It Takes Just One

by NSEA President Jenni Benson

I love music. Every kind of genre. I could sing all day long.

In fact, on my road trips across Nebraska to meet with and advocate for members, I often wonder what other drivers think when they see me rambling along, belting out a song!

I appreciate good lyrics that tell a story: memories of a concert, a romance, tales of lost or missed chances. Song lyrics can request an action to help others, to urge aid for our fellow man.

It just doesn’t get much better than good lyrics matched to a catchy tune.

With the start of the New Year, NSEA is unveiling a new membership campaign that runs through February. It’s called Just One. As you might suspect by now, I turned to music to search for lyrics that would tell a story about our Just One drive.

Barry Manilow came in a winner with his composition, “One Voice.”

If only one voice
Would start it on its own,
You need just one voice
Facing the unknown
And then that one voice
Would never be alone…

Never Alone

Collective power brings an assemblage of voices into the Association – it’s like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on steroids. Yet every single voice is important and distinct. Every voice matters and becomes an important part of the support system for our students and public schools.

That single voice, perhaps missing at the moment, may be just the voice your local Association or our state Association needs to flourish and influence change. That voice should never be alone.

Quite Introverted

While I might be singing today, as a child I was the quiet one. I was quite introverted as I grew up. There were times that I felt my voice would not be heard, even when I did speak up. My youngest daughter followed a similar path and did not often speak up in school. She would share with me her frustration as “talkers” took over the class. Today she is in her final semester working on a master’s in business administration at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I continue to stand in awe as I watch her grow and fine tune her voice. 

Like my daughter and me, the voices of our members will develop at different times during their careers. Yet each member has an important voice to add to the discussion. Every single potential member has a unique voice, a unique perspective, to add to our Association discourse and dialogue. 

Indispensable Difference

The Just One membership campaign asks every NSEA local to enroll one new member over the next 60 days, and allows membership on a prorated basis for the remainder of the school year. Enrolling one new member per local association should not be too difficult, yet it will make a meaningful difference. When completed, the Just One drive will add nearly 300 new members to our Association and our collective voice. Think of the difference that will make for our local Associations as well as at the state level!

The Just One drive makes second semester a ideal time to visit with potential members about the need and importance of adding their voice to the Association, and the indispensable value of adding their experiences and their perspectives in the Association’s work on behalf of public school students.

The Collective Power

Manilow’s song reminds that it all starts with just one voice, and that we join together to have a stronger collective voice. 

So they hear what’s on your mind
And when you look around you’ll find
There’s more than one voice…
Joining with your one voice. 


Your voice is important. Every voice is important. Find one more voice, tell them about the collective power of our voices, and ask them to join us.