INSIGHT-Winter 2023

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TASA 2023 Legislative Positions & Priorities

Plus - Meet TASA’s Inspiring Leaders pg.19


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FEATURE ARTICLES & COLUMNS 2023 TASA Legislative Positions & Priorities 12 Designing facilities for safety and wellness 16 by Irene Nigaglioni Meet TASA’s Inspiring Leaders 19 CAPITOL INSIGHT 22 Vouchers: not right for Texas by Keith Bryant LEADERSHIP PERSPECTIVE 25 Climate change: using data to illuminate instructional practices by Jamie Harper Martinez TECH TAKE 28 The value of your pandemic technology investment in post-pandemic districts By Karla Burkholder Volume 37 No. 4 WINTER 2023 INSIGHT WINTER 2023 3



Executive Director Kevin Brown

Deputy Executive Director, Charles Dupre Member Engagement & Support

Associate Executive Director, Ann M. Halstead Internal Operations

Director, Communications Amy Francisco & Marketing

Coordinator, Graphics & Multimedia Marco A. De La Cueva

Editorial Director Dacia Rivers

INSIGHT is published quarterly by the Texas Association of School Administrators, 406 East 11th Street, Austin, Texas, 78701-2617. Subscription is included in TASA membership dues. © 2023 by TASA. All rights reserved.TASA members may reprint articles in limited quantities for in-house educational use. Articles in INSIGHT are expressions of the author or interviewee and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of TASA. Advertisements do not necessarily carry the endorsement of the Texas Association of School Administrators.

About TASA

TASA’s mission is to promote, provide and develop leaders who create and sustain studentcentered schools and develop future-ready students.

We envision innovative, future-focused leaders for every public school student.

TASA values the strengths, contributions, and varying perspectives of all educational leaders. Our goal is to intentionally equip and support school districts and leaders as they foster a culture in which all students and adults are valued for their unique gifts, supported academically, socially, and emotionally, and empowered to reach their full potential.


Gonzalo Salazar, President, Los Fresnos CISD

LaTonya Goffney, President-Elect, Aldine ISD

Martha Salazar-Zamora, Vice President, Tomball ISD

Doug Williams, Past President, Sunnyvale ISD


Rene Gutierrez, Region 1, Brownsville ISD

Sharon McKinney, Region 2, Port Aransas ISD

Jo Ann Bludau, Region 3, Hallettsville ISD

Walter Jackson, Region 4, La Porte ISD

Stacey Brister, Region 5, Little Cypress-Mauriceville CISD

Darol Hail, Region 6, New Waverly ISD

Chris Moran, Region 7, Whitehouse ISD

Michael Lamb, Region 8, Sulphur Springs ISD

Sonny Cruse, Region 9, Graham ISD

John “JJ” Villarreal, Region 10, Rockwall ISD

Jeremy Thompson, Region 11, Ponder ISD

Bobby Ott, Region 12, Temple ISD

Steven Snell, Region 13, Liberty Hill ISD

David Young, Region 14, Abilene ISD

Joe Young, Region 15, Brownwood ISD

Sheri Blankenship, Region 16, Hereford ISD

Michelle McCord, Region 17, Frenship ISD

Samuel Wyatt, Region 18, Rankin ISD

Veronica Vijil, Region 19, Fabens ISD

Burnie Roper, Region 20, Lackland ISD


Hafedh Azaiez, Round Rock ISD

Robert Bayard, Clear Creek ISD

Roland Hernandez, Corpus Christi ISD

Tory Hill, Channelview ISD


Keith Bryant, Legislative

Celina Estrada Thomas, Member Engagement

Roosevelt Nivens, Advocacy

Macy Satterwhite, Professional Learning


Martha Salazar-Zamora, Tomball ISD, Chair

Keith Bryant, Lubbock-Cooper ISD

Roosevelt Nivens, Lamar CISD

Celina Estrada Thomas, Hutto ISD

Macy Satterwhite, Lubbock-Cooper ISD

Stacey Edmonson, Sam Houston State University

TASA Professional Learning Calendar 5 President’s Message 7 Executive Director’s View 9

TASA Professional Learning Calendar

For details on our professional development events, please refer to the TASA Daily e-newsletter, or call the TASA office at 512.477.6361 or 800.725.TASA (8272)

Date Event Location February 16 N2 Learning Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, Allen Session 4 (Dallas Cohort) 21 N2 Learning Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, San Antonio Session 4 (Austin/San Antonio Cohort) 21 TASA/TASB Legislative Conference Austin 22-23 TASA First-Time Superintendents Academy Round Rock Session 4 28 TASA Virtual Book Study: Brené Brown’s Dare to Lead, Online Session 1 28 Texas Executive Leadership Group Meeting 5 Online 28-March 2 CMSi Level 1 Curriculum Management Audit Training Austin March 1-2 TASA Future-Ready Superintendents Leadership Network, Blue Ridge (FRSLN) Event 3 7-9 CMSi Level 2 Curriculum Management Audit Training Online 9 TASA Breakaway Leadership Cohort 2, Session 3 Online 21 TASA Virtual Book Study: Brené Brown’s Dare to Lead, Session 2 Online 28-29 N2 Learning Principals’ Institute 12, Session 5 Dallas 28-29 N2 Learning Executive Leadership Institute, Session 4 Dallas 28-30 CMSI Curriculum Writing Workshop Austin 28-30 Texas Public Accountability Consortium (TPAC) Meeting Austin 30 Hanover Superintendents Leadership Council Meeting 4 Online "Marketing and Advocating for Your District" April 4 N2 Learning Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, San Antonio Session 5 (Austin/San Antonio Cohort) 4 TASA Virtual Book Study: Brené Brown’s Dare to Lead, Session 3 Online 6 N2 Learning Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, Session 5 (Virtual Cohort) Online 12 N2 Learning Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, Session 5 (Houston Cohort) Cypress 13 N2 Learning Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, Corpus Christi/Allen Session 5 (Corpus Christi/Victoria and Dallas Cohorts) 18 TASA Virtual Book Study: Brené Brown’s Dare to Lead, Session 4 Online 18 Texas Executive Leadership Group Meeting 6 Online 18 TASA/TASB/TASBO Budget Cohort for Texas District Leaders Event 7 Online 20 TASA Breakaway Leadership Cohort 2 Session 4 Online WINTER 2023 5

Ideas, Insights, and Inspiration

Shaping public education together


Sept. 29 —

Oct. 1 • Dallas

Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center


I urge you, as a leader for public education, in your respective communities, to be an active participant in the legislative process.


