THE INDEPENDENT VOICE FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION IN TEXAS FOR 56 YEARS
School Board Recognition Month TASB President Sarah Winkler Alief ISD
In the Spotlight Barbara Mainz North East ISD
CONTENTS In the Spotlight: North East ISD’s Barbara Mainz
TASB President Sarah Winkler leads the way
COVER STORY: Trustees share what motivates, challenges them
Raven L. Hill
photo FEATURES TBEC hosts Honor Roll awards dinner in San Antonio
Texas ASCD hosts 62nd annual conference in Frisco
TSB Professional Development & Events Calendar
From the Editor
The Law Dawg — unleashed
The Back Page
Katie Ford Jim Walsh
Above photo: Alief ISD trustee Sarah Winkler speaks at a Texas Association of School Boards meeting. She stepped up to lead the statewide organization as its president in October. About the cover: School board members serve in many capacities beyond the boardroom. Pictured are the 2009 Outstanding School Board, Weatherford ISD (center), along with board members hailing from El Paso, Midway and Hays Consolidated ISDs. Photos courtesy of Foundation Innovation and the Texas Association of School Boards. 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. January 2010 • Texas School Business
Texas Association of School Business Officials 64th Annual Conference Fort Worth Convention Center February 15-19, 2010 Exhibits February 16-18, 2010
From the Editor Welcome to a new calendar year! In January, we celebrate School Board Recognition Month. We tip our hats to trustees across Texas for their dedication and countless volunteer hours to ensure our schoolchildren receive the best education possible. In our cover story, we asked some board members to share with us why they serve — what inspires them and what makes them stick around, especially when the politics get tricky and the meetings run late into the night. We think you’ll find their responses interesting. We also profile the president of the Texas Association of School Boards, Sarah Winkler of Alief ISD. “In the Spotlight” is North East ISD’s Barbara Mainz, who, as the director of family support services, has raised awareness about the district’s homeless student population. If there’s one thing these two women have in common, it’s a passion for making a difference in the lives of children. Next month marks an ending and a new beginning. In February, John Young will contribute his final “Young’s Inbox” column to Texas School Business. We wish John well as he settles into his new life in Fort Collins, Colo. We’ve enjoyed his contributions to our magazine, and you can continue to read his work at www.johnyoungcolumn.com. February also marks the debut of a new columnist; however, we’re keeping the specifics under wraps until the issue comes out. You’ll just have to wait! As always, don’t hesitate to write to me with comments or suggestions at katie@ texasschoolbusiness.com. I love to hear from you!
Katie Ford, editor
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Texas School Business • January 2010
THE LAW DAWG – unleashed by Jim Walsh
Can special education be fixed?
e all know the old adage, “If it ain’t broke… .” But attorney Miriam Freedman thinks our special education system is broken and needs fixing. Moreover, she offers up a solution in her neatly packaged book, Fixing Special Education: 12 Steps to Transform a Broken System. Miriam is a friend of mine and a veteran school district attorney from Massachusetts. As the owner of Park Place Publications, I was excited and proud to help Miriam publish this book. She has seen the system from the inside — as a school attorney, a speaker/trainer and a special education hearing officer. Her little book is easy to read, but don’t be fooled. Fixing Special Education packs a wallop. It is full of thoughtful ideas and suggestions to remedy what is wrong, while maintaining what is right about our services to students with disabilities. Educational leaders need to read this book. To say that the system that serves these students is “broken” does not mean that everything about it is wrong. On the contrary, as Miriam points out, there is much to celebrate. Students who previously were excluded from school are now in regular attendance. We have learned to raise our expectations — to focus on the students’ abilities, not the disabilities. We have been challenged to use our creativity and resources to overcome prejudices and preconceptions about what kids can and cannot do. All to the good. So, what’s wrong? What’s wrong is exactly what President Gerald Ford predicted would be wrong when he signed the original federal bill into law: (1) the law has promised more than it can deliver, thus falsely raising the expectations of parents; (2) “a vast array of detailed, complex, and costly administrative requirements”; and (3) the use of tax dollars to support administrative paperwork rather than educational programs. Special education has been the leader in so many areas that it is ironic to see it be so behind the times in other areas. It has been a leader in encouraging parent par-
ticipation, using research to support educational practices and focusing on the uniqueness of each learner. But it is way back in the 20th century with its over-emphasis on procedures and paperwork as proof of progress. The rest of education has moved beyond process to results. But in special education, we still are hassling over who was at the ARD meeting, whether or not the “prior written notice” was properly filled out and whether or not the behavior plan was supported by a proper functional behavioral assessment. Moreover, if we get into a disagreement with the parents of special ed students, we turn it over to an adversarial, legalistic system of dispute resolution that is completely contrary to the purpose and intent of the collaboration the law encourages. If a system is adversarial and legalistic, the lawyers will take it over. And they have. Miriam’s book offers ample evidence that these are real problems. More importantly, she offers solutions. For example, we need a system of dispute resolution. Parent participation is meaningless without it. But we could not have devised a more cumbersome, expensive and inappropriate process than the one we have. What sense does it make to have lawyers serving as hearing officers who make educational decisions about kids? Moreover, our due-process hearing system is only available to parents of students with disabilities. And yet, there are many other kids who are victims of segregation, exclusion and discrimination. Where is the fairness in that? Miriam proposes an “educational ombudsman” as an alternative. It would be simpler, more accessible and faster. And it would mean that educational decisions are made by educators rather than lawyers. Miriam’s book is a conversation starter. Read it. Start the conversation in your district. JIM WALSH is editor in chief of Texas School Business. Also a school attorney, he co-founded the firm of Walsh, Anderson, Brown, Aldridge & Gallegos, PC. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Texas School Business • January 2010
YOUNG’S INBOX by John Young
For the record
oing “on the record” is the best way I know to regulate behavior. Write down something to yourself or to someone else. Say something meaningful to an audience. That meaningful something becomes you. Your sentiments guide your every step, based on one simple motivator: not to be “outed” as a hypocrite. One can go on the record in countless ways: in a letter, on a petition, on a canvas, in a song. In Waco ISD, students at Lake Waco Montessori have gone on the record to say something meaningful to them: The “r” word stinks. They have taken up the cause in an effort to convince others to swear off the word “retard.” Now, we all know that retard as a verb has a perfectly good and clinical use in physiology and other “-ologies.” But it’s not perfectly good the way children and some adults use it. The Lake Waco Montessori crusade has drawn the attention of the Texas Special Olympics, which has its own campaign to wipe out the “r” word. The Special Olympics chose the Waco school to carry the torch for this good notion. The Waco students — pre-K through eighth grade — carried that flame all the way to New York and the Global Action Citizenship Project conference. Their plea on behalf of their fellow students (36 students at the Montessori school are developmentally challenged) reportedly brought tears to the eyes of some in the audience. As important as is the cause carried by these thoughtful youngsters, what I’m really interested in here are the dynamics of their act. It’s not necessarily what they are doing, but that they are doing it. These children are making something of their own cloth, something that will define them for a lifetime. Reading, writing, computing — we need these skills to survive in a meanstreets economy. But these skills alone do not make well-rounded, confident individuals. We hear all the time about how America is falling behind in producing scientists, technicians and more. But no one becomes
