Held in person for the first time since 2018, the biennial NJEA Conference on Exceptional Children featured keynote speaker LeDerick Horne. Horne graduated from New Jersey Public Schools and was diagnosed with a learning disability in third grade. Although he has nothing but praise for his teachers, it was mainly his own determination, intelligence and creativity that ultimately led him to attend Middlesex Community College and later graduate from New Jersey. City University with a degree in Mathematics and a minor in Fine Arts. .
While still struggling academically in 11th grade, he told his IEP team that he was going to college. He challenged the team to help him get there.
Today, as an author, spoken word artist and disability advocate, Horne regularly speaks to an array of academic, government, social and business groups, including appearances at the White House, Nations United, at Harvard University, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, the National Association of State Directors of Special Education, and state departments of education across the United States
On April 30, he addressed the NJEA Exceptional Children Conference, where he was originally scheduled to speak in 2020. He also presented a workshop called “Supports for Success: Seven Tips to Empower Students.” It was one of 15 workshops presented at the conference, addressing the full range of issues and abilities to achieve the goal implicit in the conference theme: Creating learning environments for ALL students.