The News Magazine for Public Education in Texas JULY/AUGUST
Texas School Business What's trending in technology spending?
Also in this issue: Roy Garcia of Texas ASCD Julie Thannum of Carroll ISD
Houston Independent School District
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Texas School Business JULY/AUGUST 2016
Texas ASCD President Profile Coaching, community are central to Roy Garcia’s work
By Merri Rosenberg
The download: School IT experts share what’s trending in technology spending
In the Spotlight Carroll ISD's Julie Thannum to lead national association for school PR professionals
by Evan Lieberman
by Leila Kalmbach
10 TACS celebrates 40 years at Presidents Luncheon 36 TAGT hosts Leadership Conference in Fort Worth
Departments 6 Who’s News 30 Regional View 32 Calendar 38 Ad Index
5 From the Editor by Katie Ford 9 The Law Dawg— Unleashed by Jim Walsh 11 Digital Frontier by Kevin Schwartz 13 Game On! by Bobby Hawthorne 28 Student Voices by Rachel Tuggle 38 The Back Page by Riney Jordan
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.
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From the editor
h, those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer” — not.
While the rest of the school community takes a break, school administrators continue to put in a full week, overseeing a myriad of personnel, financial, programming and operational responsibilities. Perhaps you’re also using this time to review and plan purchasing decisions — in particular, investments that stand to bring the best 21st century education to your students.
Join us! Summer Conference: July 13-16, 2016 Fall Conference: September 25-26, 2016 Winter Conference: Nov 30-Dec 2, 2016 The conferences are all at the Westin-Domain in Austin.
Evan Lieberman, an instructional technology facilitator in Edgewood ISD, tapped the wisdom of his experiences and those of his peers in education technology to write the July/August cover story. With an endless sea of technology tools out there — and pros and cons surrounding each one — we thought it might be helpful to have someone “from the front lines” help you navigate the terrain. In his article, Evan highlights key factors every administrator should consider when making IT investments. Also, in this issue, we highlight Julie Thannum of Carroll ISD and Roy Garcia of CypressFairbanks ISD — two individuals who not only make a difference in their districts but make time to support their peers through professional associations. Lastly, I want to bring special attention to our July/August “Student Voices” contributor, Rachel Tuggle. Rachel queried me on her own accord. The minute I read her proposed article, I knew I wanted to include her unique perspective in the magazine. I’m curious to see how our readers respond. Rachel and I welcome your comments. You’ll see she gave me permission to include her email address in her tagline, and you can always reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Texas School Business (ISSN 0563-2978 USPS 541-620) JULY/AUGUST 2016 Volume LXIII, Issue 6 406 East 11th Street Austin, Texas 78701 Phone: 512-477-6361 • Fax: 512-482-8658 www.texasschoolbusiness.com EDITORIAL DIRECTOR
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Texas School Business (ISSN 0563-2978) is published bimonthly with a special edition, Bragging Rights, in December, by the Texas Association of School Administrators, at 406 E. 11th St., Austin, TX 78701. Periodicals postage paid at Austin, Texas, and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Texas Association of School Administrators, 406 East 11th Street, Austin, TX 78701. © Copyright 2016 Texas Association of School Administrators
Texas School Business JULY/AUGUST 2016
Who’s News Abilene ISD The new associate superintendent of curriculum and instruction is Abigayle Barton. For the past three years, she has been executive director for curriculum and instruction in Corpus Christi ISD. She holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Texas Tech University, a master’s degree in education from Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi and a doctorate in education from Texas A&M University at Kingsville. Todd Bramwell, who was for
the past six years assistant principal of Red Oak Junior High in Red Oak ISD, is now principal of Clack Middle School. He is a graduate of Wayland Baptist University and received his master’s degree from The University of Texas at Arlington. Now serving as principal of Austin Elementary School is Alison Camp, moving to her new assignment from Ward Elementary, where she was an instructional coordinator. She came to Abilene ISD in 2006 after stints in Plainview and Denton ISDs. She is a graduate of Abilene Christian University. The academic year at Jackson Elementary School will begin with Deb Hollingsworth as principal. She had been serving as that school’s instructional coordinator. She holds degrees from Angelo State University and Lamar University. Debra Stewart, former
Abilene High School Ninth Grade Academy principal, now leads Ortiz Elementary. She previously was superintendent and principal of Compass Academy Charter School in Odessa.
Amarillo ISD The following principal assignments have been made for the district: David Bishop, Tascosa High School; Chad Huseman, Caprock High School; Alan Nickson, de Zavala Middle School;
Texas School Business JULY/AUGUST 2016
David Manchee, Austin Middle School; and Jennifer Wilkerson, Travis Middle School.
Austin ISD Dinorah Bores has accepted the role of
principal of Walnut Creek Elementary School after serving as interim principal there. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from The University of Texas at Brownsville and her master’s degree in bilingual education from Texas State University.