anything special by simply focusing on the tools of the intellectual trade. Ultimately, someone has to establish a sort of identity, some confidence to step out and stand for something. Someone has to create a product of self-realization. Someone has to go on the record. When my oldest son was in a middle school that was still in its formative stages, I was bothered that the campus didn’t have a student council. To a few adults, the idea seemed antiquated, and possibly pointless. Wasn’t it simply an expression of a pecking order and a reason to give accolades to already popular kids? My answer: It would depend on what the kids on the council did. Would they take the opportunity to make a difference on their campus? And even if they focused on things we adults considered trivial — like a school dance or a car wash — the process itself would be their expression. The students would organize it; they would dictate the event’s terms of success or failure. I’m glad I advocated for the cause, because the student council became a reality and a lot of young people got one additional self-actualizing experience at that school. Like the kids who took an important message to New York, the virtue is in the doing, the acting, the reinforcement of seeing one’s impetus move people. Yes, a child’s impetus. These children have come to realize that they — we — are not powerless. We can make a difference simply by being smart and expressive. Children can do things that matter, long before anyone expects consequential things of them. Years from now, Lake Waco kids will not remember what they did to prep for a certain test; they will remember that they went to New York to spark a conversation. They will remember going on the record. And what they said all those years ago will still be regulating their actions. JOHN YOUNG is a columnist for Cox Newspapers. See his work at www. johnyoungcolumn.com or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. January 2010 • Texas School Business
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North East ISD’s Barbara Mainz offers support for homeless students and school-age parents by Elizabeth Millard “
e give at-risk and homeless students hope and encouragement, and you see a transformation through that,” says Barbara Mainz, director of family support services for Northeast ISD in San Antonio. “When [students] start realizing that someone really cares about them, they push forward; their goals become stronger. It’s like a light comes on.” If anyone knows what works with the at-risk population, Mainz does. Coming up on her 30th year of working in education, Mainz started her career in 1978, teaching in Lockhart ISD after earning her bachelor of science degree in home economics education at Southwest Texas University (now Texas State University). In Lockhart ISD, Mainz served on a community advisory committee and helped develop several programs for atrisk students. A move to Judson ISD in 1987 allowed her to take on greater responsibility for at-risk youth. As the district’s coordinator for school-age parenting, Mainz and her team provided educational support and on-site health care for teen parents. Moreover, as chairman for the district’s health advisory committee and an advisor for the human sexuality curriculum, she established an advocacy group for preventing teen pregnancy in the county. While at Judson ISD, she earned her master’s degree in educational administration, with a minor in counseling, from Southwest Texas University. She eventually made the switch in 1998 to North East ISD to serve in her current position. It was there that she uncovered another major issue for at-risk students: homelessness. When Mainz started her support services programs in the district, she learned off-hand that about 25 of the teen parents receiving services were classified as homeless. According to Mainz, most of these kids were kicked out of their
North East ISD senior Monica Garza (left) is a new parent to baby Jasiah. Garza plans to graduate on time this May, thanks largely to the district’s family support services program, which is led by Barbara Mainz (right).
homes when they told their parents about their pregnancies. “I thought if we could get more money and help them with counseling and resources, it would really make a difference,” says Mainz, who immediately set to work preparing grant proposals for funding. As part of the grant-writing process, Mainz conducted a survey of the student population to document the extent of the homeless problem. She was shocked that out of North East ISD’s 65,000 students, about 1,200 of them fit the criteria for being homeless. And nearly 300 more were classified as homeless teen parents. Mainz says that because there are no homeless shelters in the area and very limited affordable housing, these students were falling through the cracks and dropout rates were high.
“If kids move around because they’re homeless or because their families get evicted or they need to go to a shelter temporarily, they can lose at least six months of academic growth,” she says. “Some of these kids have to move in the middle of the night, and they don’t know where they’ll be the next day. We needed to create a system that let them come [to school] no matter where they were living.” Mainz drew on the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, which was designed to assure that homeless children and youth have access to a free and appropriate public education. She applied for an assistance grant, which the district received in 2000. From there, Mainz and her team developed a permanent system for identifying homeless students in need of services. See SPOTLIGHT on page 13
January 2010 • Texas School Business
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SPOTLIGHT continued from page 11
They also established ways to find students at risk of becoming homeless. Barriers to school enrollment also were identified and removed. “The old rule was, ‘If you don’t live here, you can’t come here,’” Mainz says. “We had to change that whole paradigm.” The students who require the mostintensive case management are those who are living on their own, often on the streets. Mainz says these kids end up sleeping wherever they can and they come to school hungry. They sometimes have multiple jobs, leaving little time for school. But these students respond well when their schools reach out and offer stability, Mainz says. North East ISD not only provides transportation for homeless students (regardless of where they’re living), but it also offers a credit recovery lab, a food bank and free counseling. Mainz notes that the increased awareness about North East ISD’s homeless student population has increased sensitivity in the classroom among teachers.
“If a kid doesn’t have a pencil, we ask why not,” Mainz says. “Maybe they forgot to bring one, but maybe they don’t have one because he or she is living in a box or just got evicted. Understanding creates an atmosphere of compassion.” After nearly a decade of refining her department’s services, Mainz still feels deeply passionate about helping at-risk students. Barbara Mainz gives homeless students backpacks during a “McKinney Homeless Drive,” which provides school supplies for homeless students. The Stewart She now has a bevy B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act was designed to assure that homeless of student suc- children and youth have access to a free and appropriate public education. cess stories to keep pushing her and her relationships now, it’s about understanding staff to do more. what’s happening in their lives.” “Gone are the days when you just teach math, reading and writing, and when ELIZABETH MILLARD is a freelance a student walks out the door, your job is writer who also contributes to the nationally distributed District Administration. done for the day,” she says. “It’s all about
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Texas School Business • January 2010
TASB PRESIDENT profile Alief ISD’s Sarah Winkler leads the way by Sarah Orman
arah Winkler has spent years working tirelessly on behalf of Texas public school students. Where does she get her passion for education? “My background in education is that I have five sons,” she muses. A self-described “professional volunteer,” Winkler first became involved in public schools as a volunteer in Alief ISD, where all of her sons attended school. She was elected to the Alief ISD school board in 1997 and is now the president. On Oct. 4, Winkler took office as president of the Texas Association of School Boards. Elected to the TASB board in December 2001, she previously has served as vice president and has participated in the association’s School Board Advocacy Network. She also is a director on the executive board of the Gulf Coast Area Association of School Boards, and she has served her community as an active member of numerous civic organizations. “My heart is in volunteer work,” says Winkler, who also is heavily involved in the Alief Mentoring Initiative. Winkler started volunteering as a mentor to young girls 11 years ago because, as the mother of five boys, she wanted a change of pace. “It was my only chance to be around a little girl until I had a granddaughter,” says Winkler. As part of the initiative, she meets with her mentees at school for one hour a week; she has mentored as many as four girls at once. Right now, Winkler has two mentees, in second and third grades, respectively. However, she also stays in touch through Facebook with several other girls whom she once mentored and whom are now grown. Working as a volunteer mentor gives Winkler a prime opportunity to see her district through the eyes of the children. Alief is a large urban district, encompassing 36.6 square miles and a diverse student enrollment of 45,000. As a mentor in a district of this size, Winkler gets to pay regular visits to some of Alief ISD’s 41 campuses to see how the district is functioning from the ground level.
