TSB—April 2013

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April 2013

Accessible Books for Texas Bringing digital books to students with disabilities

In the Spotlight Carolyn Boyle Texas Parent PAC

TCASE President Cindy Moses Wichita Falls ISD






Tell your story to Texas public education decision makers!





Texas School Business announces three new ways in which companies and school districts can share their success stories and sell their education-related goods and services. Now available for purchase, we are offering a line of customizable, digital white papers called “Special Reports.” These white papers, ranging in length from four to eight pages, will be hosted for all the world to see at www.texasschoolbusiness.com/special-reports.*


For each Special Report, Texas School Business will: • Work with the client to create editorial content OR use content provided by the client; • Provide full production services, to include design and layout; • Distribute the Special Report to more than 10,000 school administrators in Texas through an e-newsletter and other social media channels; • Host the client’s digital advertisement promoting the Special Report on texasschoolbusiness.com; • Advertise Texas School Business’ Special Reports section through social media channels and Texasschoolbusiness.com; and • Provide the client with a high-quality digital file of the Special Report, which can be posted, printed and shared at the client’s discretion.

There are two tiers for Special Reports pricing: Under the client’s directive, we create the editorial content: $7,500 Client provides the editorial content (articles and images): $4,750

Special Reports can promote a wide range of ideas, topics and stories. Some examples include: • Your company’s history, culture and unique selling proposition. • Your groundbreaking program, good or service that offers a new approach to an existing classroom or operational challenge. • A program or best practice that, because of its effectiveness or success, can and should be replicated in other school districts.

for more information, contact: Lance Lawhon 512-832-1889 lance@texasschoolbusiness.com www.texasschoolbusiness.com * Special Reports will stay on the Texas School Business website for a full year. Clients may extend its presence on our site for a nominal annual fee.

TSB contents news and features

In the Spotlight Carolyn Boyle leads the Texas Parent PAC


by John Egan

photo features


Educators improve reading access for students with disabilities with free state program by Valerie Chernek

TCEA techies meet in Austin


TSPRA hosts conference in Corpus Christi


TASBO members gather in San Antonio


departments From Our Readers


Who’s News


Ad Index



President Profile TCASE President Cindy Moses espouses compassion first and foremost


From the Editor


The Law Dawg  —  Unleashed


by Katie Ford by Jim Walsh

by Jennifer LeClaire

Tech Toolbox


Game On!


The Back Page


by Terry Morawski by Bobby Hawthorne by Riney Jordan


Texas feels shortage of speech-language pathologists by Theresa Parsons

Cover image © Shutterstock.com The views expressed by columnists and contributing writers do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher or Texas School Business advertisers. The publisher also makes no endorsement of the advertisers or advertisements in this publication. April 2013 • Texas School Business


Texas Parent PAC has best election cycle ever! The pro-public education political action committee—Texas Parent PAC— helped to elect 19 new members of the Texas Legislature in the 2012 primary and general elections. All 8 incumbent legislators endorsed in the general election won, too. With these victories, there are now 34 state representatives and 2 state senators who were elected with the endorsement and financial support of Texas Parent PAC. The political action committee was formed in 2005 and is recognized as one of the most powerful and effective PACs in the state. In 2012, Texas Parent PAC supported candidates in many ways, including campaign coaching, volunteer recruitment, endorsement news releases, promotion via email and Facebook, and donating more than $350,000 to pay for mailings, TV and radio advertising, phone call services, signs, and campaign staff. Election victories make a big difference for Texas schoolchildren and their families, as the PAC contributes to candidates who are strong supporters of public education. A list of winners is at www.txparentpac.com.

Texas Parent PAC is bipartisan and supports about an equal number of candidates from both major political parties in each election cycle.

Make a Contribution for More Legislative Winners in 2014 Please donate funds now so Texas Parent PAC can help to support strong Republican and Democratic legislative candidates in 2014 primary and general elections. Contribute online: www.txparentpac.com Contribute by mail: Texas Parent PAC, P.O. Box 303010, Austin, TX 78703-0051 Planning for 2014 elections is under way. If you know potential legislative candidates, contact Texas Parent PAC at info@txparentpac.com. Political Advertising www.txparentpac.com 4

Texas School Business • April 2013

From the Editor As we get into April, the future of public education continues to be debated and discussed at the Texas Capitol. While those conversations unfold, we at Texas School Business are in no shortage of supply when it comes to reporting on schools, programs, educators and others who are making a difference in the lives of K-12 schoolchildren across the state. This month we take a closer look at the Accessible Books for Texas and Bookshare programs and how two school districts, Ysleta and North East ISDs, are leveraging these resources to better serve students who find it difficult to read printed materials — for instance, children who are blind or have limited vision, have a physical disability such as cerebral palsy, or have a reading disability such as dyslexia. Writer Valerie Chernek spoke with state and local experts to learn how these programs are being received. In April, we turn the spotlight on Carolyn Boyle, chair of the Texas Parent Political Action Committee, which, according to its website, was responsible for helping to elect 19 new members of the Texas Legislature in the 2012 primary and general elections. In our story, Boyle explains why she believes getting involved in Capitol politics is one of the best ways to effect positive change in Texas public schools. We also showcase Cindy Moses, special education director for Wichita Falls ISD and the new president of the Texas Council for Administrators of Special Education. Moses explains how working in special education has informed her life in many ways beyond her job. I hope you are enjoying our new blog, www.txschoolbuzz.com. As the weeks and months unfold, you’ll read posts from contributors representing all sectors of K-12 education. We hope you find the commentary engaging and enlightening. Katie Ford Editorial Director

(ISSN 0563-2978 USPS 541-620) April 2013 Volume LIX, Issue 7 1601 Rio Grande Street, #455 Austin, Texas 78701 Phone: 512-478-2113 • Fax: 512-495-9955 www.texasschoolbusiness.com Publisher Ted Siff Editor in Chief Jim Walsh Editorial Director Katie Ford Design Phaedra Strecher Columnists Riney Jordan, Terry Morawski, Jim Walsh Advertising Sales Manager Lance Lawhon Director of Marketing and Customer Relations Stephen Markel Office Services Ambrose Austin ISSN 0563-2978 USPS 541-620 Published monthly, except for July/August and November/ December, and for the Best in Class issue published in August and the Bragging Rights issue published in December (12 times a year) by Texas School Business Magazine, LLC, 1601 Rio Grande Street, #455, Austin, TX 78701. Periodical Postage Paid at Austin, Texas and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Texas School Business,1601 Rio Grande Street, #455, Austin, TX 78701. SUBSCRIPTION RATES: $28 per year; $52 for two yrs; $72 for three yrs. Group rate: 10 or more, $18; single issues, $4.50.

© Copyright 2013 Texas School Business Magazine LLC April 2013 • Texas School Business


From Our Readers Dear Jim: Thank you, thank you, thank you for your comments regarding these unsubstantiated attacks on schools and specifically DAEPs by Texas Appleseed, the ACLU and other advocacy groups (“The Law Dawg — Unleashed: Identifying the leak in the school-to-prison pipeline,” February 2013). This past week I had the opportunity to attend and present at the annual Texas Association of Alternative Education (TAAE) conference in Austin. I witnessed firsthand hundreds of teachers, counselors and administrators seeking to improve their craft, such that they can better serve students who have made some poor choices in their lives, landing them in DAEP. As it was said so eloquently by TAAE presenter Granny Evergreen: “If we don’t get to them, we may be their last hope!” Each year for the past four years I have had the opportunity to attend the TAAE conference and I am often in awe of the number of caring, compassionate and dedicated professionals who consistently work to reach these troubled students. While the reality is that there may always be some students who do not want to change, the folks who have chosen to be a part of a DAEP, an alternative school or even a “traditional” school almost without exception do so because they want to make a positive impact on the lives of students. Unfortunately, the media makes the choice more often than not to report the few administrators and educators who do not aspire to the aforementioned ideals and commitment to the positive impact of students’ lives. This often leads to public education being lauded as the scapegoat for many of the maladies of our society and its students. The groups that are bashing DAEPs need to realize that we are working diligently to reroute the student pipeline back to their home campuses and get them on to a road to success. Students assigned to a DAEP are often at a crossroads in their lives and will make choices — some good and some not so good. DAEP staff members strive to provide these students with decision-making tools that will enhance the likelihood of them making better decisions, but the fact remains it is ultimately the student’s decision that will determine his or her path. 6

Texas School Business • April 2013

By removing the intervention of DAEPs and alternative schools, we will need to rely on some other entity of our society to help these students. My questions to the naysayers are: “Who will that be?” and “Why are you waiting to take action, if you have the solution?” Jim Bergstrom, principal Eagle Positive Intervention Center Barbers Hill ISD I’ve had the pleasure of hearing you speak at ESC Region 12 on a number of occasions. Your presentations are a quality combination of information, relevance and humor. This piece of writing (“The Law Dawg — Unleashed: What’s the scoop on CSCOPE?” March 2013) is perhaps the best thing I have ever seen you produce. Thanks for addressing the fear-mongering attempts of a few zealots as they search for ammunition with which they can garner a headline or two. John Westbrook, principal Gatesville ISD Jim, you did an excellent job on the article about CSCOPE (“The Law Dawg — Unleashed: What’s the scoop on CSCOPE?” March 2013)! You provided a very thoughtful and intelligent position. I know there are some rumors and conspiracy theories going around that CSCOPE is anti-American and antiJudeo-Christian. I am writing this as a patriotic American who served in the Army National Guard for six years and as a devout Christian who reads the Bible daily. I know that there is always room for improvement with CSCOPE (and every other curriculum system that exists). However, those claims that CSCOPE is “anti-American” and “anti-JudeoChristian” are simply not true. Thank you for being a voice of reason in a world that contains a lot of misinformation. I am always impressed by your knowledge and insight. Michael Novotny, superintendent Salado ISD

