For more than 30 years, Sue Goldman has been one of the strongest, most vocal advocates for NJSHA and our school-based professionals. Sue served as the NJSHA President from July 2000 to June 2001 while simultaneously serving as chair of the School Affairs Committee (SAC). Over the years she has used her experience as a public-school speech-language pathologist (SLP) to help advocate for policies that benefit all students with speech-language disorders.
Barbara Glazewski, a retired Kean University professor and a NJSHA past president, has worked with Sue since the mid-1990s and praises her hard work over the years. She explained that Sue worked diligently as SAC chair to effect change for students and fellow SLPs and that she was a zealous advocate and perfect for the job. Barbara recalls Sue’s strong emphasis on
school-based SLPs and the need to ensure they have a powerful, consistent voice in Trenton. She recounted how Sue arrived on the scene when school-based SLPs were not speaking up for themselves. At the time, NJSHA was eager for a leader who could understand the issues, teach members to become vocal advocates and truly understand the intricacies of the state’s special education code. “She built such an entity of school-based speech-language pathologists in the state that all the advocacy expanded to a national level. This is why Sue was asked to serve on the committee to update what is now [the most current version of] ASHA’s Roles and Responsibilities of Speech-Language Pathologists [in Schools], the bible for school-based speech-language pathology.” Sue is also widely lauded as a co-author of the New Jersey Department of Education’s Technical Assistance Document: The Evaluation of Speech and Language.
Sue has remained in close connection with the state Department of Education’s Office on Special Education Programs (NJOSEP), and is still able to interpret and explain the code like no other. She has worked diligently over the years to ensure these interpretations are accurate by networking with SAC and the NJOSEP. “Sue knows New Jersey’s special education laws backwards and forward,” said Robin Kanis, another NJSHA past president, who has served on numerous NJSHA boards and committees with Sue over the years. “She has been a presenter nationally and an instructor for many, many years. By far, Sue is one of the most respected school-based speech-language specialists I know.” We always look to Sue whenever there is a question or a quandary,” Barbara said. “We circle the wagons and we try to figure out what Sue Goldman would do.” Donna Spillman-Kennedy added that Sue advocates for both students and professionals, ensuring SLPs remain in compliance with state and federal regulations. Donna added, “Sue is truly an inspiration as she challenges others to get involved and to ask questions. Sue, through her efforts, has given NJSHA a strong, consistent voice at the State Department of Education.”
In 1997, Sue received the Governor’s Teacher of the Year Award in Middlesex County for her work at her elementary school. She has earned 13 ACE awards for continuing education from ASHA as well as the Volunteer of the Year Award, Honors of the Association and the Distinguished Professional Service Award from NJSHA.
Sue represented New Jersey as the first ASHA State Education Advocacy Leader (SEAL) representing New Jersey. She was also a member of ASHA’s School Finance Committee, ASHA’s Legislative Council and ASHA’s Speech-Language Pathology Advisory Committee (SLPAC).
She is widely known for presenting engaging workshops on various school topics, such as In-class Collaborative Integrated Speech-Language Services, Diagnosis vs. Eligibility Relative to Speech-Language Therapy in Schools, The New Jersey Special Education Code 6A:14 and The SLP’s Role in Literacy.
Since 1998, Sue has been an adjunct professor at Kean University and has taught hundreds of students about what it means to be a school-based SLP. Students are still benefiting from her impressive research and ongoing efforts to innovate and advocate. Barbara recalls Sue as the prized professor: “She teaches a very rigorous course; the students learn the code” she said. As a member of the adjunct faculty at Seton Hall University, Sue worked for three years as a clinical supervisor, investigating and developing innovative speech-language service delivery models and literacy lessons in preschool programs.
Never one to take it easy, Sue remains an active member of the NJSHA board of directors and is active on several committees. She also volunteers for the program advisory board of the New Jersey Coalition of Inclusive Education (NJCIE) and is a member of the New Jersey Tiered Systems of Supports Committee (NJTSS) via the state Department of Education. Even though she is retired from the schools, Sue still performs occasional evaluations for students of all ages. Her hands-on experience as a school-based SLP for a significant part of her career has proven invaluable to many families looking for answers.
“Sue’s mission in life is not just to advocate for the profession, but to also advocate for the kids we are serving,” Barbara added. “She is a champion in advocacy whenever we go to Trenton to testify before the state Board of Education.” Sue has always been a big advocate for making sure kids get what they need and that school-based SLPs get what they need,” Robin Kanis said. “The first person who always responds when someone has a question about our profession? That would be Sue.”