Winkler’s goals for her term as TASB president include drawing on her experience as a volunteer mentor to illustrate the statewide organization’s mission “to provide, through our own conduct, an example of citizenship at its best.” Every school district needs volunteers, and volunteering is a way to get parents and people in the community involved in public education. “We need to get the public more on board with As president of the Texas Association of School Boards, Sarah Winkler Alief ISD wants to see board members communicating in more what’s going on in public of creative ways with their communities. schools,” Winkler says. became a grandmother to a girl, Sloan. She says that school When she isn’t too busy with school or board members in Texas can support the family, Winkler says she loves spending survival and success of public schools time with the children she mentors. by reaching out to the public with a posi“It’s almost like a physical pain when tive message. I can’t work with them,” she says. In her “People need to know where their downtime, she enjoys reading mystery taxes are going,” she says. “If people novels written by women. (“No blood and don’t have kids in school, they don’t know guts,” she explains.) what’s going on.” One of Winkler’s former mentees now Unfamiliarity with public schools works as an ESL aide in the elementary makes people more susceptible to negative school where she attended. As an aide, stories in the media. Winkler says school she encourages other bilingual students districts must take action to combat these — including her younger siblings — to misperceptions. focus on education. She and another As president of TASB, Winkler will young woman whom Winkler also knows encourage trustees across Texas to engage through the mentoring initiative worked in more creative and strategic means of on Winkler’s most recent school board communication to reach the public. She campaign and attended the swearing-in would like to see more districts reaching ceremony. out to people directly with technologies “She kept me going during the such as Facebook, Twitter and email. campaign,” says Winkler of her former Winkler is not only a passionate mentee. supporter of public education, but also a For Winkler, seeing these girls grow beneficiary. She graduated from Churchill up to make a difference in the lives of othHigh School in Northeast ISD in San ers makes every minute of her volunteer Antonio, where she grew up. She earned service worthwhile. a bachelor’s degree in economics and managerial studies and a master’s degree in accounting from Rice University, SARAH ORMAN is a freelance writer where she also met her husband of 35 in Austin. She formerly worked as an years. After raising five boys, she recently attorney in Oakland, Calif. January 2010 • Texas School Business
Why I Serve School board members talk about the challenges and rewards
by Raven L. Hill
Bret Begert self-employed rancher Fort Elliott Consolidated ISD Years of service: Allison ISD, 1998 to 2003 Fort Elliott CISD, 2003 to present
TSB: How did you become interested in serving on a school board?
BRET BEGERT, Fort Elliott CISD: It was kind of a family tradition. My dad had served for 18 years. My granddad had served for 12 years. A man [on the board] was retiring and he asked me to run. I’ve always been interested in the school and have supported the school and the students. KAREN ELLIS, Richardson ISD: After running campaigns for other candidates, I became very invested in what they were talking about. I believed in the district. The next year, they all turned to me and said,
Lori Moya state government employee Austin ISD Years of service: 2006 to present
Texas School Business • January 2010
s the link between the school districts and the communities which they serve, school board trustees often find themselves having to sort through varied and competing interests — all in the name of student success. The job can be frustrating and time-consuming, but many trustees say the positives far outweigh the negatives. “There’s nothing as satisfying as being at a school board meeting and hearing that the district is making gains with closing the achievement gap or that more students are taking advanced placement courses and tests,” says Anne Bryant, executive director of the National School Boards Association. “Board members tell me that on graduation day, seeing the kids cross the stage is powerful medicine for the long nights and huge agenda briefing books.” With the governor’s proclamation that January is School Board Recognition Month, Texas School Business reached out to trustees across Texas to discuss the motivations, challenges and rewards of their very special volunteer work.
“It’s time for you to run.” I had children who were graduating and decided that I was not ready to graduate from the district.
Karen Ellis retired apparel representative/model Richardson ISD
LORI MOYA, Austin ISD: It stemmed from my service on Years of service: the campus level and district 1999 to present committees and being intrigued by the issues the board handles. I grew up wanting to make a difference. I never considered that it was an unpaid volunteer job; it was more about what you can actually do. Then I started to become health care. Because I had children in the aware of how many children’s voices are district, I began to think about it. I have not heard, and I was certain that that was always believed that change comes from what I wanted to do — have input participation in the process. for those children and families TSB: What is the most difficult aspect of who don’t realize they have a the job? The most rewarding? voice. ANDRA SELF, Lufkin ISD: I was approached by the superintendent. She thought I could bring to the table an additional viewpoint because my work background is in
ROBERT SHEPPARD, Pleasant Grove ISD: The most difficult is balancing needs of students and staff with fairness to the taxpayers. I wrestle with that every year when it comes time to settle that budget and tax rate.
Andra Self rehabilitation services director Lufkin ISD
at graduation and give you a hug and say, “Thank you,” that makes it all worthwhile.
ELLIS: It’s rewarding when a child discovers something they didn’t know they could Years of service: achieve. It’s rewarding when 1996 to present your team comes together and creates a vision and then your district pursues it. That’s probably the most rewarding. It’s rewarding when you’re able to SYLVESTER VASQUEZ JR., Southunite your district behind a vision that is west ISD: To do justice to the work, it going to help every student. does take time. And sometimes the best decision for all of the kids in the district is going to affect the kids [in your neighborhood] negatively. VIOLA GARCIA, Aldine ISD: I think that one of the critical issues facing school board trustees today is the question of how to provide the most appropriate, effective and timely educational opportunities, programs and services for students while school districts face severe belt tightening. With severely reduced budgets and all budget functions being reviewed more critically, we must consider all student populations while we continue to advocate for sufficient state or federal support. What I find rewarding is participation in school-related activities, as I want to continue to learn and I am excited to know from others about what they are doing for students in their districts and schools. I feel very blessed that education has intersected both my professional and volunteer lives. BEGERT: Coming from a small community, you know most of the students. I’ve been on the board long enough to watch them start school and get out. It’s rewarding to see them go through each grade and watch our teachers do the job they are hired to do — helping the kids be all they can be. When they come through the line
Sylvester Vasquez Jr. construction estimator/supervisor Southwest ISD Years of service: 2000 to present
TSB: What keeps you motivated?
SHEPPARD: When I first got on [the board], my son was in school. But I realized I wasn’t serving on the board just for my son, I was doing it for all the kids in Texas. I know that all the kids aren’t in Pleasant Grove, but in a small way, you get to influence all the kids in the state. VASQUEZ: Little by little, you see the bigger picture. By becoming presidentelect of the Texas Association of School Boards, I see that I have the chance to make a difference not only in my backyard, but in the state. I see the opportunity. Hopefully I can make a difference specifically with developing a finance plan that will work for a majority of the districts in the state.
BEGERT: Just watching the children succeed and [my] getting to be part of the educational process. When I quit getting a tear in my eye at graduation, juniorRobert Sheppard senior prom or homeretired IRS coming, I will no lonrevenue agent Pleasant Grove ISD ger serve because that’s what it’s all about — Years of service: watching the kids suc1994 to present ceed and become good human beings ready for the next step. ELLIS: It’s not personal in any way. It’s about our schools’ accomplishments, and those of our district and our kids. It’s about everyone getting beyond what they thought they could do. MOYA: The kids — the looks on their faces at graduation, the excitement that they have at different events, the passion they have for getting through school so they can do whatever it is they’ve discovered they want to do with their lives. I can imagine the pride their parents have because I’m proud of them. SELF: I am motivated when we continue to see growth in our district academically on standardized tests. I am motivated when we give out awards to students involved in athletics who also make the honor roll. I am motivated when I hear a seventh and eighth grade band. This keeps me motivated and most importantly, informed.