The start of a new year is a time for reflection and an opportunity to renew our commitment to continuous improvement. It is a time to honor the past, celebrate the present, and look toward the future with hope. As leaders in public education, we measure our days and exercise reflection. In doing so, we find the wisdom and discernment that informs our decision-making and helps us make the world a better place for those we serve.

January marked the beginning of the convening of the 88th session of the Texas Legislature, and seldom have the stakes been higher for public education in Texas and for the future of our state. Our public schools are the engine for democracy — we must continue to emphasize the need for local control and well-funded public schools.

In a speech to the Public Education Association delivered in 1900, Mark Twain stated, “We believe that out of our public schools grows the greatness of a nation,” and those words are still true today. Public schools were established for the education of the masses and the advancement of democratic principles. The fabric of democracy is woven in our classrooms to this day. Our staff understand education holds a promise for a brighter tomorrow; we take pride in creating the experiences that change the trajectory of students’ lives, equip them with transferable skills to compete in a global market and ensure our students graduate futureready, lifelong learners.

Legislation forged in our state Capitol in 2023 will have a lasting effect on public education, and I urge you, as a leader for public education, in your respective communities, to be an active participant in the legislative process. I encourage you to work with your local representatives and stakeholders to garner support for our public schools. Please ask them to oppose any state plan that would use vouchers, tax credits, taxpayer saving grants, tuition reimbursements or any other means to divert public tax dollars to private entities, homeschooled students, or parents, with little or no academic or financial accountability/transparency to their state, taxpayers, or local communities.

If you have not already done so, reach out to your local representatives and offer to work with them during the session to provide feedback on how a particular bill may affect the students in your respective communities. The spring is a busy time of year, but we encourage you to carve out time to come to Austin to testify when necessary so that we can be a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves.

In his first State of the Union address in 1981, President Ronald Reagan reminded us, “The destiny of self-government and the preservation of the sacred fire of liberty is finally staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.” Our public schools play a significant role in preserving the sacred fire of liberty; we do not merely serve the public, we produce the public. Delivering on our mission will require each of us to ensure our schools provide the quality education every child deserves; however, it does not end there. We must engage and be active participants in the legislative process.

President’s Message continues on page 8

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President’s Message continued from page 7

Our service to public education, in our respective roles, is an answer to a calling. It is a privilege to serve alongside you in this important work and I admire each of you for your courageous leadership, your innovative spirit, and the manner in which you exercise the fiduciary responsibility entrusted unto you. Thank you for choosing to serve in public education. My prayer is that the Lord will continue to be a light unto your path as you work to sustain environments in which all children flourish.


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If our state and nation are going to continue to thrive, we must not abandon our public schools and our democracy.


In the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan and Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill crossed political boundaries to enact legislation at the federal level. Although they had political differences, there was a sense that they were working for the common good and each knew they had to work together to accomplish anything meaningful. Speaker O’Neill is famous for saying that “all politics is local.” That used to be a safe bet. Elected leaders wanted to represent their constituents as best as they could – not some constituents, but all of them.

Unfortunately, in recent years it feels like “all politics are national,” and that local candidates have to kowtow to national interests rather than to their local communities, which is the case with the issue of school vouchers. Vouchers, which are unpopular in both political parties when called “vouchers,” will be a hot topic for the Texas Legislature this session. As a result, they won’t be called vouchers in legislation. They will be called “Taxpayer Savings grants,” “hope scholarships,” or some other flowery words to help mask that they are indeed vouchers. Be wary of wordsmithing. Many elected leaders will be encouraged to vote against their own principles and the best interests of their local communities because of outside influence (money and politics) unless all of us engage with them locally.

Here are just a few of the countless reasons I have grave concerns about vouchers passing in Texas:

1. Vouchers are expensive. We simply can’t afford to fund three types of school systems (traditional ISDs, charter schools, and private schools funded by vouchers) that follow three different sets of rules. The state has already chosen to spend billions of taxpayer dollars each year on charter schools. That money comes directly out of neighborhood public schools. Funding a third system will no doubt significantly weaken local community schools and existing charters. Texas is already near the bottom in the country in public school funding. The last thing our state needs to do is provide “welfare checks” to wealthy families to attend selective private schools, and that is exactly what has occurred in many states that have enacted vouchers. In Arizona, 75% of voucher applicants are children who were already attending private school.

2. School choice is not parent choice. Too often we see charter schools that do not serve all children. In those cases, it is the school that does the choosing, not the parents. There are some charters that are mission-driven and strive to serve all children, and they should be commended; but many have become profit factories that serve only children who are easy and cheap to educate. They are underrepresented by children in special education, those experiencing poverty, and children with behavioral and emotional needs. By law, they are required to be open to all children, but in reality, some charters put up all kinds of barriers to keep “those kids” from enrolling. That does not serve the public good and it even hurts the reputation of mission-driven charters.

3. Vouchers erode our democracy. Local community schools have elected leaders who are required to live in the district, be accountable to all taxpayers, provide full transparency and have accountability. If you don’t like their decisions, you can vote them out of office. If you want to encourage or discourage them from making a certain decision,

continues on page 10

WINTER 2023 9

you can speak at a board meeting. You can vote for or against tax increases and bond issues. You can even talk to them at church or at the grocery store or ball game. In other words, you have a lot of influence on how your taxes are spent. That is called democracy. Private schools are far removed from the electorate. Vouchers will tax everyone, but the average Texan will have no say on how their tax dollars are spent, what curriculum is used, whether certified teachers are hired, or what programs are offered. Private schools don't have to have a grievance policy, follow the Open Meetings Act, or show transparency about anything. It is ironic to me that while we are talking about giving parents more rights, we are actually inhibiting their rights by funding schools that can pick and choose whom to serve and how they serve without any input from the public. And for those of us who do not have school-aged children anymore, we will be taxed but have no representation in these schools. Taxation without representation runs decidedly counter to American values.

Article 7, Section 1 of the Texas Constitution, says “The general diffusion of knowledge, being essential to the preservation of the liberties and rights of the people, it shall be the duty of the Legislature of the State to establish and make suitable provision for the support and maintenance of an efficient system of public free schools.”

The American dream cannot be outsourced to private schools and profiteers. If our state and nation are going to continue to thrive, we must not abandon our public schools and our democracy. The stakes are just too high, the cost to Texans too great, and our children’s future too important.

During this legislative session, it is critical for all TASA members to be engaged locally. Knowing your state representatives and senators closely, and ensuring that they fully understand how legislation impacts your school district and your community is one of the most important duties of a school leader. Thank you for the leadership you are providing in your community to serve and protect this critical pillar of our democracy, public education.