Well done, Mr. Walsh! Thank you for setting the record straight in your March Law Dawg column (“The Law Dawg — Unleashed: What’s the scoop on CSCOPE?”). Si Ragsdale, board member Childress ISD Good for Jim! Jim said what we are all thinking (“The Law Dawg — Unleashed: What’s the scoop on CSCOPE?” March 2013). Luckily, the lawyer in him knows how to take the arguments used against us, The Bureaucracy, and turn them back the other way. (Mama always told me that name-calling was rude.) Most of all, Jim gets the difference in perspectives — building products for purely profit versus building products to strengthen our mission of serving schools so that all Texas children thrive while conserving resources to be deployed even more effectively. Proud to call you all colleagues and friends these many years in Texas public education! Thanks, Jim, for eloquently voicing the truth as we and many others see it. At least we are part of the Good Conspiracy. Sandi Borden, executive director Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association Mr. Walsh: I read your March column in disbelief (“The Law Dawg — Unleashed: What’s the scoop on CSCOPE?”). CSCOPE is not, nor has it ever been, a quality product. It does not improve instruction and it requires tons of paper crap to be used in the classroom. It was written by the ESC directors to boost funding to their groups after funding was cut by the state. Of course they want us to keep it; it supports their bottom line. The reason the commissioner of education wants to get rid of it is because he is listening to experienced teachers like myself who know it is the worst curriculum product on the market. The lessons are sketchy, emphasizing the vocabulary and not teaching the concepts. They have us spend 10 minutes a day on vocabulary for a certain concept, and then the lesson doesn’t teach the

From Our Readers concept. The product then gives you a test to use, which tests the concepts, not the vocabulary. Frankly, in my opinion, you shouldn’t be addressing this at all. You are a lawyer and not a classroom teacher. You have had no direct experience with this product. It’s like buying the Instyler®. Tons of women have bought it — “millions sold” — but you know what? Every person I know who bought one says the product is expensive and completely worthless. Purchases don’t insure nor validate quality. Stop trying to sell the “Instyler” curriculum. L. Robertson, teacher ESC Region VI Good day, Mr. Walsh. I am staying current on CSCOPE issues because I teach eighth grade math and algebra 1 with it. I am a 52-year-old career changer who is in his third year total and second with CSCOPE. I appreciate your balanced viewpoint on CSCOPE (“The Law Dawg — Unleashed: What’s the scoop on CSCOPE?” March 2013). As a former senior nuclear reactor operator who was trained by the nuclear Navy to take a critical view of almost everything — not always good, of course — I have a few issues with CSCOPE. First, it uses a 5E lesson format that was designed by BSCS (www.bscs.org) for science. I feel that 5E does not serve math as well as the Hunter model, unless I am conducting a projectbased inquiry learning activity (see Buck Institute for Education), which few math teachers will do, but I made a living splitting atoms so science does not make me afraid. The quality control of CSCOPE is poor and I cannot rapidly fix the lessons. I must notify a curriculum coach who notifies a curriculum specialist who fixes the problem as time allows. CSCOPE material is often hard to follow; I admit that I sometimes do not understand what we are asked until I see the key. I then have to reword the question for students. I use the exams (it is mandatory), but I did not write them and I cannot edit them. I did not enter this profession to teach to a series of tests. The exams are not 100 percent aligned to

the CSCOPE lessons, so there’s almost always a question on the test over material yet to be taught. CSCOPE often connects lessons in series, which means it is difficult to use one without using all in that series. CSCOPE starts algebra 1 students with domain and range, which is about chapter 4 in a text. What happened to all that prerequisite material from chapters 1-3? I have 140 days, according to CSCOPE, but that is without pre-test review, post-test review and two (it takes two) days to take an exam. Because I have 12 units, I need 12 x 4 = 48 more days, which is 140 + 48 = 188 days. The school year, however, is 180 days long. I must actually teach every unit before state testing so the schedule is compressed back to April or May, depending upon whether we are referring to Algebra 1 or regular eighth grade math. I agree with you about the Boston Tea Party issue, and I have said things like that in math class to spark critical thinking. CSCOPE is not the tool it could be. I fear that TESCCC will defend it as is unless someone stops them. Michael Linch, teacher Texarkana ISD Baloney, hooey, malarkey and all that jazz (“The Law Dawg — Unleashed: What’s the scoop on CSCOPE?”). I taught in Texas the past seven years, with CSCOPE shoved down my throat the past two years for math! It is more than awful. If we objected to the order or the assessments, suggested an improvement or needed more clarity, we were told we were not team players, needed to just teach as it was written and so on. My problems with CSCOPE had nothing to do with Islam, being conservative or liberal. It had to do with a complete lack of respect for teachers who do know that LCM and GCF have to be taught BEFORE you try to teach students how to add/subtract fractions while finding common denominators and other mistakes that frustrate the teachers and the students. In teaching seven years of math, my/our percentages went from in the 90 percent — down, down, down — when we started implementing CSCOPE in its truest order/

form. CSCOPE is not the great “fix.” In fact, for many teachers who cannot speak up due to pressure and needing to keep their jobs, it is a hindrance. Your column will make it even more of one as administrators are touting it as affirmation of their CSCOPE purchases. I treasure teaching, and in my 20th year I can truly say I am blessed to be with students and coworkers every day in a profession/ministry that I love. I strive to continue my education, recently earning my master’s and attending webinars and trainings that are not mandated. I want to learn and pass that benefit on to my students and colleagues, so I am not afraid of change or new methods. Saying that, the previous two years with CSCOPE math in Texas were the worst out of the 18-20 years I have taught — and only my love for students and teaching kept me going. Just a couple of questions: How many teachers did you poll or ask about CSCOPE before you published your article — teachers who could/would speak up without fear of retributions? When is the last time you spent a year in a classroom teaching? Do you, as an attorney, have a script mandated to you for each and every trial, unit or situation you must cover? Thank you for your time. B.B., former Texas teacher The Law Dawg’s CSCOPE column received a lot of comments — generally positive from administrators and negative from teachers. All reviews and comments are welcome and worthy. The Dawg says: “Of course there are problems with CSCOPE and its implementation in districts. That can be dealt with at the local level. The main point of my March column was that CSCOPE is a useful tool that does not need more rules and bureaucracy to improve it.” TSB

April 2013 • Texas School Business


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Same Conference – Two Convenient Locations

A One-Day Conference on Current Legal Issues Concerning the Education of Students with Disabilities Topics and Speakers include: The Year in Review: Top Special Education Decisions of 2012-2013 Jim WALSh, Walsh, Anderson, Gallegos, Green & Treviño, Austin Bullying at School: Legal Issues and Practical Strategies DAvE RiChARDS, Richards, Lindsay, & Martín, Austin RTI & Child Find: A District’s Legal Responsibilities PAuLA mADDox RoALSon & ERiC RoDRiguEz, Walsh, Anderson, Gallegos, Green & Treviño, Arlington & San Antonio A Legal Update on the Discipline of Students with Disabilities JAnET hoRTon, Thompson & Horton, Houston What To Do When a Child Needs Private Nursing Services at School gigi mAEz, Walsh, Anderson, Gallegos, Green & Treviño, Irving What’s the Latest on Services for the Student with Dyslexia? hoLLy WARDELL, Eichelbaum Wardell, Austin

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Texas School Business • April 2013

THE LAW DAWG – Unleashed by Jim Walsh

No way to treat our teachers


op quiz: Two students get in trouble in your school today. Billy was caught in possession of a single joint of marijuana. Bobby physically assaulted a 63-year-old teacher, breaking her nose in the process. Under federal law, which student has committed the more serious offense? If you answered that the pot smoker is the more serious offender, go to the head of the class. Billy and Bobby are both in your special education program due to learning disabilities. School officials can remove Billy from the classroom immediately. They can send him to an “interim alternative educational setting” for up to 45 school days with no delay and little fuss. This means that Billy probably goes to the Disciplinary Alternative Education Program (DAEP) right away. Billy’s parents may assert that he smokes pot because of his frustration and stress over his learning disability. But even if that is true, Billy is headed to the DAEP. That’s because as far as our federal special education law is concerned, Billy has committed a serious offense. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) describes drug possession as a “special circumstance,” which authorizes school officials to remove the student from his current placement immediately, no questions asked. It is not so simple with Bobby. IDEA describes three types of “special circumstances” offenses — those involving drugs (Billy’s case); those involving weapons; and those in which students inflict “serious bodily injury.” I know what you are thinking: A broken nose is a “serious bodily injury”! But, according to a special education hearing officer in Pennsylvania, a broken nose does not fit within IDEA’s “narrow definition of serious bodily injury.” Really?!?! I feel pretty sure that if it was my nose that was broken, I would consider it pretty dadgum “serious.” This hearing officer has plenty of

company in his interpretation of the federal law. A West Virginia student kicked the teacher in the shin and stomped on her toes. A kid in Arizona kicked the principal in the knee. A teacher’s aide in Kansas was punched in the head, had dizziness and blurry vision and described the pain as a 7 on a scale of 10. A California student assaulted a couple of classmates, causing a mild concussion and a broken nose. But the California nose, like its Pennsylvania counterpart, did not qualify as a “serious bodily injury,” and neither did any of these other injured body parts. Does this make sense to you? Me neither. In fact, it gets worse when you read the Q and A published by the U.S. Department of Education in 2009. One question asks what schools can do when students with disabilities commit very serious offenses, such as rape, at school. The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) answers that school officials can file criminal charges. It then goes on to say that “to the extent that such criminal acts also result in an injury that meets the definition of ‘serious bodily injury’ the removal provisions … would apply.” OSEP then points out that “certain federal cases have held that rape met this definition of serious bodily injury because the victim suffered protracted impairment of mental faculties.” I take that to mean that rape of a student or teacher sometimes is serious enough to send a student to the DAEP just as quickly as that pot smoker goes there. But not always. In the national debate about safety in our schools, this is an issue that needs to be addressed. This is no way to treat our teachers. JIM WALSH, an attorney with Walsh Anderson Gallegos Green and Treviño P.C., serves as editor in chief of Texas School Business. He can be reached at jwalsh@ wabsa.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @JWalshtxlawdawg.