TSB: How do you maintain productive relationships with other trustees, the superintendent and the public?
BEGERT: We tell each other the truth. We’re respectful of each others’ opinions. We know our role; we know [the superintendent’s] role. We shoot straight with each other and we work together very effectively. As far as the community, we tell them the way we see it. We don’t try to solve every school problem at the board level. ELLIS: You have to know the other trustees and your superintendent as people. It’s all about learning to accept and understand people where they are, and learning how to get to the next place that’s going to create success for the kids. MOYA: With the community, it’s being honest, being responsive and listening, having compassion and empathy — but still making sure that you explain and do the right thing for the right reasons. See SERVE on page 32 January 2010 • Texas School Business
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Professional Development & EVENTS WEEK OF FEBRUARY 1 January 31-February 2 TASSP Assistant Principals Workshop Doubletree Hotel, Austin For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org Cost: Members, $125 in advance, $135 on site; nonmembers, $185 in advance, $210 on site. February 2 HR Legal Issues for Supervisors ESC Region 11, Fort Worth For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org Cost: $175. February 4 TASB Grassroots Meeting, Region 3 ESC Region 3, Victoria For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org February 4 TASB Grassroots Meeting, Region 12 ESC Region 12, Waco For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org February 4 TASB Grassroots Meeting, Region 17 ESC Region 17, Lubbock For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org February 4 The Right Way to Hire the Right People ESC Region 16, Amarillo For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org Cost: $120. February 4 Winter Legal Seminar Indian Cliffs Ranch, Fabens For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org Cost: $150.
February 4-5 Mentoring the Reflective Principal, Session 1 TASA offices, Austin For more info, (512) 477-6361 or (800) 725-8272. www.tasaonline.org Cost: TASA members, $1,575; nonmembers, $1,825. Teams: $1,450 per person, member rate; $1,700 per person, nonmember rate. February 5-6 Texas Classroom Teachers Annual Convention Renaissance Worthington Hotel, Fort Worth For more info, (888) 879-8282. www.tcta.org
February 9 TASB Grassroots Meeting, Region 6 ESC Region 6, Huntsville For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org February 9 Trim the Fat from Your Files – Personnel Records ESC Region 4, Houston For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org Cost: $165.
WEEK OF FEBRUARY 8
February 9 Winter Legal Seminar Holiday Inn Select, Tyler For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org Cost: $150.
February 8 Fundamentals of Pay Systems TASB offices, Austin For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org Cost: $230.
February 10 TASB Grassroots Meeting, Region 2 ESC Region 2, Corpus Christi For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org
February 8 TASSP Region 12 Meeting George’s Restaurant, Waco For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org February 8-12 Texas Computer Education Association Annual Convention and Exposition Convention Center, Austin For more info, (800) 282-8232. www.tcea2010.org Cost: By Jan. 15, $180. February 9 Controlling Complex Pay Systems TASB offices, Austin For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org Cost: $230. February 9 TASB Grassroots Meeting, Region 5 ESC Region 5, Silsbee For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org
February 10 TASB Grassroots Meeting, Region 4 ESC Region 4, Houston For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org February 10 Texas High School Coaches InsideOut Coaching Seminar Embassy Suites, San Marcos For more info, (512) 392-3741. www.thsca.com Cost: Preregistration: Members, $75; nonmembers, $125. On-site registration: Members, $85; nonmembers, $135. February 11-13 Winter Governance and Legal Seminar Omni Bayfront Hotel, Corpus Christi For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org Cost: Three days, $315; two days, $235. See CALENDAR on page 20 January 2010 • Texas School Business
Professional Development & EVENTS
CALENDAR continued from page 19
February 13 TAGT Parent Conference Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center, Houston For more info, (512) 499-8248. www.txgifted.org February 14-16 TCA Annual School Counselor Conference Galveston Island Convention Center, Galveston For more info, (512) 472-3403 or (800) 580-8144. www.txca.org Cost: $100 until Feb. 14; on-site registration, $125.
WEEK OF FEBRUARY 15 February 15 TASB Grassroots Meeting, Region 14 ESC Region 14, Abilene For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org
February 15-16 Mapping Active Literacy Cypress-Fairbanks ISD For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (800) 717-2723. www.txascd.org Cost: Texas ASCD members, $299; nonmembers, $349. February 15-16 TAHPERD Annual Administrators’ Instructional and Motivational Conference Omni Southpark, Austin For more info, (512) 459-1299. www.tahperd.org Cost: By Jan. 25: Members, $125; nonmembers, $180. After Jan. 25: Members, $150; nonmembers, $205. February 15-18 Level II Curriculum Management Audit Training TASA office, Austin For more info, (512) 477-6361 or (800) 725-8272. www.tasaonline.org
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Texas School Business • January 2010
Cost: TASA members, $595; nonmembers, $725. February 15-19 TASBO Annual Conference Convention Center, Fort Worth For more info, (512) 462-1711 or (800) 338-6531. www.tasbo.org Cost: Full conference: Members, $290; nonmembers, $380. One-day registration: Members, $250; nonmembers, $340. Guest registration: $80 per person. February 16 TASB Grassroots Meeting, Region 15 ESC Region 15, San Angelo For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org February 17 TASB Grassroots Meeting, Region 10 ESC Region 10, Abrams Site, Richardson For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org February 17 TASSP Region 3 Meeting Location TBA, Victoria For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org February 17-18 Connecting Content and Kids: Understanding by Design and Differentiated Instruction Location TBA For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (800) 717-2723. www.txascd.org Cost: Texas ASCD members, $299; nonmembers, $349. February 18 TASB Grassroots meeting, Region 1 ESC Region 1, Edinburg For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org February 18 TASB Grassroots Meeting, Region 9 ESC Region 9, Wichita Falls For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org
Professional Development & EVENTS
February 18-19 Superintendent Secretary Training Conference TASB office, Austin For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org Cost: $125. February 20 TESA Area Workshop University of Houston at Clear Lake area For more info, (512) 477-0724. www.tesatexas.org
WEEK OF FEBRUARY 22 February 22 TASB Grassroots Meeting, Region 18 Espino Conference Center, Sul Ross State University, Alpine For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org February 22 TASSP Region 19 Meeting Jaxon’s on Airway, El Paso For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org February 22-23 Curriculum Leadership Academy, Session 1 of 3 Pat May Center, Hurst-EulessBedford ISD For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (800) 717-2123. www.txascd.org Cost: $1,500 for all three sessions. February 22-24 Texas School Public Relations Annual Conference Sheraton Hotel, Austin For more info, (512) 474-9107 or (800) 880-9107. www.tspra.org February 23 TASB Grassroots Meeting, Region 8 ESC Region 8, Mount Pleasant For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org February 23 TASB Grassroots Meeting, Region 18 ESC Region 18, Midland
For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org February 24 TASB Grassroots Meeting, Region 7 ESC Region 7, Kilgore For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org February 24 TASB Grassroots Meeting, Region 11 ESC Region 11, Fort Worth For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org February 24 TASSP Region 9 meeting ESC Region 9, Wichita Falls For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org
For more info, (512) 477-6361 or (800) 725-8272. www.tasaonline.org Cost: Four sessions, $595; one session, $195. February 25 TASB Grassroots Meeting, Region 19 Cattleman’s Steakhouse, Fabens For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org February 26-28 PTA Convention: Making Every Child’s Potential a Reality Omni Bayfront Tower, Corpus Christi For more info, (512) 476-6769. www.txpta.org Cost: Advance registration (by Jan. 22), $75. On-site registration, $90.