Executive's director view continued from page 9 10 INSIGHT



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2023 TASA Legislative Positions & Priorities

During the 88th session of the Texas Legislature, TASA will support or initiate legislation that aligns with the association’s positions and priorities and work with other associations and groups to advocate for the following.

Local Control

A cornerstone priority of TASA members is local control and flexibility, as school districts must be able to respond to the differing needs of students, educators, parents, and the communities they serve.

Support local control of school finances and oppose measures that erode local discretion.

Oppose legislation or measures that seek to limit school districts’ or administrators’ ability to have representation before the Texas Legislature, state agencies, and the executive branch.

Support Districts of Innovation in their current form.

Education Funding

Advocate for an adequate and equitable school finance system that raises per pupil funding to the national average.

Support sustainable state funding for HB 3 (2019).

Advocate for local discretion with spending to ensure that the needs of students, staff, and communities are met.

Support the use of enrollment vs. attendance as the standard for school funding.

Property Value Growth

Oppose any effort to divert local school property tax revenues for non-public education purposes.

Foundation School Program (FSP)

Oppose any cuts to school district FSP funding.

Advocate for adequate and equitable formula-based funding that considers student and district characteristics to meet state and local standards.

Advocate for funding full-day pre-K programs through the FSP for all students.

School Safety

Advocate for increased funding of the School Safety Allotment and local flexibility to ensure districts can adequately meet student and staff safety needs.

Instructional Materials and Technology Allotment (IMTA)

Advocate for increased funding for the IMTA to ensure districts can provide adequate technology and instructional materials to meet higher standards for students. Oppose any carveouts from IMTA that decrease the amount of funds to school districts.

Facilities Funding

Advocate for additional funding for the Instructional Facilities Allotment (IFA), Existing Debt Allotment (EDA), and the New Instructional Facilities Allotment (NIFA). Oppose additional funding for charter school facilities until adequate state funding is provided to traditional school districts.

Accelerated Instruction

Advocate for a permanent state funding source for all required accelerated instruction. Support measures to reduce state-level prescriptive requirements and to increase local flexibility in meeting the instructional needs of students.

Disaster Relief

Advocate for additional funding for resources to assist school districts impacted by events, such as hurricanes or tornadoes, which result in portions of the state being declared natural disaster areas.

Charter Schools

Oppose the further expansion of publicly funded charter schools, including increases in the number of campuses under existing charters, unless charter schools are subject to the same accountability and transparency laws and regulations as community-based public schools, including those related to: special education requirements, public notices, school discipline, financial dealings (leases, mortgages, bond debt, contracts) transportation, bilingual programs, policy notices, employment contract policies, parental rights, lobbying and political expenditure restrictions, student data privacy, efficiency audits, lunch programs, and nepotism.

Support including in all legislation related to parental rights the same rights for charter school parents that parents of students in community-based public schools are entitled to, including due process rights relating to student discipline and expulsion.

Support requiring charter school board meetings to be held in person in each community they serve at least once per year.

Charter Schools (continued)

Support giving taxpayers more detailed information about prospective charter schools and their expansions, including the planned location, cost to the state and local school district, the academic and financial record of the school, and a meaningful process for taxpayers to provide their support or opposition to said charter in their community.

Advocate to improve transparency, notice, input, and consideration of the state and local district impact before a charter can be approved or expanded.

Advocate for the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to align its rules and processes to statutory requirements that mandate the agency consider a school district’s statement of impact when considering a new charter application.

Advocate for the TEA to provide public notice when it violates commissioner rules related to charter expansion.

Advocate for tying the charter school “small and midsize allotment” to the same 5,000-student cap as the district small and midsize allotment.

Support legislation that increases local community involvement in the charter approval and expansion process like that required of traditional public school districts in bond and tax ratification elections.

Special Education

Advocate for increased state funding for special education students, especially for those with the greatest needs.

Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS)

TRS Pension Program

Advocate for the continuation of the current defined benefit pension program for TRS members and advocate for an annual cost-of-living adjustment for all retirees if a study of the fund determines it will not negatively impact the actuarial soundness of the fund.


Advocate for increased state funding to assist with increased healthcare costs associated with TRS-ActiveCare and TRS-Care.

Teacher Shortage

Support measures that help with recruitment and retention of the workforce.

Advocate for the removal of state barriers for teacher candidates, such as expensive exams or requirements that deter candidates from entering the profession.

Support increases in flexibility and removal of rigid requirements in state-developed programs such as the teacher reading academies.

Advocate for the repeal of the 3:1 student-to-teacher ratio requirement for supplemental accelerated instruction (HB 4545, 2021).

Vouchers, Taxpayer Savings Grants, Virtual Vouchers

Oppose any state plan that would use vouchers, tax credits, taxpayer savings grants, tuition reimbursements, or any other means to divert public tax dollars to private entities, homeschooled students, or parents, with little or no academic or financial accountability or transparency to the state, taxpayers, or local communities.

Assessment & Accountability

Advocate for the establishment of a comprehensive accountability system that looks beyond high-stakes, multiple-choice exams to meaningful assessments that have value for students, parents, and teachers, as well as flexible measures that local communities value.

Oppose A–F campus and district ratings that oversimplify the complex work of schools and incentivize teaching to the test.

Advocate for an accountability system that does not automatically lower a district’s overall or domain performance rating of A to a rating of B if the district has even one campus with an overall or domain performance rating of D or F.

Advocate that the state student assessment program be limited to only those assessments required to meet ESSA (federal) requirements.

Support the exemption from A-F accountability ratings for first-year campuses.

Advocate for local discretion in instructional planning and repeal of the accelerated learning committee requirements (HB 4545, 2021).

Advocate for local discretion in instructional planning and for the repeal of the one-size fits all 30 hours of supplemental accelerated instruction that must be administered to every student who fails any STAAR or EOC exam (HB 4545, 2021).


Advocacy Tools

TASA offers many advocacy tools for anyone looking to use their voice to help public education at the state level. Through, you may access the following resources:

Online advocacy toolkits

Visit to find three toolkits: one focusing on elections and voting, one offering resources to aid you in reaching out to your elected officials, and a third focused on advocating for public schools and engaging with policymakers. These kits contain everything from printable fliers and PowerPoint presentations to helpful calendars and informative links.

Capitol Watch Alerts

As a TASA member, you’ll receive frequent emails during the session letting you know what committee meetings are coming up and what bills will be discussed so you can sign up to testify. You’ll also receive follow-up alerts after the hearings, filling you in on how things went. Only current TASA members receive these alerts.

Talking points documents

Each session, TASA produces talking points documents for public education advocates to use when speaking with legislators. Watch for these to be shared in Capitol Watch Alert and/ or TASA Daily emails.