Keep Current As all school administrators, board members, and school attorneys know, school law does not stand still. L GAS T AS LE E TEX OL G I O The Legal Digest SCH RS’ D ATO TR is dedicated to INIS ADM providing relevant, timely and comprehensive reporting, analysis Now in its and training on all 29th year of aspects of school law. publication . , L.P tions blica lsh e Pu Plac r: Jim Wa s Park ito Childres Siff d r sher: ing Ed Publi Manag r: Jennife ficer: Te Of om Edito erating t.c Op iges gald Chief w.le

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n” Numb itutio e 27, const the “re from ce. Both an arose case cases perform In one hat nt Both rs. t. W stude amine cher los the poor tea ng ex of heari case, the decision ww l the cy. other nera cases, the Agen y Ge both .. office torne by DE . cases, one Atissioner’ss. Here upheld mm cision INSI t nfire gie cour the Co e Bo OK ess de the Ag tock ort 11 from Aggi proc over A LO we rep cisions due tion Coms de Litiga wen v. ort this ation month This on, three ial educ se by Bo we rep or not ec ini mp sp ion Op a gli decis whether vereign three hlights. vides ps in to — and ste ) pro issue same “so The the hig ge 10 agency es. are . ion to the cy (pa state of truste ts, but T.E.A ucat en Agen ich the of ard Ed is um on l rs is ia ucati the bo of arg in wh . Th cial Powe Spec xas Ed situation removes a variety rsuasive ruling ee spe v. Te e r thr ll inary m pe t and with Ross very rar Of ou of you wi timely of the a prelim distric effort of the school ght this find any t rather y relief. many sting and t al bu to rar a loc board fou did no s case, intere likely tempo ities. urt are in thi tion for nsibil local eral co ts we ion po sen cis mo res cer ) pre the fed final de trict’s find” dis ge 11 tly failed ng offi not the school en in heari ys (pa torne inadvert opinion ral e! on the ty ’s ict At ne mor ests Distr rrant Coun y General The ge sted And t). unty Requ ne a ue n. Ta Attor . u of PIA on Ac nt Co s req In lie es, issues Tarra al situatio st for an Informati that wa disclosed v. ue be Doe er unusu blic ation of cas wg ely req uest (Pu inform , would anoth ke a tim ore the Da with req t the m a PIA e is tha and theref ws. to ma new along sho cas nse to c, two respo such a be publi this case Board lcome Case in to we sting a rule sumed to tions, as hted Intere ge 13) t delig is pre are excep (pa Most tha cy We areory ation ard for st ISD, l There Agen ’s Aw rth Ea of Educ appraisa Advis the wg No at e er Da ing v. n the e the ission nistrativ study e Hall Actio dridg We giv nth to the Commthe admi is worth ating the Al e me mo this from tails of so this on for evalu er agreed welco ion de s ion ” he decis of the rare, and bilitie mmiss valid Co ponsi some es are s “in flawed, s l wa ve res hile the sses cas addre s. Such u who ha tors. W r appraisa praisal wa problem proces se of yo administra l, that he h the ap was no d people ug re name by tho ance of a principa Even tho And the rm of un ief. lid. Hall, up” perfo Ms. further rel n was va cus gro l. d th lan wi ick ). a “fo ncipa d no n pla —Str ordere erventio t’s use of t the pri s ISD (page 18 ou Dalla the int distric ation ab from Dallas ISD the ions inform with decis ussaint v. ther d two to ga To o issue ) and .A. als (page 17 , and The T.E s ISD Cases lla le of v. Da Tab ex,

The Legal Digest leads off with an in-depth article on a contemporary school law topic written by Texas attorneys and legal commentators.

r Matte ... Also bject es 8 Su ticl • 200 le of Ar Tab



The rest of the issue is devoted to digests of the latest federal and state rulings, Commissioner decisions, special education hearing officer decisions, and Attorney General opinions affecting Texas schools. Adding a dash of humor to each issue is Jim Walsh’s “Law Dawg” column. Published ten times a year, the Legal Digest provides the latest developments in the law to help administrators stay abreast of this rapidly changing field and avoid litigation.

PLUS: Web Exclusive content for subscribers only!

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The Leading Resource for Texas Education Law April 2013 • Texas School Business


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Texas School Business • April 2013

Tech Toolbox by Terry Morawski

Adopting the SAMR model


f you have been involved in a technology implementation, you undoubtedly have faced the difficult early stages of adoption. Although we would love for a new device or software tool to take off universally from the first day, we know this is not likely. Introducing the SAMR model, which was devised by Robin Puentudura. SAMR is an acronym for the four stages of a technology adoption: Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition. I encourage you to call on the model to explain a daunting implementation process to the public, a staff group or school board. This model gives a common reference point for dialogue as to where individuals fall on the scale. Substitution is a direct tool substitution with no functional change. In English class, this would represent viewing a book as a flat .pdf file instead of a paper book. In this example, the gain of using the technology is minimal. In the early implementation phases of a project, substitution is worth noting, as it means individuals are using the tools. Late adopters tend to get stuck in this phase and threaten to abandon the device, because it is “not doing anything new for them.” If stuck, basic training and encouragement are needed to move staff members or students to the next phase. Augmentation is a direct tool substitution with functional improvement. Following the English example, augmentation could be represented by an e-reader, such as a Kindle or Nook. Although the e-reader displays the same content as a paper book, users have a host of new tools available to them, including: storage of hundreds of books, instant download of content, lighted displays, the ability to change text size or language, and the option to have the book read to them, among other options. Your early adopters will pick up on augmented tasks immediately. They also can serve to push some of the late adopters over the threshold. Some will not willingly venture much further than the augmentation step in a major device adoption. To keep the momentum going, be sure you provide

opportunities for staff or students to share the ways they are improving their everyday tasks. Modification allows for significant tasks to be redesigned. For instance, searching for common themes in a novel could be done by a tool like Wordle (www.wordle. net), saving time and energy for students. Results from those searches could be placed on a digital bulletin board as the student works, and then the teacher could view the bulletin board for quick classroom feedback. Redefinition allows for the creation of new tasks previously inconceivable. An example from literature class would include a student creating a video report on an iPad with a variety of media. Further, students could use Skype to collaborate on a project or to interview an author. The redefinition phase is often the most exciting phase for students and staff, as they are blazing new trails in their learning. The challenge with modification and redefinition is they will not universally occur on their own. Many of the changes related to these two will happen as the result of training or peer sharing. Even many staff members who are quick to pick up new technology will need help with modification and redefinition. Personally, I’ve witnessed these levels of technology adoption in the past 20 years with innovative personal technology like digital video recorders, smartphones and, most recently, with tablet computers. The SAMR model provides a good framework to explain technology adoption phases to leadership, staff and parents. Like me, maybe you recognize in the SAMR model the phases you’ve witnessed in your districts or personal experiences. I’d love to hear about your experiences with technology adoptions. Feel free to share by email. Good luck out there and thanks for reading! TERRY MORAWSKI is the assistant superintendent of communications and marketing for Mansfield ISD. Please send all future column ideas, reading suggestions, questions and comments to terrymorawski@ gmail.com. You can follow him on Twitter too: @terrymorawski.

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RINEY JORDAN A Motivational Humorist 254-386-4769 www.rineyjordan.com April 2013 • Texas School Business


26th Annual Conference on

Education Law for Principals produced by Texas School Administrators’ Legal Digest, in conjunction with TASSP

Tuesday, June 11, 2013 Austin Convention Center 500 East Cesar Chavez Street Austin, TX 78701 This Conference on Education Law for Principals features presentations on legal issues of particular concern to school principals and other campus-level personnel as well as superintendents, school board members, and school attorneys. View all the details and register at www.legaldigestevents.com.

ConfErEnCE ToPiCs & sPEakErs inCLudE: mAintAining A sAfe CAmpus: whAt Are your options? Jim WaLsh – Walsh, Anderson, Gallegos, Green & Treviño, P.C., Austin, Texas where Are your students? truAnCy & other student AttendAnCe issues david P. ThomPson, Ph.d. – University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas teACher evAluAtions: legAl issues & prACtiCAl strAtegies sandra CarPEnTEr – Walsh, Anderson, Gallegos, Green & Treviño, P.C., Houston, Texas the lAtest on bullying & hArAssment in our sChools david hodgins, Thompson & Horton, Houston, Texas soCiAl mediA & the lAw WaynE hagLund – The Haglund Law Firm, Lufkin, Texas whAt the prinCipAl needs to know About speCiAl eduCAtion lAw gigi maEz – Walsh, Anderson, Gallegos, Green & Treviño, P.C., Irving, Texas ConduCting legAlly defensible & effeCtive employee investigAtions sara LEon – Powell & Leon, San Antonio, Texas

www.legaldigestevents.com 12

Texas School Business • April 2013

GAME ON! by Bobby Hawthorne

Just doing his job


wo years out of high school, I was working my way through junior college as a sports reporter for the Longview daily newspaper, and while I was marginally talented, I was clueless and timid. I wrote clever ledes and dumb stories. Around mid-season, I was assigned to cover a state-ranked team — New Diana — which might have been really cool if they hadn’t been playing my alma mater, White Oak. The Eagles were undefeated, and the Roughnecks — who had compiled a 48-3-2 record over the past four seasons — were not. In fact, they’d lost two games and a couple of quarterbacks, and there was no way they were going to beat New Diana. So that’s what I wrote Thursday night, and that’s what everyone in White Oak — including my dad — read Friday morning. Frankly, I didn’t think a thing of it. (Again: clueless.) The next day I went to class, then to the newspaper office, then to cover the game. I arrived at the stadium an hour or so ahead of time and milled around, shooting the breeze with friends and players and coaches on both teams. Nothing out of the ordinary. Ten or 15 minutes before kickoff, I climbed to the press box and spread out my pencils, paper and program. That’s when an old buddy sidled up next to me and said, “Man, you must be feeling pretty weird.” “Why should I?” I answered, which was my way of saying, “All day, every day.” “You didn’t hear that?” he asked. “Hear what?” “The booing.” No, I hadn’t, and if I had, I figured it was directed at the refs or the New Diana coach or the wind or clouds or something. Not me. Why would anyone boo me? Well, here’s why: The White Oak head coach — my former high school coach, a Christian gentleman I admired and liked — had held up the front page of the Friday morning Longview Daily News’ sports section and read from my story. “Some people apparently have forgotten where they come from,” he had told the crowd.