February 24-25 First-Time Superintendents Academy, Session 3 of 4 Marriott North Hotel, Round Rock
See CALENDAR on page 24
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January 2010 • Texas School Business
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Texas School Business • January 2010
Who’s News Avinger ISD Mike Morrison has come out of retirement to accept the position of interim superintendent, replacing Kenny Don Abernathy, who passed away recently. Morrison was superintendent of Gladewater ISD, retiring from that post Mike Morrison after serving 32 years as a Texas educator. In addition to being superintendent in Gladewater ISD, where he also served as assistant superintendent, he was superintendent of Jefferson ISD. Birdville ISD Amy Howard has been appointed coordinator of health services for Birdville ISD. A registered nurse since 1995, she has been with Birdville High School since 1999, working as a school nurse and coordinating employee wellAmy Howard ness, parent education and Assistance for School-Aged Parents (ASAP) programs. Additionally, she served as a CPR instructor trainer, preceptor for health occupation students, and senior class sponsor for several years. Outside of her work in public schools, Howard has been a registered nurse at Methodist Hospital in Lubbock, a field RN case manager for Pacesetter Home Health in Fort Worth, a weekend charge nurse at John Peter Smith Hospital (also in Fort Worth) and a nurse at Tarrant County College. Her degrees are from Methodist Hospital School of Nursing in Lubbock and The University of Texas at Arlington. Carroll ISD
The new executive director of teaching and learning services is Darrell Brown, who previously was a secondary coordinator for the district. This is a new position, created as part of the reDarrell Brown alignment and reorganization of the instructional services and student services departments. Now beginning his 19th year as an educator, Brown has been a classroom teacher, a technology supervisor, and a director of curriculum and technology. His bachelor’s degree is from Hardin-Simmons University and his master’s degree is from Southwestern Seminary. He has done
additional studies in educational administration at Texas Christian University. Clint ISD (El Paso) Maggie Araujo has been named assistant principal of East Montana Middle School. An educator since 1991, she began her career with Killeen ISD. She came to Clint in 2000 as a math teacher and instructional facilitator at Mountain Maggie Araujo View High School. She holds a bachelor’s degree in secondary education and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction. She received her principal certification through ESC Region 19’s alternative program. A new assistant principal, Hilda Dominguez, has joined the staff of Horizon High School. She comes to Clint ISD from Ysleta ISD, where she served as a social studies teacher and itinerant teacher for the teen parent program since 1999. Her bachelor of science degree in secondary education and her master of education degree are both from The University of Texas at El Paso, where she also earned her certification in educational leadership. College Station Teresa Benden is the new director of the College Station Independent School District Education Foundation, an organization that helps fund student projects with contributions from local businesses. Benden has served with the Texas Teresa Benden A&M Foundation and the development office for the Texas A&M College of Medicine; most recently, she was account manager for Vanguard Environments. Benden replaces Ann Ganter, who began her career as a first grade teacher and retired after 24 years with the district. In 1999, Ganter helped to found College Station ISD’s Education Foundation. She spent the past six years of her time in College Station as the district’s public information officer while continuing to lead the foundation. Cypress-Fairbanks ISD Sheri Stice, associate director of athletics and secondary schools physical education coordinator, was honored with a National Federation of State High School Associations citation during the National Athletic Directors conference in Dallas in
December. Citations are presented each year to outstanding athletic directors to honor their work in interscholastic athletics at local, state and national levels. Stice began her career as a health and physiSheri Stice cal education teacher and head coach of four sports at Houston’s St. Pius X School. She came to Cypress-Fairbanks ISD in 1978, working for six years as a middle school teacher and coach, after which she spent 11 years as assistant principal of two middle schools. She has been an athletic director for 13 years. Nine years ago she began a Soccer Start program for atrisk middle school students. Stice also has coordinated the district’s Special Olympics program for the past three years, and created a sportsmanship initiative called Victory with Honor, which defines accountability and procedures for all district schools. Stice holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Sam Houston State University. Farwell ISD Mike Read, formerly Farwell High School principal, has been appointed the district’s superintendent. Grandview Hopkins ISD Bryan Hanna has been named superintendent after serving as the district’s interim superintendent. Hamlin ISD Hamlin ISD tapped Jim Fuller as its new superintendent. He comes to Hamlin from Anton ISD, where he was a high school principal. He began his 22-year career as a classroom teacher and coach in Anton ISD, moving to LubbockJim Fuller Cooper ISD in 1995 to teach and coach. He then became assistant principal of Lubbock-Cooper Intermediate School, before serving as the district’s grant coordinator, textbook coordinator and attendance officer. Beginning in 2004, Hamlin was director of the 21st Century Community Learning Center for Lubbock-Cooper, Smyer, Seagraves, Loop and O’Donnell ISDs. In 2006, he served in the same capacity for Slaton ISD and the South Plains Academy. He moved to Anton ISD as the principal of Anton High School in 2007, where he remained until taking on his new role in See WHO’S NEWS on page 26 January 2010 • Texas School Business
Professional Development & EVENTS
What’s Tonight’s Assignment?
CALENDAR continued from page 21
WEEK OF MARCH 1 March 3 TASSP Region 17 meeting Lubbock High School, Liberty For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org March 4-6 Texas Middle Schools Association Annual Conference Convention Center, Arlington For more info, (512) 462-1105. www.tmsanet.org
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Texas School Business • January 2010
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Mary Eisenmann, Debbie Deaton, Beverly Vance and Carolyn Bukhair of Richardson ISD.
Dawn Rink and Monica Johns of CarrolltonFarmers Branch ISD.
Mike Martindale and Eddie Coulson of College Station ISD.
Donna Cotter and Debbie Williams of CarrolltonFarmers Branch ISD.
Harley Eckhart of Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association; Catherine Clark of the Texas Association of School Boards and Sandy Dochen of IBM.
Johnny Veselka of the Texas Association of School Administrators and Jeff Turner of Coppell ISD.
Sharon Gordon, Fred Waters, Quiandine Jarrett and Nancy Manley of Houston ISD. Manuel Gonzales, Brenda Long and Wendy Barnes of Frisco ISD.
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Who’s News WHO’S NEWS continued from page 23
sociate superintendent of the Guilford County Schools, superintendent of Mount Airy City Schools and assistant superintendent of Alamance County Schools. Morris has bachelor’s and masChuck Morris ter’s degrees from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C. He earned a graduate degree from the University of North Carolina in Greensboro.
