metro
  • Southern (Tucson Metro, Douglas, Sierra Vista)
  • Eastern (Show Low, Lakeside, Pine, White Mountain, Globe-Miami)

Positions held until 4/2024

President - Elizabeth Ruiz
Secretary - Olivia Lewis
Treasurer - Vanessa Macamo
Membership - Lucy Herrera Camacho
Communications - Lorraine Luckinbill

Central Faculty Advisor - Heather Hall
North Faculty Advisor - Andy Smith
South Faculty Advisor - Sunggye Hong
East Faculty Advisor - Dr. Amy Papacek
West Faculty Advisor - Suman Pangasa
NAU Faculty Advisor - Katelyn Zirkus
AZCEC Advisor - Kimberly Peaslee

Any student in an Arizona college or university can join us as a member and be a part of all our events, chats, and advocacy. Undergraduate and Graduate students from across the state are encouraged to join.


Member benefits include:

  • $1 Million Student Educator Professional Liability Insurance Policy*
  • Access to CEC’s Online Learning Library and Recorded “Quick Takes” Video Series
  • Online Access to “TEACHING Exceptional Children” 
  • Online Access to “Exceptional Children
  • Special Education TODAY” Weekly e-Newsletter
  • Access to Networking Through the All-Member Forum
  • Member Savings on Professional Development, Publication, Events and Resources
  • Access to Join Special Interest Divisions
  • Membership in State/Provincial Local Unit
  • Access to the CEC Career Center, the Largest Job Bank Devoted Exclusively to Special Education Professionals


Last Updated:  24 January, 2024

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