From what I hear, it mustered a decent round of applause — but only in that mandatory pep rally kind of way. The good news is New Diana won 22 to 6. I wasn’t forced to choke down my prediction; plus, I enjoyed the fact that White Oak kept it closer than I or anyone had anticipated. With a break here or there, they might have won. I never talked to the coach about this, and on the two or three occasions I bumped into him since, the subject has never come up. Here’s why I mention it now: I have a friend, Brett Shipp of WFFA-Dallas, and he’s being vilified in certain coaching circles for doing his job. Deion Sanders called him a racist because Brett found a few recruiting irregularities at Sanders’ charter school, Prime Prep. For that, Sanders called Brett “the African-American killer.” Subtle, as always, Prime Time. I doubt Brett cares. He’s had his run-ins with Dallas big-shots. He has made a career out of covering Dallas ISD — especially the athletic department’s feeble enforcement of UIL eligibility and recruiting rules. His recent reporting forced Dallas ISD to tighten its grip over the field house gang. Last spring, Superintendent Mike Miles announced that all athletic coaches must be certified as regular teachers — not temps or uncertified aides. A couple of coaches lost their jobs afterwards, and no one is happy about that, but it’s absurd to blame the messenger. Brett was doing the job someone else should be and should have been doing. And if the carping ever bothers him, he might ponder these pearls from Sanders’ website: “If you’re being followed by Haters, that’s a good indication that you’re running with the TRUTH!” Be thankful too, Brett, that no one called you out at a pep rally. BOBBY HAWTHORNE is the author of “Longhorn Football” and “Home Field,” both published by The University of Texas Press. In 2005, he retired as director of academics for the University Interscholastic League.

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In the


Chair Carolyn Boyle leads the PAC by John Egan


t’s no wonder that Carolyn Boyle strives to improve public education in Texas. It’s in her DNA. Elizabeth Norton Hinckley, her great-grandmother, was president of the Dallas Council of Mothers in 1916 and a leader of the Texas Congress of Mothers, the predecessor of the Texas PTA. Here in the 21st century, Elizabeth Norton Hinckley’s great-granddaughter chairs Texas Parent PAC, one of the most powerful political action committees in the state. The issues Boyle tackles today are a far cry from the ones her greatgrandmother addressed. “I think one of her issues was for girls to be allowed to wear pants to public school when it was cold,” Boyle says. Boyle explains that she and four other mothers who were fed up with the Texas Legislature’s treatment of public education

formed the Texas Parent PAC in 2005. In a 2006 article, the Texas Observer referred to the Boyle-led movement as the “wrath of the soccer moms.” Since its founding eight years ago, more than 1,200 families in Texas have given money to the nonpartisan, volunteer-run PAC, according to Boyle. “After being involved as a public education advocate for nine years, I became frustrated, because many legislators literally did not care about public education or actually were trying to harm our schools,” Boyle says. “I have found it more fulfilling to spend my energy working with other parents to elect new lawmakers who will stand up for the more than 5 million Texas children learning in our public schools.” In 2012, the PAC donated about $350,000 to Texas legislative candidates. For last year’s elections, about 50 supporters of the PAC spent six months or so

researching, evaluating and interviewing legislative candidates, Boyle says. Among current members of the Legislature, 36 senators and representatives were elected with financial backing from Texas Parent PAC, including Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen, chairman of the House Public Education Committee, and five other committee members. Texas Parent PAC also has helped knock out 17 House incumbents, including former Rep. Kent Grusendorf, R-Arlington, in 2006. Grusendorf chaired the House Public Education Committee. (The PAC weighs in on State Board of Education races, too.) “Many people have heard of ‘super PACs’ at the national level,” Boyle says, “but they may not realize regular folks like moms and dads can form a political action committee and play an important role in electoral politics.”

The Texas Parent PAC Board of Directors meet with PAC-supported legislators on the first day of the legislative session. Pictured are Director Darci Hubbard; House Rep. Susan King, R-Abilene; Vice Chair Dinah Miller; and Chair Carolyn Boyle. 14

Texas School Business • April 2013

She adds: “Political campaigns are very expensive, and involved parents need to contribute financially to political action committees and directly to candidates they support.” Boyle, who comes from a marketing and communications background, has been an “involved parent” for years. She was a PTA leader in Austin ISD from 1990 to 2003. That period included stints as president of the Doss Elementary School PTA and as an executive committee member of the PTSAs at Murchison Middle School, Anderson High School and McCallum High School. Boyle and her husband, Jim, have one daughter, Amanda. From 1997 through 2005, she was coordinator of the Coalition for Public Schools, a group of 40 organizations that opposes earmarking public money for private-school tuition vouchers. “Being president of an elementary school PTA was a life-changing experience for me in many ways,” Boyle says. “I learned that I enjoyed organizing parents to work for children, and it is very rewarding to see results that make a difference on a campus or for an entire state. When parents work together, they can be a powerful force.”

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Boyle says that as a PTA leader, she got an up-close look at the budget constraints that public schools in Texas face. Among them: running out of photocopying paper with months left in the school year, and being unable to buy toner for computer printers or to pay for repairs of broken AV equipment. “PTA members spend a lot of time raising money for their schools by hosting carnivals and selling gift-wrapping paper,” Boyle says. “A similar amount of time should be devoted to campaigning for legislative candidates who would adequately and equitably fund our neighborhood public schools, eliminating the need for parent fundraising to have top-notch neighborhood schools.” Even though her daughter is now in her 20s, Boyle remains a PTA member. She belongs to the Texas PTA’s Star Spangled PTA, whose membership is open to anyone. “I care about the 5 million children in our public schools,” she says, “because they are our state’s future.”




CAROLYN BOYLE My idea of a perfect vacation is: Spending two weeks with my family traveling around one European country, visiting quaint villages and exciting cities. Last book I read that I really enjoyed: “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” by Maria Semple. This funny novel about a stressed-out mom who ran away from home was a Christmas gift from my daughter. Four guests (living or deceased) I would invite to my fantasy dinner party: One of my earliest known forebears: Sarah Soole Hinckley, an immigrant, who brought her family to the New World on a ship from Tenterden, England, in 1634; Martin Luther King Jr.; Jesus of Nazareth; my great-grandmother, Elizabeth Norton Hinckley. My favorite subject in grade school was: Spelling

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Accessible Books for Texas

Educators improve reading access for students with disabilities

by Valerie Chernek


or too long, students who can’t read printed materials due to a disbility have had to wait weeks — and sometimes months — to receive special textbooks. But thanks to diligent efforts by Texas educators and Accessible Books for Texas (ABT), a statewide outreach program, that’s no longer the case. The ABT program (www. accessiblebooks4tx.org) is funded by the Texas Education Agency and is an initiative of Benetech, a nonprofit organization focused on leveraging technology to meet social needs. Benetech is the parent company of Bookshare (www. bookshare.org), an online library that holds thousands (175,500) of accessible e-books, including classic literature, K–12 textbooks, teacher-recommended reading, periodicals and best sellers for pleasure reading. Bookshare is funded through awards from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. Any U.S. public school serving qualified students can sign up for a free organizational membership. Qualifed students also may sign up for free individual memberships.

image © Shutterstock.com 16 Texas School Business • April 2013

Students who typically qualify for Bookshare membership are those who: • are blind or have low vision, •

have a physical disability, such as cerebral palsy, or

have a reading disability, such as dyslexia.

These students often find it difficult to read standard print or carry large volumes of books through school hallways. Membership includes reading technolgies that read digital books aloud through text-to-speech functions on computers and mobile devices. In Texas, professional development on this technology is also free and provided for by three local outreach coordinators who train and support teachers in schools and regional education centers. Through the workshops, educators can learn: • qualifications and membership to the library and how to download e-books; •

various accessible formats, including DAISY text, DAISY audio, MP3 and braille;

strategies to search for and find e-books that match the required curriculum;

reading technologies and portable apps that best suit a learner’s needs; and

best practices of Texas schools and districts that have implemented Bookshare on a large scale.