Hamlin. Fuller’s bachelor’s degree and master of education degree are from Lubbock Christian University. Houston ISD Chuck Morris is the district’s new chief academic officer. He comes to Houston from California, where he was chief curriculum and staff development officer for the San Diego United School District. In North Carolina, he served as chief of staff and as-
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Texas School Business • January 2010
Irving ISD Mollie Lusty has been appointed the district’s special education program director. She began her career in 1974 as a general and special education teacher in Dallas ISD, coming to Irving ISD in 1985 to serve as a special educaMollie Lusty tion teacher at Crockett Middle School. She was appointed the district’s inclusion specialist in 1994. In 1996, she became Irving ISD’s middle school special education coordinator. Lusty’s bachelor of science and master of education degrees are from Texas Woman’s University. Jarrell ISD The new superintendent is John Rouse, most recently assistant superintendent of Kaufman ISD. His education career began in 1985, when he served as a social studies teacher and coach in Garland ISD. In 1986, he moved to fill the John Rouse same position in Richardson ISD. Rouse then taught and coached at Newman Smith High School in CarrolltonFarmers Branch ISD. He spent 1991 to 2005 with Crandall ISD, serving as the varsity head coach for track and baseball, varsity football offensive coordinator, high school social studies teacher, assistant high school principal and principal of the intermediate school. In Kaufman ISD, he was the high school principal before taking on the role of assistant superintendent. His bachelor of science degree in education is from East Texas State University, and his master of education degree is from Texas A&M University at Commerce. Keene ISD Darlene Callender, most recently superintendent of Cleburne ISD, is the district’s new superintendent. Beginning her career as a teacher in Houston ISD, she has served as an administrator in Decatur, Mabank and Dripping Springs ISDs. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston and a master’s degree from Sam Houston State University. Her doctorate is from the University of North Texas. Liberty-Eylau ISD (Texarkana) Nicholas Blain, who came out of retirement in 2009 to serve as the district’s interim superintendent, is now the district’s superintendent. An educator for more than 40
Who’s News years, he began his career as a teacher in Florida’s Nassau County School System, first in Hilliard and then in Callahan. Upon his arrival in Texas, he spent 11 years as a teacher in Greenville ISD Nicholas Blain before moving to LibertyEylau ISD in 1984 to be a vocational director. The balance of his career has been spent there, subsequently as an assistant principal, director of secondary instruction, director of instruction and personnel and ultimately the superintendent — a position from which he retired in 1999. Blain’s bachelor of science and master of science degrees are from Texas A&M University at Commerce, as are his mid-management and superintendent certifications.
New Mexico University and a master’s degree and mid-management certification from Prairie View A&M University. Chad Elliot is now the assistant principal of Lubbock High School. He comes to his new assignment from Cavazos Middle School, where he held the same position. Before joining Lubbock ISD, he was a high school principal in Chad Elliot Anton ISD; he also has
been a high school science teacher and coach. Elliot earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Lubbock Christian University, from which he graduated summa cum laude. Montgomery ISD Bobby Morris has accepted the position of assistant superintendent for administration. He was a physical education instructor, assistant football coach and intraSee WHO’S NEWS on page 29
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Little Elm ISD Kent Crutsinger is now deputy superintendent for administrative services. He came to Little Elm ISD in 2002 as assistant superintendent of planning and facilities and then served as the district’s interim superintendent in 2003. He began his career as a teacher and coach in Sanger ISD, where he subsequently served as assistant principal and then principal of Sanger High School. Additionally, he served as assistant superintendent of Pilot Point ISD. He earned a bachelor’s degree in education from North Texas State University and a master’s degree in education from Texas Woman’s University. Lubbock ISD Rick Rodriguez, most recently executive director of human resources for Waxahachie ISD, is Lubbock ISD’s new assistant superintendent of human resources. Rodriguez was an academic counselor for Upward Bound, and then Rick Rodriguez he began his public school career as a high school Spanish teacher at Katy ISD’s Mayde Creek High School. He went on to serve as assistant principal for Beck Junior High and Mayde Creek High before assuming the principalship of Katy ISD’s junior high summer school program. He was the district’s personnel coordinator for secondary education prior to transferring to his most recent position as Waxahachie ISD’s executive director of human resources. A native of New Mexico, Rodriguez has a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Eastern
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Who’s News WHO’S NEWS continued from page 27
mural director at Howard Payne University before beginning his public school career as a business teacher and coach in Waller ISD and at Westfield High School in Houston ISD. It was there Bobby Morris that he also served as interim assistant principal. Morris then served as assistant principal and associate principal of administration at Spring High School in Spring ISD, coming to Montgomery as high school principal in 1998. Morris has a bachelor’s degree from Howard Payne University and a master of education degree in physical education from Tarleton State University. Pine Tree ISD (Longview) Marian Strauss is the new superintendent, having served as interim superintendent since July. She began her career teaching elementary school in Sweet Home ISD, later serving as the district’s superintendent. She then spent two years Marian Strauss as the high school and elementary principal in Somerville ISD, before becoming superintendent there in 1992. Her next superintendent assignment was in River Road ISD in Amarillo, where she served for six years. Then Strauss transferred to the top position in Wimberley ISD, where she remained until accepting her new job.
During her time in Amarillo ISD, Strauss also served as an adjunct professor of education administration at West Texas A&M University in Canyon. Strauss earned both her bachelor’s degree in elementary education and master’s degree in education from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University). Her doctorate in education administration is from Texas A&M University. Rio Vista ISD Tim Wright, most recently superintendent of Collinsville ISD, is now the superintendent of Rio Vista ISD. San Diego ISD The new superintendent is Ignacio Salinas. With 28 years of experience in Texas public education, he was most recently the superintendent of Benavides ISD. He began his career as a high school teacher in San Diego ISD. He spent 12 years with the district as a junior high and elementary principal and as the district’s site-based, decisionmaking facilitator. In 1993, Salinas moved to Austin, where he served as vice president and then president of the Texas State Teachers Association. He was a member of the Texas House of Representatives from 1999 to 2003. Tomball ISD The new deputy superintendent is Huey Kinchen. An 11-year veteran of Tomball ISD, he spent five years as principal of Tomball High School and six years as as-
sistant superintendent for administrative services. Before coming to Tomball ISD, Kinchen was with Humble and Spring ISDs. Kinchen holds a bachelor’s degree in science from the University Huey Kinchen of Louisiana at Lafayette and a master’s degree in education from Southeastern Louisiana University. White Deer ISD Karl Vaughn is the new superintendent, coming to the district from Lazbuddie ISD, where he served in the same capacity. TSB
CORRECTION In the article, “School of Engineering brings math and science alive for students” (Third Annual Bragging Rights 2009-2010 special issue), we incorrectly described Coppell ISD’s New Tech High @ Coppell as an alternative high school. New Tech High @ Coppell is a 21st century, project-based, learning environment. Also in that article, we incorrectly stated the involvement of Coppell ISD’s engineering students at the Winston Cup. The students, who finished in eighth place, participated in the Winston Cup in the summer of 2008 at Texas Motor Speedway. Those students now are preparing to drive their competition car from Dallas to Denver this summer.
