Written by Andrew Arevalo

I remember the details so vividly. In fact, they seem to run on an internal loop – to the tune of play, pause, repeat! I guess it’s safe to say these details will forever be ingrained on account of the profound bliss they elicit. From the moment my phone buzzed, to the moment I heard the raw enthusiasm from Jon Corripo on the other side of the line, to the final moment when the call ended, and the sheer excitement completely engulfed me from head to toe. That’s right, micro details eliciting a whole-body, macro response! I’m referring to the precise moment that unfolded when I was notified that I had been selected as the 2020 Fall CUE Keynote.

To put it in perspective, my first CUE experience was roughly two years ago in Palm Springs. And at the time when my principal had initially asked if I had any interest in attending this life-altering conference, I quite literally thought he was referring to the letter “Q”. Hence, I had absolutely no expectation for this conference because I was quite literally entering uncharted territory. All of this was (and in many regards is still) completely new to me.

Come to find out, I truly wasn’t prepared for the events and the overall experience that would eventually transpire over the course of the conference and become entwined in my DNA. If you’ve ever been to a CUE conference, I’m sure you still remember exactly what your first experience was like. And if you haven’t had the opportunity, CUE events are unlike any other educational-related conference in the nation because they are profoundly family-oriented. No matter who you are, where you come from, or what you’re in search of; there is a place for you within the CUE community. And more importantly, there are friends (who will likely become extended family members) waiting in anticipation of your arrival with arms wide-open. You may feel strange, but you are never a stranger!

Although I had intended to return back to the Sacramento area (i.e., where Fall CUE was originally scheduled to take place), the world as we know it changed overnight. So, we are all adapting amid this pandemic to keep the CUE tradition alive! And since we are on the topic of Sacramento, I must say that CAPCUE will always hold a very dear place in my heart. They were the first affiliate (outside of my own) to take a risk on a newbie presenter from El Centro – trying to find his identity as an educator! And now, roughly 2 years later, I’m returning to where it all began – figuratively speaking, of course. Being selected as the keynote is an endearment of the growth I’ve endured, the challenges I’ve overcome, and the leader I’ve grown into. So yeah, you better believe my excitement is unbridled! And I hope you’ll join me as we reimagine learning amid this crisis.

About Andrew Arevalo:

Andrew Arevalo, known as Gameboydrew, is an award-winning educator, esteemed writer, and national speaker. Andrew is passionate about leveraging blended learning, the power of play, and human-centered design through a global awareness to ignite curiosity and drive learning. He currently serves as a fourth-grade teacher, GATE lead, and Esports Director for the McCabe Union Elementary School District in El Centro, California.

Virtual Fall CUE Registration – October 22-26

Virtual Fall CUE registration is OPEN and just $79! Prepare for school with hundreds of sessions from the best edtech presenters in education! Schools around the country are looking to find ways to manage teaching online or in a blended setting. Fall CUE is the virtual conference bringing thought-leadership discussions and best practices on all things pedagogy, blended and online teaching strategies, and edtech tools!

Mercedes Maskalik

About Mercedes Maskalik