Educators respond Since ABT’s launch in April 2011, Texas educators have added to Bookshare organizational accounts more than 10,000 qualified students and downloaded more than 15,000 books. ABT outreach coordinators have conducted hundreds of training sessions across the state, and some large districts have embraced the intiative. In the fall of 2012, Ysleta ISD in San Antonio implemented a large program, involving 110 educators across 60 campuses. Texas student individual memberships to the online library rose by 125 percent — from 5,601 to 12,621 — which outperformed the national average. “Access to digital-accessible formats can change the way teachers deliver curriculum and the way students comprehend information,” says Angelica (Angel) B. Nieto, intermediate associate superintendent for academics and the special education director for Ysleta ISD. “Through digital formats, students can experience multi-modal learning. This allows them to simultaneously see text and hear it read aloud or to repeat a passage to reinforce reading comprehension.” Accessible books and materials The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) requires U.S. state and local education agencies (SEAs and LEAs) to provide timely access to curriculum (instruction, literature and textbooks in accessible formats) for students who need them. Aiding educators in this effort is legislation found in the Chafee Amendment to the U.S. copyright law that enables authorized entities, such as Bookshare, to distribute accessible materials to individuals with qualifying print disabilities. In Texas, Bookshare is an authorized user of the National Instruction Materials Access Center (NIMAC), a national repository into which K–12 publishers contribute digital files of their textbooks. Once digital files are in the NIMAC, Bookshare can convert them to DAISY text, DAISY audio, MP3 and BRF (braille) formats.

DAISY is an acronym for Digital Accessible Information System. It is a common digital file format that enables multimodal reading. Multi-modal reading is defined as viewing highlighted words on a computer screen or reading device and also hearing the words read aloud. For a demonstration of a student reading a DAISY book, visit http://youtube/ pbdxRUa0Vok. Multi-modal reading often is discussed when the theory of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is being implemented. UDL requires that the educator, parent or tutor adapt the curriculum to the needs of the student rather than ask the student to adapt to instruction. UDL is based on how our brains process information through three sensory networks: • recognition networks (how we identify what we see, hear and read); •

strategic networks (how we organize and express ideas); and

affective networks (how we become engaged and motivated).

Texas educators participating in ABT include district administrators, principals, special education teachers, reading and English teachers and assistive technology specialists. These educators point to the following advantages when describing Bookshare and ABT: • educators can spend less time scanning materials and more time teaching; •

Bookshare encourages student independence and more social engagement;

multi-modal reading helps students to decode words, thus they read longer;

students can keep up with general education curriculum; and

Bookshare helps educators deliver consistent and timely instruction.

Accessibility in North East ISD Lorrie Garcia, an assistive technology specialist for North East ISD, says she has spent most of her teaching career searching for strategies and tools that will enhance the reading experience. “Bookshare offers a good collection of teacher-recommended titles to meet objectives for students who qualify with print disabilities,” she says.

About 8 percent of students in North East ISD’s 20 middle schools and high schools have individual education plans (IEPs) and qualify for Bookshare. These students use a variety of technologies to access their curriculum in accessible formats, including DAISY audio, MP3 and braille. One of the best parts of Garcia’s job, she says, is teaching students how to selfselect literature and use technologies at home. She encourages students who qualify to sign up for individual Lorrie Garcia Bookshare memberships so they can download e-books for pleasure at home. “Many students are reading ‘The Hunger Games’ series,” adds Garcia. “Recently, a fifth grader who is legally blind learned how to download digital books and operate a portable device called the Classmate Reader. She listens to digital content read aloud and likes to recommend books to her peers and discuss her latest reads.” Garcia and the North East ISD Assistive Technology Team created workshops for teachers, parents and students who want to learn about accessible curriculum. In one “Super Saturday” workshop, more than 400 teachers were taught how to sign up and download digital textbooks. The team also holds “parent academies” for families who want to sign up their children for individual memberships. Using the graphic blog, Glogster, Garcia created a webpage for parents (http://tw.neisd.net/webpages/lgarci31/ bookshareorg.cfm) to inform families of new books in the collection. Betsy Beaumon is the vice president and general manager of Benetech’s literacy program. She says that as educators use the library to find accessible books to integrate into their instruction, more students who qualify for Bookshare membership can study at grade level and read independently using helpful technologies. “Hopefully, this experience will lead to smoother transitions, such as to high school and college, and to a lifetime of reading,” Beaumon says. VALERIE CHERNEK is an educational writer who focuses on best practices through the use of technology and digital learning in support of children with special needs. April 2013 • Texas School Business


Who’s News Arlington ISD Michael Hill, the district’s new assistant superintendent for administration, comes to Arlington ISD from Seguin ISD, where he was principal of Seguin High School for the past two years. He began his career in Michael Hill 1996 in Union Parish

School District in Louisiana, teaching economics and working as an assistant coach. He then taught in Fort Worth ISD for six years before joining Arlington ISD as a career and technical education teacher and assistant coach at Bowie High School. In 2006, he became Bowie’s assistant principal. In 2009, he moved to Mansfield ISD to serve as academic associate principal of Timberview High School. He made the move to Seguin ISD in 2011. Hill earned

his bachelor’s degree from Grambling State University and his master’s degree from The University of Texas at Arlington. Austin ISD Athletic Director Tommy Cox was honored in March as the Region 8 Athletic Administrator of the Year by the Texas High School Athletic Directors Association. Beaumont ISD James Broussard, principal of Ozen High Magnet School for the Arts, retired at the end of February. An educator for 35 years, he first taught at Odom Middle School. He went on to teach and coach at Marshall Middle School and West Brook High and to work in an administrative position in the district’s transportation department. He also served as assistant principal and principal at Martin Elementary. He joined Ozen in 2004.

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Coppell ISD John Crawford, the district’s athletic director, has been named Regional Athletic Administrator of the Year for regions 3 and 6 by the Texas High School Athletic Directors Association. The award was presented at the association’s state conference in March. Cypress-Fairbanks ISD Cypress-Fairbanks ISD’s newest school, Pope Elementary, will open in August with Becky Koop as principal. Currently principal of Matzke Elementary, she has been an educator for 18 years, beginning as Becky Koop a high school teacher in San Antonio. She came to CypressFairbanks ISD as a teacher at Hancock Elementary, where she remained for three years before going on to teach at Hamilton Middle School and Matzke Elementary. She then spent a year as an instructional specialist at Emmott Elementary. She was assistant principal at Jowell Elementary for three years and at Warner Elementary for two years. She was named principal of See WHO’S NEWS on page 23


Texas School Business • April 2013

TCEA members meet in Austin for annual conference Educators from across Texas gathered in the capital city in January for the 33rd Annual Texas Computer Educators Association Conference. The theme was “Learning in a New Light.”

Tracy Curry and Carol Hubbard of S&S CISD.

Blanca Patlan and Jeneene Tahaney of Duncanville ISD.

Julie Levesque and Amy Eubanks of Chapel Hill ISD.

Kakai Wulfjen and Liz Redwine of Westbrook ISD.

Laura Sisson and Margaret Vasquez of San Antonio ISD.

Maggie Thompson, Yvonne Gonzales, Diana Alfaro and Sheri Durham of Harlingen CISD.

Stacy Raymer and Alana Jobe of Blue Ridge ISD.

April 2013 • Texas School Business


TCASE PRESIDENT profile Wichita Falls ISD’s Cindy Moses espouses compassion first and foremost by Jennifer LeClaire


indy Moses realized her calling to teach when she was still a junior high school student, but she never expected to make a career out of special education. In fact, after graduating college, she prayerfully accepted a special education teaching position because it was the only job available. Now, 26 years later, she’s still a champion for special education. “God definitely directed my feet to special education because it was never on my radar,” admits Moses, director of special education for Wichita Falls ISD and the incoming president of the Texas Council of Administrators in Special Education. “Once I realized how much

special education programming helps kids, I never looked back. It’s been my passion since then.” Special education is a passion that has shaped her life — and her character. Moses says she has gained compassion for those who struggle, whether due to a disability, a lack of opportunity or financial issues. She has learned over the years to sympathize rather than judge. She strives to influence others in the field to adopt that same perspective. Having that perspective is vital to success in work and life, she says. “There are really three sides to every story. When there are two parties involved, the middle ground is usually where the

Cindy Moses, TCASE president and Wichita Falls ISD special education director, works with a student at Cunningham Elementary. 20

Texas School Business • April 2013

truth lies,” Moses says. “Perception is reality, and yet until you hear both sides of an issue you can’t really get a clear picture. I try to be very careful not to jump to conclusions and make rash decisions or judgments.” Her approach has come in handy with her students and with her family. Moses has a 15-year-old daughter, a 23-year-old daughter and her first grandchild on the way. Her husband is a minister and the whole family is involved in their church. When Moses isn’t dealing with issues at school, she’s often dealing with the children at her church who have special needs of their own. “One of the most profound things I learned early on in my career is that parents do the best they can. We as educators need to appreciate that and try not to impose our own values on other parents,” Moses says. “Just because they don’t do things the way we would doesn’t mean they are doing it wrong. They are loving their kids the best they can.” As TCASE president, Moses wants to equip and empower special education administrators, who then empower their teachers, who ultimately empower the students. “Certainly, TCASE has to deal with regulations and fiscal issues, but we stay very student-focused. We want to make a difference to our kids,” Moses says. “We want to build truly collaborative education programs for our kids. I believe partnering with other professional education organizations is going to help us continue to move the process along for all kids, but especially special education kids.” Moses says one of the most important lessons she has learned is to value and honor the teachers and paraeducators who are in the trenches every day. As she sees it, once an educator becomes an administrator — or takes on any other role that moves them out of a classroom —

there is a tendency to forget that teachers implement every great movement for student progress. “We should never forget what it is like to be the one dealing with student absences, the child who is sick, the child whose puppy — or worse, family member — just died, the noise of lunch room and recess duty, and on and on,” Moses says. “Those people can never be paid what they are worth! I’ve always tried to keep their needs in the forefront as decisions are made.”

‘One of the most profound things I learned early on in my career is that parents do the best they can. We as educators need to appreciate that and try not to impose our own values on other parents. Just because they don’t do things the way we would doesn’t mean they are doing it wrong. They are loving their kids the best they can.’