Professional Development & EVENTS
CALENDAR continued from page 24
March 6-8 ASCD Annual Conference Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, San Antonio For more info, (512) 477-6361 or (800) 725-8272. www.txascd.org March 6-10 Texas High School Athletic Directors Association State Conference Omni Hotel, San Antonio For more info, (210) 735-9331. www.thsada.com
WEEK OF MARCH 8 March 10 TASSP Region 11 Meeting Joe T. Garcia’s, Fort Worth For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org March 10 Texas Counseling Association CEU Workshop:Taking Care of Business for LPCs and School Counselors Ysleta ISD central office, El Paso For more info, (512) 472-3403 or (800) 580-8144. www.txca.org
Cost: Preregistration, $100; on-site registration, $125. March 11-12 Mentoring the Reflective Principal, Session 2 TASA office, Austin For more info, (512) 477-6361 or (800) 725-8272. www.tasaonline.org Cost: TASA members, $1,575; nonmembers, $1,825. Teams: $1,450 per person, member rate; $1,700 per person, nonmember rate. See CALENDAR on page 31 January 2010 • Texas School Business
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onnie G. Wood, former principal and a teacher in Royse City ISD for 11 years, passed away at his home Nov. 14. Wood retired from Royse City ISD as high school principal in May 2000 and returned to his first love, the science classroom, in August 2000. Wood retired for the last time in May 2009, bringing to close a 39-year career in public education. “Ronnie Wood was truly one of the good ones and he will be missed tremendously,” says Royse City ISD Superintendent Randy Hancock. “He will be sweetly remembered by the people he touched while serving as a teacher and principal here.” Wood began his career in education in 1968 at Rule High School and went on to Hereford, Plainview, Floydada, Pampa, Panhandle and Springtown ISDs before joining Royse City ISD in 1997 as a science teacher at Royse City High School. Wood is survived by his wife, Dianne, also a retired teacher; a daughter, Melissa Dianne Olson, and husband, Scott, of Tallahassee, Fla.; a son, Kelly Wayne Wood, and wife, Patricia Ann, of Ft. Worth; and grandchildren Madeline, Nathan Joseph, William Reese, Teagan Rex and Rebekah. TSB
Professional Development & EVENTS CALENDAR continued from page 29
WEEK OF MARCH 15 No events listed.
WEEK OF MARCH 22 March 22-24 50 Ways to Close the Achievement Gap: Leaving No Child Behind Hyatt Regency on the Riverwalk, San Antonio For more info, (512) 477-6361 or (800) 725-8272. www.tasaonline.org Cost: Members, $595; nonmembers, $725. March 23 TASSP Region 14 Meeting Abilene Country Club, Abilene For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org March 24 Federal and State Compliance Issues Workshop ESC Region 1, Edinburg For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: Members, $180; nonmembers, $220. March 24 TASSP Region 10 Meeting Spring Creek BBQ, Richardson For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org March 27 TESA Area Workshop Pasadena ISD offices For more info, (512) 477-0724. www.tesatexas.org
WEEK OF MARCH 29 March 29 TAGT Leadership Conference Marriott Airport South, Austin For more info, (512) 499-8248. www.txgifted.org March 31 TASB Spring Workshop Texas A&M University, Kingsville For more info, (512) 467-0222. www.tasb.org
March 31 TASSP Region 6 Meeting Magnolia High School, Magnolia For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org March 31 TASSP Region 4 Meeting McAdams Junior High School, Dickinson For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org April 1 TASSP Region 5 Meeting Hardin-Jefferson High School, Sour Lake For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org
WEEK OF APRIL 5 April 7 TACS East Texas Conference Ornelas Activity Center, University of Texas at Tyler For more info, (512) 440-8227. www.tacsnet.org April 7 TASSP Region 18 Meeting Location TBA, Midland For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org April 8-12 NAESP Annual Convention Brown Convention Center, Houston For more info, (512) 478-5268. www.tepsa.org April 9 TCASE/Legal Digest Conference Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, San Antonio For more info, (512) 478-2113. www.legaldigest.com Cost: Early registration (by March 15), $150; regular registration (after March 15), $175.
WEEK OF APRIL 12 April 14 First-Time Superintendents’ Academy, Session 4 Marriott North Hotel, Round Rock For more info, (512) 477-6361 or (800) 725-8272. www.tasaonline.org Cost: Four sessions, $595; one session, $195. April 14 TASSP Region 1 Meeting Science Academy of South Texas, Mercedes For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org April 15 TASSP Region 13 Meeting Liberty Hill High School, Liberty Hill For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org April 15-16 Mentoring the Reflective Principal, Session 3 TASA offices, Austin For more info, (512) 477-6361 or (800) 725-8272. www.tasaonline.org Cost: TASA members, $1,575; nonmembers, $1,825. Teams: $1,450 per person, member rate; $1,700 per person, nonmember rate. April 17 TESA Area Workshop Killeen ISD offices For more info, (512) 477-0724. www.tesatexas.org
WEEK OF APRIL 19 April 20 TCASE/Legal Digest Conference Convention Center, Arlington For more info, (512) 478-2113. www.legaldigest.com Cost: Early registration (by March 20), $150; regular registration (after March 20), $175. WEEK OF APRIL 26 No events listed. TSB
January 2010 • Texas School Business
SERVE continued from page 17
SELF: There has to be open and honest communication while recognizing from time to time there will be differences of opinion. With the superintendent, there has to be a sense of trust, commitment and understanding that the superintendent is the CEO of the district. Our role is to oversee, provide information, ask hard questions, provide honest feedback and support the team. The tone of district starts at the top.
SHEPPARD: The better I know the other trustees and the better they know me, the more productive we can be at a workshop, meeting or seminar. The only way to get to know someone is to spend time with them. With the public, I don’t wait two weeks before the election to talk to the public about what’s going on. I take the time to educate them about what they’re getting for the tax rate.
Viola Garcia college professor Aldine ISD Years of service: 1992 to present
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VASQUEZ: Make sure that you don’t take personally anything that goes in the boardroom. You understand that your relationship is with the superintendent and you develop an open line. Communication is vital to this work. You give your superintendent direction, and then you get out of the way. VIOLA: A characteristic that I feel school board trustees should have is the ability to work collaboratively as a member of a team. I believe that one can do this when there is a common purpose and common goals, as is the case in Aldine ISD and at TASB, where the focus is ultimately on the success of Aldine ISD or Texas schoolchildren. I also believe that we should take our roles and responsibilities seriously to objectively consider and deliberate all options to make sound, informed decisions. TSB: What is the best advice you’ve received in your years of board service?
BEGERT: Keep the kids No. 1 in every decision you make on the board. ELLIS: If you’re not kid-focused, then you’re not doing your job. MOYA: Remember that everything we do is for the children. Always have a circle of close friends and confidants to talk things over with to get multiple perspectives. SELF: Listen, listen, listen. Learn the business. Stay focused on the agenda: What is best for students? SHEPPARD: Respect everyone at the table. Don’t be quick to judge. VASQUEZ: When making tough decisions, always make them in favor of all children. RAVEN L. HILL is a freelance writer and former education reporter for the Austin American-Statesman. 32
Texas School Business • January 2010
62nd annual Texas ASCD conference in Frisco encourages educators to ‘lead, learn and influence’
Carolyn Mitchell, Jody Rentfro and Laura Clancy of Lewisville ISD.
Katrina Hasley of Rockwall ISD and Lilian Hartmann of Birdville ISD.
Andrea Ryan and Mandi Chase of Frisco ISD.
Shannon Houston of Birdville ISD and Manuel Gonzales of Frisco ISD.
Lylia King and Rosa Tarin of Cleburne ISD.
Karla Pogue and Van Ratsaphangthong of Birdville ISD.
Rose Burks, ESC Region 4; Tasha Barker, Lindale ISD; Susanne Carroll, Victoria ISD; Vonita White (standing), consultant for Texas ASCD; Juneria P. Berges, Huntsville ISD; and Robyn B. Rhodes, Bushland ISD.
Jill Stafford, Renee Franks, Patti Frair and Barbara Lecheler of Allen ISD.