Bill Tracker

Head over to to look up specific bills for summaries and a list of any actions taken. This is a great way to keep up to date on bills related to public education.

Important Dates

January 10

First day of 88th Regular Session; Legislature convenes at noon.

January 17 Inauguration.

March 10 60-day deadline for bill filing.

May 29

Last day of 88th Regular Session (sine die).

TASA/TASB Legislative Conference to be Held February 21

The Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) and TASA partner to host the TASA/TASB Legislative Conference each legislative session to provide school leaders with an opportunity to learn about important education legislation and meet with legislators at the Texas Capitol.

During the 2023 conference, February 21, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol, TASA and TASB Governmental Relations staff will update attendees on legislative activities and proposed bills, preparing attendees to meet with legislators and staff.

In addition, key legislators and political observers have been invited to share their insights with attendees. See for more information.

WINTER 2023 15

Designing facilities for safety and wellness

It’s not a surprise to anyone that the safety of school aged children is on everyone’s minds. Recent events around the U.S. and in our own backyard in Texas have focused our attention on mass shootings and what can be done to keep our students safe.

This conversation is one that has several implications, one of which has to do with the physical environment and its impact on safety and security. There is a need for a dedicated effort to design safer school learning environments, but the conversation on how to do this needs to be broader than just the physical plant.

Environments do impact the health and wellness of its occupants, and in schools, they can have a positive impact if properly designed.

Facility planners and designers are challenged by communities to design buildings that can help keep students safe, but the request is typically focused on hardening the environment. Although we can all agree that a single point of entry to a school is a good technique for minimizing visitor access to a building, we also need to shift the conversation to creating future focused environments that allow students to feel safe and supported.

Research overwhelmingly shows that the environment has an influence over our cognition and health. In her 2017 book “Welcome to your World,” Sarah Williams Goldhagen goes as far as stating that “there’s no such thing as a “neutral” environment: Your built environment is either helping you, or it’s hurting you.”

Other key studies show that the built environment can negatively impact mental health as well, causing stress, anxiety and depression. So, we must ask ourselves, is the solution truly hardening, or should we consider a softer approach? What are the schools we want to continue to create?

The pandemic gave us a great opportunity to rethink the return to school environments and how they can support students. During the pandemic we saw the need for the built environment of a school disappear as our students flipped to learning behind a computer screen at home. If education could happen completely online, is there really a need for the physical facility that is a school?

We since know that for most of our students, the need to return to a physical space is essential, but do we want to return to the same school environments of the past century, or do we want to return to safe, welcom-


ing, healthy, innovative, diverse and equitable environments that support each learner in his or her journey?

The answer appears simple, but understanding the changes that need to happen may sometimes be harder to grasp. These changes are essential to ensuring healthy, nurturing and safe schools for all our children and staff.

Various leading national organizations have recently published safety and security guides for the design of school facilities. These reports focus on the need to design future focused learning environments that support students, via the inclusion of spaces, adjacencies and materials that are proven to help reduce stress and enhance learning.

During the fall of 2022, the Association for Learning Environments (A4LE) convened a symposium where the discussion on safety and security was not limited to the physical environment, but rather to what can be done with the physical environment to help mitigate mental health issues.

The findings and recommendations from the symposium help to identify these features, as well as the activities that must accompany them, such as easy access to counselors, and the opportunity to explore the outdoors for improved health benefits. Overall, it was overwhelmingly reiterated that school safety and security is not just a building design issue.

As chair of the A4LE Southern Region Foundation I have had the opportunity to be part of the jury of the Exhibit of Texas School Architecture design competition. This competition evaluates buildings on six stars of distinction which look at the design of school facilities in a holistic manner.

These stars of distinction each highlight features or processes that help enhance learning. It is important to note that there is not one “safety and security” star of distinction as this is embedded in all other stars. The stars of distinc-

tion include Design, Value, Community, Planning, and School Transformation. For 2023, we have added a Wellness star of distinction given the importance that a whole child approach has in designing safe and secure schools.

Building on all of the above information, the Wellness star will focus on those inclusions that benefit staff and students, such as flexible furnishings, access to outdoor learning environments, increased counseling areas, inclusive design features, views of nature, aweinspiring design or the inclusion of biophilic elements in the design of spaces.

Biophilic elements tie us to nature, which increases our ability to concentrate and helps provide a sense of calm and reduce stress. This important school architectural exhibit is a great way to recognize school districts and design teams that have placed a high level of importance in designing safe and secure learning environments.

While recent school safety events demand our attention, we must always remember the responsibility and opportunity that comes with school design as it is known to impact students’ behavior, development and academic performance.

It is imperative that school design be a part of a larger conversation that includes the community, parents, staff and students. The time is now to move beyond discussions of hardening to discussions of wholeness, wellness and respect. We all must take this charge seriously.

Irene Nigaglioni, AIA, ALEP is president of IN2 Architecture and chair of the Association for Learning Environments, Southern Region Foundation.

Meet TASA’s Inspiring Leaders

Now more than ever, Texas public school staff members are looking to leaders to inspire them in their day-to-day work as we all cope with an ever-changing educational landscape. TASA’s “Inspiring Leaders” tagline is not just a reminder of TASA’s commitment to leadership development — it describes our members themselves. In this and future issues of INSIGHT, you’ll meet some of those Inspiring Leaders, and it’s our hope that they will guide you and invigorate you in the work that you do. To nominate a leader for inclusion, email

Lupita Hinojosa

For the past year, Dr. Lupita Hinojosa has served as superintendent in Spring ISD, the first Hispanic woman to serve in the district’s top position. Hinojosa took the job with more than 30 years of experience working in public education, a career she began as an elementary school bilingual educator in Houston ISD. Since taking the role, Hinojosa often introduces herself as the “super-proud superintendent of Spring ISD.”

“I genuinely am so very proud of our district and how we work together on behalf of our students and families,” she says. “One thing I am exceptionally proud of is the hard work we’ve done here in Spring ISD to serve the real needs of our students and to align our offerings to those needs — at every level — to help every student succeed.”

Staff in Spring ISD say Hinojosa’s “super-proud” nickname has stuck, due to its authenticity.

“Whether you’re next to her during a 4 a.m. outdoor, televised pep rally with 300 students or a 10 p.m. school board meeting honoring students and teachers, you will see the same proud smile across the leader of our district,” says Dr. Joe Clark, director of performing and visual arts in the district. “Our superintendent is real and you can see her in our work alongside us every day. This is the kind of inspirational leader that we all need for all our students and teachers, every day.”