FUN FACTS ABOUT CINDY MOSES Something most people don’t know about me is: I was painfully shy and insecure as a child. Anyone I’ve ever told that seems rather shocked. A perfect weekend would include: A Saturday with no scheduled events so my family and I could be spontaneous in our choice of fun. Sunday would have bookends of time with my church family in the morning and the youth kiddos in the evening with a lazy stroll through the newspaper and an afternoon nap in between the two! A skill I would like to master: Keeping the top of my desk organized so that most of what is seen is wood and not paper. A habit I would like to break: Always thinking “I have time to do this one more thing” and then always having to rush to be on time!


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Moses also keeps the needs of her family in the forefront. She says her daughters have inherited her need for “retail therapy,” so there are plenty of shopping trips with the girls. And with a new baby in the family, the Moses girls have valid reasons to shop. When she’s not shopping or cooking, Moses enjoys leading ladies’ Bible studies at her church. “I’ve tried to stay very intent with where God is going to lead me while also seeking out lifelong learning in the field of education,” Moses says. “I don’t have any ambition to be a superintendent, but I do want to continue to move forward with all of the special education programs and make sure our general education program is as strong as it can be. It’s all about the kids.”

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April 2013 • Texas School Business


Shortage of speech-language pathologists felt nationwide and especially in Texas by Theresa Parsons


our district probably has struggled at some point to find qualified speech-language pathologists (SLPs) to cover the growing caseload of students needing services. Chances are good that you are searching or will be searching soon for someone to replace an SLP who is retiring, going on leave or making the move to contract services. You are not alone. Unfortunately, school speechlanguage pathologists are in short supply throughout Texas, leaving districts at risk of not being able to easily serve students. It also can put you at risk of failure to comply with federal mandates. You could look beyond Texas to fill those positions, but, unfortunately, the shortage is nationwide. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were an estimated 123,200 SLP jobs in 2010, and that number is expected to grow by 23 percent to 152,000 by 2020 to meet the increasing demand and replace retiring workers. The demand has grown for licensed SLPs as more children have been diagnosed as needing speech therapy. Better diagnosing, increased awareness of certain language disorders, and higher rates of autism and other disabilities have contributed to this rise in diagnoses. Moreover, the need is greater for bilingual SLPs as the population of English language learners increases. If these services cannot be provided during the school day, districts must try to arrange after-school sessions or summer sessions or send the student to a private therapist. According to the Texas Speech and Hearing Association (TSHA), 64 percent of the positions in Texas are filled with an employed licensed SLP with an average salary of $51,586. About 45 percent of Texas districts are contracting for at least one SLP. Ten percent of the total SLP positions are filled by contracted personnel, with an average salary of $64,349. With a shortage of SLP assistants also, there seems to be no relief in sight. TSHA 22

Texas School Business • April 2013

estimates there is a 20 percent shortage in qualified providers in Texas. The American Speech-LanguageHearing Association (ASHA) also has made projections that tell a similar story. The SLP position ranks 17th out of the 20 large-growth occupations requiring a master’s degree, according to ASHA. It expects the nation to need 13,400 additional SLPs in 2016, an increase of 30 percent since 2006.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were an estimated 123,200 SLP jobs in 2010, and that number is expected to grow by 23 percent to 152,000 by 2020 to meet the increasing demand and replace retiring workers. Universities are having trouble recruiting and graduating enough speech pathology students, who need master’s degrees to be certified to practice in most states. Compounding the problem is a shortage of doctoral instructors to teach the courses.

Antonio. This legislation would provide for student loan repayment assistance for speech-language pathologists or audiologists employed by public schools or as faculty members of certain graduate programs. TSHA requested the measure and TCASE supported it, in an effort to provide one more tool to increase the number of SLPs available for employment. In the meantime, here are a few ideas that could assist districts with recruitment and retention of therapists and reduce reliance on contract services: • offer stipends or flexible scheduling; •

offer professional development opportunities to earn continuing education credits, become a bilingual therapist or earn a certificate of clinical competence;

redesign service-delivery models, such as moving from annual services to establishing short-term, intensive and systematic intervention for children with articulation disorders;

use SLP assistants to help reduce caseload size and, when possible, offer tuition assistance to graduate students who commit to working for the district after obtaining their CCC;

utilize aides to perform an assortment of tasks not required by the SLP, from clerical duties to walking students back to class;

utilize the TSHA templates for eligibility and dismissal (available on the organization’s website) to provide uniform standards across the districts’ various therapists;

investigate distance therapy services that enable therapy services via the web; and

better educate SLPs and assistants on the benefits of the Teacher Retirement System and the school calendar.

Possible help on the way? The Texas Education Agency has partnered up with Texas Woman’s University on a statewide distance-learning program that blends virtual and traditional delivery systems to train SLPs in all regions of the state through the 20 education service centers. Also, there’s possible good news on the horizon at the Texas Capitol with House Bill (HB) 1073, by Rep. Alma Allen, D-Houston, and the companion bill, S.B. 620, by Leticia Van de Putte, D-San

THERESA PARSONS is the executive director of the Texas Council of Administrators in Special Education.

Who’s News WHO’S NEWS continued from page 18

Matzke in 2009. Koop holds a bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas at San Antonio and a master’s degree in education from Prairie View A&M University. Dallas ISD A new communications director has been named for the district. Former city of Arlington spokesperson Rebecca Rodriguez took on her new position in March. She began her career as a reporter for TV station KDFW in 1996. The next year, she began work as a news anchor and reporter for KTVT in Dallas-Fort Worth, where she remained until 2004. She then spent two years with WFAA in the metroplex before starting her own public relations company. In addition, she has worked at stations in Waco, Austin and Seattle and has been a correspondent for CNN and Fox News. Dimmit ISD Bryan Davis is the district’s new superintendent. He began his career as

a history teacher, assistant football coach and head boys’ track coach in Frenship ISD in 1982. In 1990, he transferred to Olton ISD as the district’s athletic direcBryan Davis tor and head football coach. Four years later, he moved to Floydada ISD to teach history and serve as athletic director and head football coach. He next coached and taught at Midland High School in Midland ISD. He took his first principalship in Sudan ISD in 2000, remaining there until 2011, when he accepted his most recent position as superintendent of Rule ISD. Davis, who earned his bachelor’s degree in education from Howard Payne University, holds a master’s degree in educational administration from Eastern New Mexico University. Eanes ISD Superintendent Nola Wellman was named Superintendent of the Year by the Texas Computer Education Associa-

tion (TCEA), an award which is presented to a superintendent who “recognizes the importance of technology in the teaching and learning process and actively Nola Wellman promotes the use of technology throughout their district,” according to TCEA. The award includes a $1,000 scholarship to a graduating senior of the superintendent’s choice. Wellman began her career as a middle school English and reading teacher. She was a middle school principal in Estes Park, Colo., and in the Cherry Creek School District in Denver, where she spent 16 years, including five years as executive director of middle schools and five as assistant superintendent for performance improvement. Wellman became superintendent of Eanes ISD in 2004. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University and her master’s degree in See WHO’S NEWS on page 24

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April 2013 • Texas School Business


Who’s News WHO’S NEWS continued from page 23

reading and administration from Colorado State University. Her doctorate in administration, curriculum and supervision was awarded from the University of Colorado. El Paso ISD Christian James has been promoted from assistant principal of Telles Academy to principal of Delta Academy. He has been with the district for 15 years, working as a special education teacher, Christian James at-risk coordinator and assistant principal. Prior to coming to El Paso ISD, he taught in Socorro ISD. He also worked as a graduate research assistant at The University of Texas at El Paso, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and his master’s degree in educational administration. Additionally, he served in the U.S. Coast Guard and was a detention officer with the El Paso Sheriff’s Office. Rogelio Segovia, formerly assistant principal of GarciaEnriquez Middle School in San Elizario ISD, is now principal of Roberts Elementary School. Previously in El Paso, he taught speRogelio Segovia cial education at Hillcrest Middle School in Ysleta ISD, was an educational computer specialist with Clint ISD and taught ESL at El Paso Community College. Segovia earned his bachelor’s degree in social psychology from Park University, a master’s degree in counseling from Webster University, and a second master’s degree, in educational leadership, from New Mexico State University. Leading Irvin High School as principal is Laron Sharp, who had been serving as the school’s assistant principal. He began working in the district in 2003 as a campus staff development and instructional support Laron Sharp specialist at Coldwell 24

Texas School Business • April 2013

and Houston elementary schools. He then was a special educational instructional coach at Franklin High School until taking on his first role at Irvin High in 2010. He also has taught in El Paso’s Ysleta ISD. Sharp, who earned his bachelor’s degree in business management from Brigham Young University, holds a master’s degree in educational administration from The University of Texas at El Paso. Jesus Teran has been tapped to lead Bowie High School as principal. He began his career in El Paso ISD in 1998 as a teacher at Charles Middle School, then served as a teacher and TAKS teacher and Jesus Teran coordinator at Bassett Middle School. He was named assistant principal of Wiggs Middle School in 2003 and took on the role of principal there in 2006. Teran holds a bachelor’s degree in English and American literature and a master’s degree in educational administration from The University of Texas at El Paso. ESC Region 2 Richard Alvarado is the new executive director. He comes to his new position from ESC Region 20 in San Antonio, where he had served as associate director for administrative and instructional Richard Alvarado services since 2004. Prior to that, he was a component director for administrative services at ESC Region 20. He also worked as a field service agent. He was assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction at Southside ISD in San Antonio, where he also served as interim superintendent. He began his career — and spent 18 years — in San Antonio ISD as an elementary school teacher, vice principal, principal and human resources administrator. Alvarado earned his bachelor’s degree in elementary education and his master’s degree in educational administration from Texas A&I University (now Texas A&M University at Kingsville). His doctoral degree in educational administration was awarded from Texas A&M University.