January 2010 • Texas School Business
THE BACK PAGE Advertisers Index
by Riney Jordan
Hungry children and a compassionate leader In traveling around the country speaking to teachers and administrators, I do my best to encourage them and to lift their spirits. Oh, I’ve seen great schools, and, yes, some that weren’t as good as I thought they ought to be. But here’s what I have noticed: The best schools have enthusiastic, energized and compassionate leaders. I recently read an article about Fiorello LaGuardia, who was mayor of New York City during the Great Depression and all of World War II. What a leader! He would often ride the NYC fire trucks and help fight fires. He took busloads of orphans to Yankee baseball games. He even went on the radio and read the Sunday funnies when the newspapers went on strike and kids didn’t receive their weekly comics section. Only 5-foot, 4-inches tall, LaGuardia was a colorful character who always wore a fresh carnation in his lapel. One of the most famous incidents in the life of this remarkable individual happened one cold, wintry night in 1935 when he appeared at a local night court. He dismissed the judge and promptly assumed the role of deciding the fate of those who had been summoned. One of those individuals was an old woman who had been charged with stealing a loaf of bread. “Yes, Your Honor, I stole the bread,” the woman said. “My daughter and two grandbabies have been deserted by my daughter’s husband. She is critically ill and we’re starving. I didn’t know what else to do.” The store owner who had brought the charges against the old woman told LaGuardia that he refused to drop the charges. “She’s got to learn a lesson,” he said. “She’s got to be punished to teach other people around here a lesson.” “Yes,” LaGuardia answered, “the law is the law. I have no choice but to punish you with either a 10-dollar fine or 10 days in jail. The law makes no exceptions.” 34
Texas School Business • January 2010
But even as he was making the statement, he was reaching into his pocket and pulling out a $10 bill. “Here is the 10-dollar fine which I now remit,” he said. “And furthermore, I am going to fine everyone in this courtroom 50 cents for living in a town where a person has to steal bread so that her grandchildren can eat. Mr. Bailiff, collect the fines and give them to the defendant.” The newspapers the next day told the story of how $47.50 had been collected and given to a “bewildered” old lady who had stolen a loaf of bread to feed her starving grandchildren. The story went on to report that the courtroom, which had been filled with petty criminals, policemen, traffic violators and such, gave the mayor a standing ovation, even though each of them had just paid 50 cents as part of the “judge’s” orders. Wow! Now that’s the kind of enthusiastic, energetic, compassionate leader that we need in our schools, in our clubs, in our churches, and in our city, state, and national governments. So, as this new calendar year begins, vow to become more involved in the dayto-day activities and events in your school. Take the time to visit classrooms, bus barns, maintenance shops and cafeterias. Attend some PTA meetings just because you want others to see how important their children are to you. Do the unexpected by showing your community that this is not only a job, but a journey to make a difference. Compassion speaks volumes about you as a person, and those random acts of kindness can make the difference between success and failure for so many of those you have been empowered to lead. 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 email@example.com or by visiting www.rineyjordan.com.
AIM...................................................................14 www.AIM-Companies.com Bay Architects...................................................28 www.bayarchitects.com CEFPI - Southern Region.................................22 www.cefpi.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3311 Century Consultants..........................................24 www.centuryltd.com Champions Search Firm....................................32 www.championssearchfirm.com Charter Builders................................................28 www.charterbuilders.com Claycomb Associates, Architects........................9 www.claycomb.net Combs Consulting.............................................30 www.Combs-Group.com Corgan Schools.................................................14 www.corganschools.com ESC Region 4......................................................8 www.theansweris4.net ESC Region 10..................................................35 www.region10.org ESC Region 20..................................................12 www.esc20.net/products ESC Region 20 – TCC......................................26 www.esc20.net/TCC Fibrebond............................................................6 www.fibrebond.com First Financial Administrators Inc....................32 www.ffga.com HCDE - Choice Facility Partners......................24 www.choicefacilitypartners.com HKS Inc............................................................22 www.hksinc.com Houston ISD.....................................................20 www.eSHARS.com Huckabee Architects.........................................36 www.huckabee-inc.com My Satori............................................................9 www.mysatori.com O’Connell Robertson & Associates....................7 www.oconnellrobertson.com PBK Architects..................................................10 www.pbk.com Perkins+Will.....................................................30 www.perkinswill.com Riney Jordan.....................................................24 www.rineyjordan.com SHW Group......................................................13 www.shwgroup.com Shweiki Media..................................................30 www.shweiki.com Skyward Inc......................................................12 www.skyward.com Spectrum Corp....................................................5 www.spectrumscoreboards.com Sungard Public Sector.......................................27 www.sungardps.com TASB.................................................................21 www.tasb.org TASBO................................................................4 www.tasbo.org Texas School Administrators’ Legal Digest......................................................18 www.legaldigest.com Tyler Technologies..............................................2 www.tylertech.com WRA Architects Inc............................................5 www.wraarchitects.com
PROLOGIC - A Finance and HR package designed specifically for Texas by Texans. Doesn’t that make sense to you? It certainly makes sense for our Texas schools, staffs, and students! A single accounting infrastructure, PROLOGIC delivers great work-flow, superior user interface, and Texas-style account coding for you. Please contact: Randy Sumrall at 972.348.1170 or Randy.Sumrall@region10.org
EMPOWER - Finally a data solution that encompasses all district data and comparative data from other districts in one system, providing high level reports, analyses, queries, drill-downs, dashboards, and scorecards easily and automatically in a quality graphic environment. Please contact: Craig Gray at 972.348.1376 or Craig.Gray@region10.org
RAMS - Employees can’t see into the future, but districts can certainly help them plan for it. The Region 10 Retirement Asset Management Services (RAMS) is a way for districts to help employees invest for their futures. The plans provide employees with appropriate vehicles to tax-defer money for retirement. Please contact: Gordon Taylor at 972.348.1004 or Gordon.Taylor@region10.org
Tools for Schools. Y
ou can’T expecT To meeT the challenges of today with yesterday’s tools and expect to be effective tomorrow. Region 10 understands this so we did all the heavy lifting for you by eliminating some of the challenges. For example, all products and services listed were selected through a “Request for Proposal” and are available to school districts through interlocal agreements with Region10 ESC to make them more accessible and affordable to you.
To add these essential tools to your existing toolkit please contact:
pRoLoGIc: Randy Sumrall at 972.348.1170 or Randy.Sumrall@region10.org empoWeR: Craig Gray at 972.348.1376 or Craig.Gray@region10.org RamS: Gordon Taylor at 972.348.1004 or Gordon.Taylor@region10.org
Restored Buildings Can Restore Communities
The Story of Brownwood High School
Before A transformation can happen in many ways. For Brownwood ISD, it was through the successful renovation of Brownwood High School. Academics were never disrupted; test scores improved and the overall community pride grew as their beloved and iconic high school was transformed. Originally built in 1961, residents had always referred to it as the “new high school.” However, in 2004, there was nothing new about it. The facility was designed with an open-concept plan that consisted of 10 separate buildings, 180 exterior doors and no internal corridors. All program spaces were disjointed, and security was a nightmare! After four years of complicated and extensive renovations, a completely transformed Brownwood
High School opened and is now truly a “new high school” again. The overall aesthetic was improved with a new, prominent main entrance; the longevity of the building was increased with durable materials; and security was enhanced by enclosing the exterior walkways and creating a contiguous plan. The renovation and transformation of Brownwood High School created not only a renewed sense of school pride, but an overall community pride from construction to completion. For the first time in the district’s history, the campus became “Recognized” by TEA for rising test scores and graduation rates. In addition, the campus was named a Blue Ribbon School in 2009.
Huckabee Architecture i engineering i mAnAgement