Hinojosa has worked to improve student achievement in Spring, implementing a new strategic plan called “Every Student — Every Teacher — Every Day: A Blueprint for Excellent and Equitable Outcomes.”

“One thing I am exceptionally proud of is the hard work we’ve done here in Spring ISD to serve the real needs of our students and to align our offerings to those needs – at every level – to help every student succeed,” she says. “It’s a big task, and it takes continual cooperation and coordination between administrators, teachers, support staff, parents and guardians, and local business and community partners, all guided by the vision and leadership of our Spring ISD board of trustees.”

A child of immigrants, Hinojosa says she knows firsthand the importance of education and the opportunities it can provide. It’s these thoughts that keep her going when the job becomes challenging.

“Education changed the trajectory of my life and my family’s life, and now I get to help pass that on to new generations of young people — students who share the same hopes and dreams I had when I was a little girl growing up,” she says. “As education administrators, our days are often challenging, our schedules are often overbooked, the demands on our time and attention can be incredible, and the stakes can often feel unbelievably high. It can definitely be stress-inducing, but the rewards come in the human connections we make, in the compassion and care we bring to our work, and in witnessing the success of our students.”


Marc Smith

Dr. Marc Smith has served as superintendent in Duncanville ISD since 2016. With more than 20 years experience working in public schools, Smith refers to the district as the “City of Champions,” based on Duncanville’s success not only in athletics, but also in art and academics.

“I am exceptionally proud of the daily dedication to excellence our workforce exhibits,” Smith says. “Collectively, we have created an education system that allows students to maximize their potential while here and positions them for college and career success. I’m proud that our students matriculate to highly esteemed universities. I’m even more proud that our graduates brag that Duncanville ISD made a difference in their life because we provided a solid academic foundation, caring environment and family-oriented culture.”

Staff members in the district say that Smith leads with intention, with a singular focus on students in Duncanville and what’s best for them.

“Dr. Smith's open and transparent communication style fosters trust throughout the organization,” says Connie Wallace, chief of special initiatives in the district. “He exhibits consistent and dependable leadership that is always professional.”

Smith’s personal philosophy is “Failure is not an option.” With this motto in mind, he leads by example, striving to perform at his highest level all day, every day.

“Dr. Smith has established clear expectations to enhance our brand so that we are known for being champions in athletics, the arts and academics,” Wallace says. “In fact, early in his tenure in Duncanville ISD he established the Superintendent's Scholars Recognition program. The ultimate goal is to support students towards National Merit Scholarship recognition. After a prolonged absence from the ranks and because of his vision, innovative thinking and pure inspirational guidance, we are currently celebrating that one of our students is a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist.”

Smith also believes in the importance of fostering professional relationships with others in his field, serving as a mentor to others to offer guidance and also give back the support he’s received.

“Mentorship is crucial to sustained success because what got you here may not keep you there (in a next level position),” he says. “As a mentor, I help others identify blind spots in their leadership, establish goals and expose them to the realities of the work. The benefit of mentoring is reciprocal. Not only are you pouring into someone else and providing explicit support and guidance, they are watching your leadership in real-time, making it paramount that you lead by example and practice what you preach!”


Vouchers: not right for Texas

Today’s concept of vouchers is touted under a number of buzz phrases that sound appealing to the average voter and the average parent: Taxpayer Savings Grants, Texas Parental Empowerment, School Choice, etc. This spin on a much more complex issue is designed to gain support for a system rooted in division, lacking accountability, and the direction of public funds to entities with little to no oversight.

Vouchers began as a tool to evade desegregation.

Many who support vouchers, and even many who do not, are unaware of the system’s segregationbased, racially divisive history. Simply put, following desegregation, many white families did not want their children educated alongside Black children. In response, some politicians introduced the concept of “school choice,” aiming to direct public funds to private “whites only” schools. These vouchers or tuition grants were designed to make private schools accessible for white families (and white families alone) while decreasing, or even draining, the funding of public schools open to students of all races.

You became an educator because you want what is best for all children, in all situations. Like me, you do not believe that any one child deserves access to more or better opportunities because of the color of their skin or any other factor. I believe that the majority of parents agree with us.

Vouchers come with no accountability.

Most private schools are private for a reason — so they are not overseen by the government the way that a public school is. They do not wish to be held to the same requirements as public schools for any number of reasons, often because they wish to base their curriculum on certain religious values or belief systems. They also have the ability to selectively enroll students who share these religious values or belief systems.

Whatever the reason a private school is established, the school desires autonomy. If the school accepts government money, taxpayer money, at what point will the public have any knowledge of or say in the allotment of the money? Public schools are governed by publicly elected school boards and are accountable to their communities for tax dollar expenditures (and much more). In the case of a voucher, the taxpayer has no voice whatsoever in how their tax dollars are spent, what is taught by the school receiving their tax dollars, or how the school receiving their tax dollars operates.

When you take a slice of pie, there’s less pie to go around.

The reality of state education funding is simple. Consider that total public school funding is represented by a pie. When a slice of that pie is removed (in the form of a voucher to a private school or homeschooling initiative), there is less pie remaining. When a slice of education funding is removed, there is less funding available for Texas public schools.


Public education is responsible for educating more than 90% of our country’s future workforce. This is a tremendous charge. We are teaching tomorrow’s doctors, plumbers, mechanics, lawyers, electricians, educators, civil servants, engineers. We are teaching tomorrow’s citizens and tomorrow’s leaders. Those who seek to disparage public education sometimes forget that the Texas workforce for the next three decades depends on the public education available to them right now. The public education available to them depends on the support of this state, its legislators, and its voters.

“Carve Out” vouchers are not the solution.

There is some behind-the-scenes talk of a voucher system that may “carve out,” or exclude, rural communities, or be offered to a certain segment of the population only (one example being students with special needs). This, however, seems like less of a compromise and more of an introduction into a widespread voucher system, and it does not best serve the students of our state. In my experience, many students who choose to leave public education do so only for a short period of time, and eventually re-enroll in their previous public schools. Often, these students return with learning deficits that the public school must then remediate. Rural students deserve quality public education. Students with special needs deserve quality public education. All students deserve quality public education.

No one is against choice.

I make many choices in my day-to-day life, and so do you. Some of our choices are significant, and they may come with prices that we have weighed before finalizing our decisions. A

choice that affects your child’s education is significant. Right now, parents have a number of choices surrounding the education of their children.