Garland ISD Bob Morrison has accepted the position of superintendent. An educator for 24 years, he worked in Oklahoma public schools as a teacher, coach, assistant principal and high school principal before coming Bob Morrison to Texas to join Mansfield ISD as director of student services. He then was promoted to assistant superintendent of secondary schools and, ultimately, superintendent in 2009. Morrison, who earned his bachelor’s degree in education from Oklahoma Baptist University and master’s degree in education from the University of Central Oklahoma, holds a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Phoenix. Harlandale ISD A new superintendent is in place for the district. He is Rey Madrigal, a product of Harlandale ISD schools and a 31-year employee of the district. He had been serving as interim superintendent since Rey Madrigal June. Madrigal joined Harlandale ISD in 1986 as a special education teacher and coach at Harlandale and McCollum high schools, going on to become athletic coordinator and head football coach of McCollum. He then was vice principal of that school and principal of Harlandale Middle School. In 2005, he was appointed principal of Harlandale High School, a position he held until being promoted to assistant superintendent for operations. Madrigal earned his bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas at San Antonio and his master’s degree in school administration from Texas A&M University at Kingsville. Houston ISD District Athletic Director Marmion Dambrino is the Texas High School Athletic Directors Association Region 5 Athletic Administrator of the Year. He was recognized at the organization’s state conference in March.

Who’s News Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD A new superintendent has been named. He is Steve Chapman, an educator since 1984. Initially a teacher in San Angelo ISD, he came to the district in 1986, where he taught for a year at Hurst Junior High and Steve Chapman two years at Trinity High School. He was an assistant principal at Trinity for three years before being named to the top position at Permian High School in Ector County ISD. In 1996, he returned to the district, serving as assistant superintendent of secondary administration and, since 2001, as deputy superintendent. Chapman holds a bachelor’s degree from Angelo State University and a master’s degree in educational administration from Texas Woman’s University.

cipients out of 70 nominees nationwide and the only winner from Texas. She opened Timberview as principal in 2010.

Jarrell ISD A new principal has been appointed for Jarrell High School. He is Michael Stovall, who comes to Jarrell from Pampa ISD, where he was an associate principal and a wrestling coach at Pampa High. He began his career as an English teacher in Borger ISD in 1995, going on to serve in the same capacity and as a special education teacher in several schools in Kansas. He took his first administrative role as an assistant principal in Pampa ISD in 2008. Two years later, he moved to Amarillo ISD for a year before transferring back to Pampa to take his most recent position. Stovall earned his bachelor’s degree in English education and his first master’s degree, in school leadership, at Friends University in Kansas. His second master’s degree, in special education, was awarded from Southwestern College, also in Kansas.

Liberty-Eylau ISD A new superintendent has been approved for the district. He is Ben Carson, formerly assistant superintendent of instruction and personnel in Hutto ISD. He has been an educator for 34 years. Beginning as a fifth Ben Carson grade teacher in Dallas, Carson went on to teach second, third and fifth grade in Richardson ISD. He took his first principal position in Flatonia ISD. He was with Hutto ISD for 17 years, starting as principal of Hutto Elementary School. He was appointed to his most recent position in 2001. Carson earned his bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University and his master’s degree in administration from East Texas State University.

Keller ISD Carrie Jackson, principal of Timberview Middle School, was named a 2013 Digital Principal by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP). The award recognizes principals who work to incorporate technology into their schools to improve instruction, communication and student engagement. The award was presented in February during the NASSP conference in National Harbor, Md. Jackson was one of three re-

Little Elm ISD A new position has been created in the district — director of facilities and construction — and Rod Reeves will fill it. An architect by trade, Reeves comes to Little Elm ISD from Denton ISD, where he spent the past six years Rod Reeves as coordinator of facilities and planning. Before that assignment,

Kerrville ISD Heather Engstrom has been appointed principal of Starkey Elementary. She will take over the position for the 20132014 school year. Since 2008, she has served as dean of curriculum and Heather Engstrom instruction at Tivy High School. Prior to that, she was assistant principal of Nimitz Elementary. She taught in Woodville and Fredericksburg ISD for 10 years before joining Kerrville ISD. Engstrom, who earned her bachelor’s degree from Florida State University, holds a master’s degree in education from Schreiner College.

he worked for 10 years with the Kirkpatrick Architectural Studio on projects for Denton and Argyle ISDs. He also was a classroom teacher for three years in Denton, teaching architecture, communications systems and technology systems. Reeves holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture and a master’s degree in architecture and historic preservation from Texas Tech University. Marshall ISD Deputy Superintendent Melinda Jones retired at the end of February. She had held that position since 2006. She began her career as a teacher in Pittsburg ISD’s Pittsburg Intermediate School, going on to serve as the Melinda Jones school’s principal. She then was the district’s curriculum director, assistant superintendent and superintendent — serving in the latter role until accepting the top job in Marshall ISD. Jones holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of North Texas and a master’s degree in education administration from Texas A&M University at Commerce. Richele Langley has been named the district’s executive director of curriculum, instruction and school development, a newly created position. She was formerly the district’s director of Richele Langley curriculum and instruction. She is a graduate of Marshall High School and has been a teacher, assistant principal, principal and director for the district. She began her career in Conroe ISD in 1990, returning to Marshall ISD in 1993 to teach at Marshall High School, Marshall Junior High, the Marshall Achievement Center and Houston Middle School. She was assistant principal of Marshall Junior High and Houston Middle School and was the district’s special education director. She also worked in the Pulaski County School District in Little Rock, Ark. Langley received her bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas at Arlington and her master’s degree in education from SteSee WHO’S NEWS on page 26 April 2013 • Texas School Business


Who’s News WHO’S NEWS continued from page 25

phen F. Austin State University. Greg Morris is now executive director of human resources and administrative services, also a new position for the district. He had been serving as director of human resources. He was a science teacher and coach Greg Morris at Warren Junior High in Warren ISD, where he also served as a principal. He was a lead science teacher in New Diana ISD and was a principal in Warren and Pittsburg ISDs. He came to Marshall ISD in 2007 as principal of Lee Elementary School, where he served until 2010, when he was named director of operations and student services. Morris earned his bachelor’s degree in education from East Texas Baptist College and his master’s degree in education from Stephen F. Austin State University. Northside ISD Brenda Gallardo, former principal of Villarreal Elementary School, will lead the new Franklin Elementary as principal when it opens in August. She began her career as a fourth grade Brenda Gallardo teacher in La Joya ISD and has spent her entire time with Northside ISD at Villarreal, beginning as a third grade teacher and going on to serve as an academic support teacher and vice principal before being named principal. Gallardo received both her bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies and her master’s degree in educational leadership from The University of Texas at San Antonio. The new principal of Linton Elementary School is J.J. Perez, who comes to his new position from serving as vice principal of Mead Elementary since 2008. He began his career as a middle school teacher and coach in J.J. Perez Somerset ISD, moving next to Lytle ISD as a history teacher and 26

Texas School Business • April 2013

coach at Lytle Middle School and Lytle High School. He took his first administrative position as assistant principal of Lytle High and vice principal of Lytle Elementary. Perez holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Texas A&M University at Kingsville. The district has named a new director of academic technology, library and textbook services. He is Doug Shudde, who was formerly the district’s curriculum management system coordinator. He Doug Shudde also once served as the academic technology coordinator for the district, as a campus instructional technologist at Raba Elementary, and as a teacher at May, Braun Station, McDermott and Howsman elementary schools. He also taught in Sabinal and Harlandale ISDs and in Kirtland, N.M. Shudde’s bachelor’s degree was awarded from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University). His master’s degree in curriculum and instruction is from Houston Baptist University. De’Ann Upright will be the first principal of McAndrew Elementary School when it opens in August. She has been principal of Powell Elementary since 2008. She began her career as a physiDe’Ann Upright cal education teacher at Glenn Elementary and worked as a third grade teacher at that school and at Ward Elementary. She took her first administrative position at Raba Elementary in 2004 as the school’s vice principal. Upright earned her bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas at San Antonio and her master’s degree from Texas A&M University at Kingsville. Three additional administrative appointments have been made. They are: Nathan Koudouris, vice principal, Stinson Middle School; Lourdes Medina, vice principal, Warren High School; Tracy Wernli, academic dean, Garcia Middle School.

Round Rock ISD Superintendent Jesus Chavez, who has led the district since 2006, has announced his upcoming retirement, effective at the end of this year. An educator for 35 years, he began his career as an elemenJesus Chavez tary school teacher in Brownsville ISD, arriving in Round Rock ISD in 1985 to serve as a central office administrator, director and assistant superintendent. In 1995, he took the position of superintendent of Harlingen CISD, transferring next to Corpus Christi ISD in the same position in 2001. In 2006, he was hired as superintendent of Round Rock ISD. Chavez received his associate’s degree from Texas Southmost College and his bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas. He earned his master’s degree in education from The University of Texas Pan American and returned to The University of Texas to earn his doctoral degree. Dwayne Weirich is now the district’s athletic director. Most recently athletic director of Pflugerville ISD, he also coordinated that district’s physical education and wellness programs and supervised the cheerleading program. In addition, he was chair of the district’s school health advisory committee. He is regional director of the Texas High School Athletic Directors Association. Before his most recent position in Pflugerville, he was head football coach and athletic coordinator for Hendrickson High School in the district. He also worked as a teacher and coach at Pflugerville High School. He coached football, basketball and soccer at Round Rock High School for 12 years before transferring to Pflugerville ISD. Weirich holds a bachelor’s degree in physical education and a master’s degree in kinesiology. San Angelo ISD Athletic Executive Director Jim Slaughter was named Regional Athletic Administrator of the Year by the Texas High School Athletic Directors Association for regions 1, 2 and 4. He will serve as the organization’s regional director for the coming year. An educator for 44 years, he has been a football coach, campus athletic See WHO’S NEWS on page 28

TSPRA hosts annual conference in Corpus Christi Texas School Public Relations Association members donned their sunniest luau gear for the School Messenger Star Awards celebration held on Feb. 20 in Corpus Christi as part of TSPRA’s 51st Annual Conference. The celebration theme was “Surf’s Up.”

