From Mary E. Spruill, Executive Director

June 2013
As we wrap up the 2012-2013 school year, all of us at NEED take a moment to think about the great things that have happened this year.  When I make even a quick list, I am reminded what a great team of teachers, students, and partners NEED is, and how privileged we are to have a Board of Directors that collectively and individually believes in what we do. The NEED network has become what we always hoped it would be:  teachers, students, and sponsors working together to teach others about energy.  
NEED is fortunate to have many strengths and grows on the strength of its relationships – relationships between our teachers and staff, between our sponsors and teachers, and between our former and current students too.  NEED was “social” before “social media.”  I never grow tired of looking at our Facebook page and seeing our students and teachers interacting about an article, a new blog, a great new opportunity, or even the occasional energy joke.  On the days we are able to give away energy curriculum and our energy kits, it is great to hear how teachers will use the materials we’re giving away and see the speed with which they respond to opportunities. 
The teacher training, the curriculum development, the teacher and school grants, and the student leadership development activities would not be possible without a great staff and engaged, committed sponsors.  Our sponsors are diverse – from small energy companies, to manufacturers, to electric and natural gas utilities, and energy companies whose names are familiar to everyone.  Our sponsors are also individuals who write personal checks to support what we do.  Why?  Because they believe in teaching teachers and kids about energy. 
For many years, sponsors have come to NEED to help improve energy knowledge in K-12 classrooms.  They also come because they recognize that an investment in students and teachers is an investment in the future of energy in this country and around the globe.  As the energy industry seeks young, talented workers, our work in preparing kids for today’s and tomorrow’s energy jobs continues.  NEED kids are great candidates for the energy jobs available in each and every energy related field.  Perhaps even more important, I am reminded that NEED also supports the growth of great educators.  From helping a current teacher expand his or her skills in the classroom to encouraging today’s 4th grader to become a great teacher, our work in energy and education is never ending and always rewarding. 
I am grateful for the hard work and dedication of our staff, teachers, partners, and Board Members.  These individuals raise the level of discussion about energy in our nation’s classrooms and make a difference each day.  We evaluate the data and we see the results – NEED teaches teachers, kids, and families about all aspects of energy in its role today and in the future.  Those people teach others.  It is all about the relationships and sharing knowledge.  We have lots more to do and more people to bring into the NEED family.  Let’s go! 
With many thanks,

Mary E. Spruill
Executive Director