1. Parents can enroll their children in the public school district that serves their household.

2. Parents can transfer the children to nearby public schools, as long as those schools accept transfers (most do).

3. Parents can enroll their children in charter schools, which receive state funds.

4. Parents can enroll their children in private schools, and pay the tuition charged by those schools.

A choice that is not available, and should not be available, is the choice for parents to enroll their children in private schools and ask the public to pay for it. If I choose to live outside of the city limits of my nearby town, I no longer have a city fire department or city police department to protect my home. I cannot ask the town’s citizens to divert their money to pay for me to share their emergency services. I made the conscious choice to live in an area not served by those departments.

Vouchers are not right for Texas.

In the Texas Declaration of Independence, early Texans cited the value of a public system of education. “Unless a People are educated and enlightened,” asserts the 1836 document, “it is idle to expect the continuance of civil liberty, or the capacity for self-government.” Public education was critically important 187 years ago, and it is critically important today.

The Texas public education system is successfully growing future leaders. While continuous improvement is necessary to ensure we are preparing today’s students for tomorrow’s opportunities and challenges, that improvement requires statewide support rather than a publicly funded bypass of public schools. Vouchers are not the answer. They are not conducive to a flourishing public education system, and they do not best serve Texas students. Instead, let us join together to ensure we are providing every Texas child with the public education they deserve. n

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Keith Bryant is superintendent of Lubbock-Cooper ISD, TASA Legislative Committee chair, and Texas' 2019 Superintendent of the Year.
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Climate change: using data to illuminate instructional practices

Data-driven is one of those terms in education that is repeated often but not always understood. It means different things to different districts, different campuses and different teachers. I recently surveyed assessment leaders from around the state asking how their district’s teachers felt about data. While several stated their teachers understood data and could use it to guide instruction, many responses weren’t positive:

• “Some are aware of data but don’t know how to analyze and plan with it.”

• “They don’t like it.”

• “They value the idea of data-driven instruction, but the practical applications are often lost on them.”

• “Some consider data something admin looks at versus something that is a powerful tool informing instruction.”

• “They’re tired of hearing about it.”

• “They understand it but don’t know what to do with it.”

• “Frightened.”

This is not the climate we want regarding data, and these responses are just a small sample of the negative responses. If we want teachers to understand and be able to utilize data in planning instruction, we must first teach them how to do so. We cannot assume that they know what to do with a data set. If we want a positive climate on our campus regarding data, we must take steps to ensure that climate exists. How do we do that? There are some very practical, easy practices that will help to get started.

Teachers should first be given the outcome data of their students from the previous year. This data allows the teacher, before school even starts, to have an idea of grouping and spiraling activities of vertically aligned TEKS, including who should begin receiving extra support from the very beginning.

This cannot be accomplished by just handing teachers last year’s data. An afternoon during training time before school starts spent on teacher analysis of last year’s data is paramount to a great start. This time should be led by someone who understands this process and utilizes such data themselves — a campus teacher, not an administrator, if at all possible.

During this time, students can be moved into quartile groups or groups based on specific vertically aligned readiness TEKS to begin differentiation activities in the first couple of weeks of school.

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From there, student outcome data can be used to determine which readiness TEKS from the previous grade level need to be spiraled back into these early weeks of instruction, both whole group and in those small groups already made.

Once these two feats are accomplished, allow teachers to plan those spiraling activities together, maybe set up some flexible groups between classes to target skills, and begin the process of planning their first weeks of school. Ideally, this is done in a large group, with master teachers, instructional coaches, and/ or administrators walking the room to help and support. This should be an open meeting where questions are encouraged, help is offered freely, and additional sessions can be set up for further support at teacher request. Imagine how much more prepared a first-year teacher is to start the year witnessing and participating in this positive, supportive process.

The next set of classroom data that should be analyzed with support is end-of-grading period common assessments. These common assessments ideally are district-written and identical across campuses. Once these tests are given, there is a wealth of information available, but if our teachers don’t know what to do with it, it’s a waste of instructional time to have even given it. Knowing a student failed isn’t enough information on its own to help this student. But the information needed is there, buried in data. So how do we help our teachers find it? Through guided, supported analysis.

Until enough campus teachers are proficient at utilizing data to guide instructional practices, individual data meetings with an administrator or an instructional coach can work wonders. The creation of a district-wide data worksheet that is completed after each end-of-grading period assessment will ensure that data conversations are happening in the desired format across the district. The content of these worksheets should be written to guide discussion around the basics of classroomlevel data: percent of students mastering readiness TEKS and supporting TEKS pinpointing which need to be spiraled back in, common misconceptions and how to address those moving forward, and performance of subpopulations in the class. These worksheets can also include questions that address any district or campus-level initiatives for the year: new writing initiatives, focus on a particular subpopulation of students, etc.

Completing the data worksheets can also be done in a number of ways: the teacher fills out the guiding questions before the meeting and then their answers are discussed together, the teacher fills out portions of the data worksheet and the rest is completed together, or the teacher fills out the worksheet in its entirety at the meeting with strong support from their administrator. The worksheet itself is not the point — learning from

the data and the conversations regarding instruction are what’s important. Once enough teachers are masters at understanding their data, these meetings can be led by department heads or team leads and have the same impact.

There are several things to remember when utilizing data meetings to guide instruction:

• There is nothing personal about data.

• Students are never to be blamed for data: “These kids today” statements are to be immediately redirected to a focus on instruction.

• Each meeting must be upbeat and positive, even if the data isn’t pretty. A defeated, beat-down teacher just quite simply isn’t an effective one.

• The data is only the catalyst to discuss instructional strategies and plans moving forward.

• Instructional strategies and planning should be the largest portion of the discussion.

Grumbling about data lessens tremendously when teachers understand how to utilize it to help their students, have a supportive campus administrator, and feel confident in their abilities to impact change. Most negative or fearful teachers regarding data usage, change their minds once they see how powerful using data to guide their instruction can be. I surveyed many of my own teachers regarding how they felt about data and what administrators can do to ensure data is not ever perceived as a “gotcha;” these were their answers:

• “It takes a skillful administrator (with a heart for children) to discuss data with a teacher so the teacher doesn’t pass along the pressure to children. Helping teachers identify one or two goals from the data is the flashlight. Unloading on a teacher whose data indicates several goal areas is the hammer.”

• “I think it’s all about attitude and presentation. You can tell right away if it’s a "gotcha" or not based on the conversations and stress level of your admin. Data will always make people “nervous” because you feel like it shows everything you’re doing wrong, but if the admin doesn’t have that attitude, it changes how you feel about it.”


“Good teachers will always look for ways to improve their teaching and craft. Honoring this fact as part of the culture of the campus and district would be beneficial. The administration should show understanding and support when data is unfavorable. Their attitude and approach set the tone for the teachers.”