Maritza Gallaga and Corey Ryan, both of Harlingen CISD.

Mike Rockwood of Lamar CISD.

Mark Kramer of Channelview ISD and Joe Perez of Harris County Department of Education.

Christy Willman, retired, of Lamar CISD and Verone Travis of ESC Region 11.

David Hicks of Highland Park ISD and Abby Knagg-Cloud of Mansfield ISD.

Marco Alvarado of Lake Travis ISD, Steve Valdez of Weslaco ISD and Lynn Kaylor of Flour Bluff ISD. Nate Brogan and Jolie Short of SchoolMessenger.

Tammy Castleberry and Kristin Courtney, both of Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD.

Roni Cantu of United ISD and JoyLynn Occhiuzzi of Round Rock ISD.

Felicia Michael and Judy Rimato, both of Klein ISD. April 2013 • Texas School Business


Who’s News WHO’S NEWS continued from page 26

coordinator and district athletic coordinator. His first head coaching assignment was at Lake View High School in San Angelo ISD, where he spent 14 years. He also has coached at Corpus Christi’s Carroll High and in Carrollton-Farmers Branch and Lufkin ISDs and at A&M Consolidated High School in College Station. He returned to San Angelo two years ago. Sharyland ISD The Texas High School Athletic Directors Association’s Regional Athletic Administrator of the Year for Region 7 is Richard Thompson. He received his award in March at the association’s state conference. Throckmorton ISD An interim superintendent has been hired for the district. He is Danny Bellah, who came out of retirement to accept the position. Bellah began his career as a teacher and coach in Lake Dallas and Rochester ISDs, then spent several years working in

the private sector before joining Woodson ISD in 1980, where he spent 31 years, 21 of those as superintendent, before retiring in 2011. United ISD Hector Cavazos has been appointed to serve as the district’s director of fixed assets. He was previously employed by the district as a purchasing manager and accountant. He was most recently director of Hector Cavazos purchasing and support services at Texas A&M University International in Laredo, from which he earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting and master’s degree in business administration. West Rusk CCISD The district’s school board has approved the creation of a police department and has hired its first police chief. Paul Thompson, who was most recently chief of police for the New London Police De-

partment, has taken the new job. He is a graduate of West Rusk schools. His family has lived in the area for 120 years. Wichita Falls ISD Danny Russell has been named head football coach and athletic director for Wichita Falls High School. He had spent his career to this point in Garland ISD, beginning in 1995 as a teacher of business, accounting and Danny Russell world geography and as a freshman coach at Garland High School. He became the school’s varsity secondary coach in 1998. In 2001, he was named the school’s assistant head coach and defensive coordinator, a position he held until taking on his new role in Wichita Falls ISD. Russell, who earned his associate’s degree from Panola Junior College, holds a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of North Texas and a master’s degree in education from Lamar University.

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order online at:

www.legaldigest.com 28

Texas School Business • April 2013


TASBO hosts annual conference in San Antonio Administrators gathered in San Antonio in February for the 67th Annual Texas Association of School Business Officials Conference.

Texas School Business Editor in Chief Jim Walsh with Deborah Ottmers of Fredericksburg ISD.

TASBO board members Julie Novak, Fort Sam Houston ISD; Kelly Penny, president-elect, Coppell ISD; Deborah Ottmers, president, Fredericksburg ISD; Jonathan Bey, Fort Worth ISD; Karen Wiesman, vice president, Mansfield ISD; and Jennifer Land, Round Rock ISD.

Laura Buchanan of TASBO with lifetime members Allen Schoppe and Lou Spiegel.

Pattie Griffin (middle), director of human resources at San Angelo ISD, receives TASBO’s Commitment to Excellence Award from TASBO President-Elect Deborah Ottmers of Fredericksburg ISD and President David Garcia of Midland ISD.

Kelly Penny of Coppell ISD and Jennifer Land of Round Rock ISD.

TASBO staff members Maribel Burgos, Becky Bunte and Anne Taylor.

Horace Mann staff with keynote speaker Bob Gray (second from left).

Tracy Hoke Ginsburg of Fort Bend ISD, Becky Bunte of TASBO and Karen Smith of CypressFairbanks ISD. April 2013 • Texas School Business


THE BACK PAGE by Riney Jordan

Advertiser Index

Inspirational leader, Part I


hen I think back on those individuals who inspired me over the years, I realize that we can never have too many inspirational leaders. Why do we need folks to motivate us, to encourage us and to challenge us? Well, it might just be because most of us are followers! Yes, according to a recent study, 75 percent of any given staff are followers. About 15 percent of the group are innovators. But what about that large critical mass who are waiting to be lead, wanting to be shown, and willing to do the right thing both professionally and personally? Do these folks really want an inspiration leader? Just look at the results of a survey of more than 1,500 managers who were asked what they would most like to see in their leaders. The most frequent answer was inspiration. So, over the next several issues, I’m going to focus on seven components of an inspirational leader.

1. An inspirational leader is a good example. Earl Hailston was the commanding general of Marine Forces Central Command during the Iraq conflict. A reporter asked him if had any hobbies outside of work and he replied, “Yes, I love photography, especially taking pictures of my men.” He then shared that he would take photographs of the men during the day and then later email the photos, along with a brief note, to their mothers back in the USA. The reporter asked if he might see a sample, so the general turned on the computer and read the last one that he had sent. It read: Dear Mrs. Johnson, I thought you might enjoy seeing this picture of your son. He is doing great. I also wanted you to know that you did a wonderful job raising him. You must be very proud. I can certainly tell you that I’m honored to serve with him in the U.S. Marines. Sincerely, General Earl Hailston I personally loved the good example 30

Texas School Business • April 2013

that he was setting for those young men who served under him during those trying days. And don’t you just know that each mother who received such a warm message felt so much better about those who were leading their sons! On the other hand, many of our athletes have been a major disappointment. In their respective sports, they excelled beautifully. Yet, as role models for our young people, they failed miserably. The same can be said of some teachers, preachers, movie stars, musicians, and even moms and dads. Being a good example is a full-time job. We are being watched by young people and others who are desperately seeking someone to emulate. Just do what is right. 2. An inspirational leader is an encourager. I recently read a quote that said: There are only two types of people who thrive on encouragement: men and women. Do you remember those dark days following the Sept. 11 tragedy? I dare say that most of us will never forget that uncertain and troubling feeling we had in the pit of our stomachs. The uncertainty of those days and the sadness for those families who lost loved ones has haunted us for years. However, I remember the comfort that came with Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s news conferences day after day as he stood before the people of that great city. He always spoke softly and compassionately, with tears in his eyes, as he reported the gruesome figures of lost lives. Yet he always left us with words of encouragement and hope. Yes, at that dark hour, we needed leaders with compassion and encouragement. And yes, Americans needed to see gentle leaders weep. Next month, I’ll cite two more characteristics of an inspirational leader. RINEY JORDAN, whose best-selling book “All the Difference” is now in its sixth printing, is an international speaker and humorist. He can be reached at riney@yahoo.com or by visiting www.rineyjordan.com.

ESC Region 7 - DMAC Solutions..........10 www.dmac-solutions.net ESC Region 20 TCC...............................18 www.esc20.net/TCC Friends of Texas Public Schools.............31 www.fotps.org McGriff Seibels & Williams of Texas.....23 www.mcgriff.com Riney Jordan Co. ......................................9 www.rineyjordan.com Shweiki Media........................................28 www.shweiki.com Skyward Inc. ..........................................10 www.skyward.com Spectrum Corp. ..................................5, 23 www.spectrumscoreboards.com Sungard Public Sector.............................32 www.sungardps.com Texas ASCD............................................21 www.txascd.org Texas Mac Repair...................................11 www.texasmacrepair.com Texas Parent PAC......................................4 www.txparentpac.com Texas School Administrators’ Legal Digest.............8, 9, 12, 15, 21, 28 www.legaldigest.com Texas School Business.........................2, 13 www.texasschoolbusiness.com WRA Architects........................................5 www.wraarchitects.com

The sense of brotherhood and culture of ambassadorship in our “district has never been stronger. Ambassador training has helped unite our team around our schools and our profession.”

-- Scott Niven, Superintendent, Red Oak ISD


hen my country, into which I had just set my foot, was set on fire about my ears, it was time to stir. It was time for every man to stir.”

-- Thomas P a i n e


Thomas Paine’s political declaration in Common Sense helped direct the energies of the rebels and point the way to American independence from England. The Ambassador Training Academy staff development program is inspired by Thomas Paine’s work. There are many parallels between educators today, condemned by blinded reformists, and early Americans, condemned by a blinded Crown. Just as Paine “enunciates... the specific right of the people to challenge unjust laws and an unjust government”, we are mobilizing an army of educators to challenge unjust criticism and false accusations of widespread failure.

Class of 2011 Red Oak ISD Ambassadors Academy

Friends of Texas Public Schools is educating Texans about Texas public schools and their many strengths and achievements through Ambassador Training and other initiatives in order to: 4 4 4 4 4 4

Underscore the significance of them; Unite Texans around them; Restore pride in them; Strengthen confidence in them; Lift spirits among them; and Inject resources into them…

…all of which will lead to even greater performance.

Stir your team into champions for your students, district, and profession by enrolling your school district in our Ambassador Training Academy.

It’s time for every educator to stir Visit www.fotps.org to learn more, or email us at lmilder@fotps.org.

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