There were many more responses, but these covered what was most expressed — the attitude of the administrator makes all the difference in how teachers perceive data. All the analysis of data means nothing without a supportive, knowledgeable campus administrator.

If data is to truly drive instruction, the climate around data must be a positive one. Fear, misunderstanding, and apathy must be replaced with confidence, clarity, and a knowledge of how data can help the students and the teacher move forward. Campus administrators need the support and guidance necessary to implement positive data practices on their campuses. Teachers need the support necessary to look beyond pass/fail. Beginning-of-the-year supported data analysis and end-of-gradingperiod supported data analysis are great ways to begin your own climate change. n

Jamie Harper Martinez has been in education for more than 20 years. She is currently the assistant superintendent of

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The value of your pandemic technology investment in post-pandemic districts

The past two years have brought significant challenges and significant opportunities for change to schools across Texas, and nowhere are those changes more evident than with technology. From personal devices, wireless connectivity and hot spots to online curriculums, video classrooms and remote meetings, the changes incurred in school technology, as a result of the pandemic, are obvious.

Due to the needs of students and teachers during the pandemic, the investments we made in technology infrastructures were huge and necessary: there was an unprecedented need and a historic urgency — we had to deliver instruction to students immediately, even as they were no longer inside our campus classrooms.

Thankfully, we were able to meet those needs with special funding from our state and federal governments. Through “Operation Connectivity” in Texas and federal ESSER funding, districts quickly purchased the devices and software necessary to continue student learning remotely. According to the Learning Counsel 2020 Digital Transition Survey, hardware sales increased to $16.6 billion, up $4.5 billion over 2019. Additionally, digital curriculum spending increased $2.1 billion from 2019, to $13.1 billion. The average school district spent $4.4 million on digital learning resources in 2020.

For schools that were already in the process of implementing 1:1 programs before the pandemic, albeit probably at a slower pace, these purchases facilitated expedited access to digital classrooms for all students during — and beyond — the pandemic. For districts that had, pre-pandemic, been more traditional in their curriculum, there was precious little time during the emergency to thoroughly map out how the new technologies would be best used post-pandemic.

Now, as the mobile devices that were purchased for remote learning in 2020 hit midlife (recommended end-of-life is four years according to the Texas Department of Information Resources [DIR]), it’s time for districts to evaluate the ways in which those devices are being used for student learning and how — or if? — they will be replaced.

How do we justify re-investing millions of dollars in this technology? What is the value of the technology investment to our students and our schools?

1. It starts with vision. Technology in the classroom is only as good as what we can realistically expect teachers and students to do with it. Thus it is necessary to determine what, exactly, your district wants to accomplish with the technology in the classroom.

Examine your district’s vision and strategic plan. Consider how specific technologies are explicitly supporting the learning goals spelled out in your plan. Assess each strategy honestly and objectively. If a particular strategy is not directly supporting the stated objectives, consider what changes need to be made over time to affect change.


If your district hasn’t already, consider implementing a learning framework for technology integration to ensure technology use is directly keyed to educational outcomes. Frameworks to consider include SAMR, TPACK, and TIM.

SAMR (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition) is a simple model developed by Ruben Puentedura in 2010, to determine the level of technology integration in a learning activity. It is a powerful tool for thinking about how technology is integrated into teaching and learning.

At the Substitution level, technology is used only as a substitute for something else.There is no functional change in the activity. For example, using an iPad to read a book is simply a substitute for using a physical book. At the Augmentation level, technology is still a direct substitute, but it includes digital enhancements.

For instance, using an online program such as Kahoot for a quiz instead of a paper quiz. At the Modification level, the use of technology results in a significant task redesign. An asynchronous online discussion is a significant redesign of a face-to-face classroom discussion.

Finally, Redefinition happens when technology allows for the creation of new tasks which would otherwise be impossible. Connecting students with an author in another country via video conference to discuss a book is an example of redefinition.

The Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) framework for teacher knowledge developed by Punya Mishra and Matthew J. Koehler is based on the premise that teachers have deep pedagogical and content knowledge. It represents technology as equally important as content and pedagogy in lesson planning and not an add-on or afterthought.

This framework suggests that a teacher with deep content knowledge who understands how students learn best, will best allow students to use technology appropriate for learning.

The Technology Integration Matrix (TIM) was developed by the Florida Department of Education and the Florida Center for Instructional Technology (FCIT) at the University of South Florida as a framework for evaluating technology integration. It represents the alignment of five levels of technology integration — entry, adoption, adaptation, infusion, and transformation — with five characteristics of effective learning environments: active, constructive, goal directed,

authentic, and collaborative. In addition to understanding levels of technology integration, the matrix serves as a guide for planning professional development, as well as establishing a common vocabulary around technology integration.

2. Do we really need that software? Evaluate your needs. In addition to purchasing historic numbers of personal devices for student use, spending on digital learning resources increased exponentially during the pandemic as the mechanisms for student assignments typically found in the physical classroom — pencils, textbooks, workbooks — were suddenly converted to digital platforms.

When considering the cost of replacing end-of-life devices, it is also important to consider the impact of the new digital resources that were purchased simultaneously. Renewing a subscription for $100,000 may not be the best use of funds if only 10% of students and teachers are using the platform. Many software publishers can provide usage reports for their products. If you have a single sign-on solution that provides analytics, that data can be useful as well.

Be holistic in your review. A best practice is to annually review all digital resources for their effectiveness. Any resource that is no longer relevant or contributing to student learning should be strategically abandoned. For example, if a reading program that everyone loves is not improving students’ reading skills, it needs to go. Change is hard, but the first question should always be, “Is it good for kids?”

3. Logistics. Determine a realistic plan for continuing your investment. Numerous devices were issued to students during the pandemic and the vast majority were returned. When preparing to make the case for technology replacement, the numbers tell the story. Be prepared to provide information on exactly how many of each kind of device were distributed, returned, and lost. Get tight on inventory. When considering

WINTER 2023 29

equipment replacement, it is critically important to have an accurate inventory that includes purchase dates, funding sources, and locations of devices across the district.

What's the cycle? Make a plan for prioritizing replacements. Determine which campuses get replaced first, second, etc. Ask yourself where are the learning gaps and greatest needs? Given limited resources, how does your plan strategically consider and address student, classroom, and campus equity? Where do dollars need to be invested immediately and where can the rollout be stretched over time?

4. Value of Investment. Businesses rely on calculated Return on Investment to support their spending decisions. ROI is straightforward and simple to calculate: net return (total profits) divided by the cost of the investment. Education “profits” or educational return are, however, much blurrier, with many variables that are difficult to measure. A better way to assess technology investments in education is Value of Investment (VOI).

Use examples and show your work. What evidence then should inform our analysis of educational outcomes when it comes to technology implementation and use? What value does technology bring to the classroom? How do you measure the value of authentic learning experiences or student’s interactions with authentic audiences? How do you quantify once-in-a-lifetime learning experiences made possible only through technology?

As we know, the field of education is driven by data — assessment scores, budget, attendance, credits, etc. George Couros states that we should be “evidence-informed.” In determining a district’s VOI, it is often the evidence that we don’t measure that may have the greatest impact. VOI encompasses total cost of ownership, return on investment calculations, and perhaps most importantly, benefits that can only be measured qualitatively. The Consortium of School Networking (CoSN) provides resources and tools for calculating VOI on their website at

Remember: Technology is most effective when it is leveraged to empower personalized, student-centered learning. When making the case for your strategic plan for technology upgrades and usage, be comprehensive and forward thinking. How will your plan directly improve student outcomes? Consult your metrics and measurements. Contextualize your needs in the evidence of what you have done successfully in the past, and demonstrate how, with the appropriate resources, you can improve student learning in the future.

Dr. Karla Burkholder is currently the Director of Technology in Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD, an adjunct professor at Baylor University, and the Board Secretary of TETL.


Cauthen, L. 2020. “The 2020 digital transition survey results are in: Just how large is the K12 ed-tech market?” Retrieved from

Couros, G. & Novak, K. (2020). Innovate inside the box: empowering learners through UDL and the innovator’s mindset. Impress Books.

Jackson, F. Using value of investment (VOI) to guide edtech purchasing and sustainability planning decisions. Consortium of School Networking. Retrieved from using-value-of-investment-voi-to-guide-edtech-purchasing-andsustainability-planning-decisions/

Koehler, M. 2012. “TPACK explained.” Retrieved from http://

Krueger, K. (2013). “Forget ROI, here’s the 5-step tech investment plan districts should be using.” THE Journal, July. Retrieved from

Terada, Y. 2020. “A powerful model for understanding good tech integration.” Edutopia, May 4, 2020. Retrieved from https://www.

Texas Department of Information Resources. (2013). PC life cycles guidelines for establishing life cycles for personal computers. Revised May 10, 2022. Retrieved from sites/default/files/2022-05/PC%20Life%20Cycles%20-%20 Guidelines%20for%20Establishing%20Life%20Cycles.pdf

Welsh, J. L., Harmes, J. C., & Winkelman, R. (2011). “Tech tips: Florida’s Technology Integration Matrix.” Principal Leadership, 12(2), 69-71. Retrieved from uploads/2013/12/PLOct11_techtips.pdf

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The Principals’ Institute (PI) is a year-long professional development series that provides a unique opportunity for principals to understand why transformation of public education is necessary. PI is designed to help principals develop the knowledge and skills required to be transformational leaders and to help build the capacity it takes to sustain transformation over time. The PI experience includes exposure to influential superintendents and speakers, such as Eric Sheninger, Rob Evans, George Couros, Dwight Carter, John Tanner, Jimmy Casas, and Joe Sanfelippo.


• Registration Fee: $6,000.00 per participant (excluding travel expenses)

• Six, 2-day sessions alternating between Austin, Dallas, and Houston

The Assistant Principal Leadership Academy (APL) provides learning opportunities to develop, challenge, and inspire assistant principals to be transformative leaders. APL participants will engage in processes which support the development of skills specific to transformational leadership and building a learning organization while preparing them for the role of principal.


• Registration Fee: in-person sessions - $1,000 per participant (excluding travel expenses); virtual sessions - $1,000 per participant

• Six, 4-hour sessions throughout the year

The Executive Leadership Institute (ELI) is designed to build the capacity of district executive leaders for system-wide improvements in teaching and learning. Sessions will include opportunities for leaders to cultivate strategic approaches and actions in order to support district transformational efforts. The ELI experience includes exposure to influential superintendents and speakers, such as Eric Sheninger, Rob Evans, George Couros, John Tanner, Jimmy Casas, and Joe Sanfelippo. In addition to the scheduled sessions, each participant will receive the support of an Executive Coach throughout the year.


• Registration Fee: $4,500.00 per participant (excluding travel expenses)

• Four, 2-day sessions alternating between Austin, Dallas, and Houston

The Teacher Leadership Institute (TLI) is a boundarybreaking institute for classroom teachers. Throughout the 6 sessions, committed teachers are empowered to revitalize learning cultures while leaning N2 an inspired future. Centered on teacher voice and grounded in a foundation of collaboration, the Teacher Leadership Institute challenges teachers to move beyond accountability standards and toward innovative learning that ignites student engagement.


•Customized for individual districts or regional consortiums of districts

•Six full day sessions

Find out more about our partner initiatives with TASA at

TASA Corporate Partners

TASA is grateful to our 2022–23 corporate partners for their support. Each level of the Corporate Partner Program is designed to offer our partners quality exposure to association members. Partners at the President’s Circle, Platinum, and Gold levels may customize special events and opportunities.




eM Life™

Frontline Education


Imagine Learning

K12 Insight

LPA, Inc.

N2 Learning




Raise Your Hand Texas



Trusted Capital Group (TCG), a HUB International Company


VLK Architects

Wondr Health


Age of Learning

Capturing Kids’ Hearts

Carnegie Learning





Dell Technologies

Digi Security Systems

DLR Group

EF Educational Tours


EveryDay Labs



Google for Education

Grand Canyon University

Hazel Health

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

The Justice Claims Group

Lone Star Furnishings, LLC

Milliken & Company

SAFARI Montage

The Princeton Review

Learn more about TASA’s Corporate Partner Program



Centric Learning

Corwin Press, Inc.

Education Advanced, Inc.

Gulf Coast Educators Federal Credit Union

Meteor Education


Savvas Learning Company

WRA Architects



Curriculum Associates

FranklinCovey Education

Harris County Department of Education


McGraw Hill-Achieve 3000


Pfluger Architects

Schneider Electric

Stephens Inc.


Walsh Gallegos Trevino Russo & Kyle P.C.





Care Solace

Discovery Education

GPD Group

GreenWatt Lighting Solutions

Hilltop Securities

HKS Inc.

INDECO Sales, Inc.


Linebarger Goggin Blair & Sampson, LLP

M&R Roofing and Construction Company, LLC.

MIND Research Institute, Creators of ST Math

MSB School Services

Panorama Education

Performance Services

Pogue Construction

R-Zero Systems

School Innovations & Achievement (SI&A)

Teachers Now

The Commencement Group

Uncharted Learning Entrepreneurship

Vanir Construction Management


WINTER 2023 33

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