Amanda Brantley, the new principal of
Patton Elementary School, comes to her position from Perry, Ga., where she was principal of Stephens Elementary. She holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, a master’s degree in education administration and a doctorate in educational leadership, all from Mercer University. The new principal of Sunset Valley Elementary School is Emily Bush, most recently the school’s assistant principal. A graduate of The University of Texas with a bachelor’s degree in communications, she earned her master’s degree in bilingual/ bicultural education from Texas State University. Williams Elementary School will welcome
Mary Cisneros as its new principal in the
fall. She comes to Austin from Houston ISD, where she was principal of Golfcrest Elementary. Her bachelor’s degree in bilingual/bicultural education was awarded from Northern Illinois University and her master’s degree in language and learning disabilities from the University of Houston at Clear Lake.
Monica de la Garza-Conness has been
named principal of Martin Middle School, where she was previously academic dean. She is a graduate of Texas State University with a degree in mathematics. She earned her master’s degree in educational administration from Concordia University. The board of trustees has approved Elisabeth Goodnow to serve as the district’s executive director of academics and social and emotional learning. She most recently was assistant superintendent for academics and schools for Cedar Hill ISD. She holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Trinity University, a master’s degree in human services administration from St. Edward’s University and a doctorate in educational administration from The University of Texas. Casey Elementary School now has Lina Villarreal as principal. She had been serving as principal on an interim basis and previously was principal of Widen Elementary. She earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and a master’s degree in educational administration from The University of Texas.
Big Sandy ISD Eric Carpenter, former secondary
principal in La Poyner ISD, now leads Big Sandy ISD as superintendent.
Big Spring ISD Longtime Big Spring High School Principal Mike Ritchey retired at the end of the school year. He had led the campus for 15 years.
Birdville ISD David Williams has been tapped to lead
Shannon High School as principal. Williams, who was principal of Crandall High in Crandall ISD since 2013, earned his bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas and his master’s degree from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University).
Bronte ISD Josh Barton, former Overton ISD athletic
director and head football coach, now serves as principal of Bronte ISD.
Brownsboro ISD Elton Caldwell has accepted an offer
to serve as Brownsboro ISD’s interim superintendent.
Brownwood ISD Kyle Maxfield is the new head football
coach and athletic director. He most recently served in the same capacity in Shallowater ISD.
Bryan ISD Patrick Corbett, who has
been assistant principal of Long Middle School since 2013, is now the district’s director of fine arts. He earned his bachelor’s degree in music education from Sam Houston State University and completed post-graduate studies at the New England Conservatory of Music. His master’s degree in music was awarded from Rice University and a second master’s degree, in educational administration, is from Trinity University. Susan Finch, now leading
Houston Elementary School as principal, comes to Bryan from Lindale ISD, where she was a principal since 2014. The 2014 ESC Region 7 Assistant
Principal of the Year received her bachelor’s degree from East Texas Baptist University and her master’s degree in administration from The University of Texas at Tyler. After 35 years with the district, Houston Elementary Principal Holly Havemann retired at the end of this school year. The new principal of Rayburn Middle School, Justin Smith, brings more than 12 years of experience in Texas public education to his job. He was an assistant principal of Bryan High School since 2007. Smith earned his bachelor’s degree from Tarleton State University and his master’s degree in education from Lamar University. The Bryan ISD Board of Trustees has approved new hire Donna Wallace as principal of Mitchell Elementary School. An administrator for 12 years, she comes to her new position from Ford Elementary in Georgetown ISD, where she also was principal. She earned her bachelor’s degree in education curriculum and instruction from Texas A&M University and her master’s degree in secondary instructional leadership from Stephen F. Austin State University.
Canadian ISD Former Amarillo ISD Tascosa High Principal Lynn Pulliam will begin the new academic year leading Canadian High School. He was in his previous position for eight years. Pulliam was named ESC Region 16’s Secondary Principal of the Year by the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals.
Canutillo ISD Bruno Vasquez has been appointed executive director of facilities and transportation. The former architectural firm project manager holds a bachelor’s degree from the Universidad Autonoma de Ciudad Juarez.
Now serving as associate superintendent is Veronica Vijil, who most recently was executive director of data management and compliance for Spring ISD. She was also an adjunct professor at Sam Houston State University, where she earned her doctorate. Vijil received her bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas at El Paso and her master’s degree from Indiana Wesleyan University.
Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD Scott Roderick is the district’s new chief
financial officer. The University of North Texas graduate and certified public accountant served in the same capacity in Community ISD. He has been with Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD for nine years, previously working as director of financial reporting.
Celina ISD Newly appointed Assistant Superintendent of Maintenance and Operations Bill Hemby moves to his new position from serving as principal of Celina High School. The 30-year veteran educator has been with the district for 13 years.
Superintendent of the Year by the Texas Association of School Boards.
Cypress-Fairbanks ISD Roy Sprague, associate
superintendent of facilities, construction and support services, was elected treasurer of the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) during its March board meeting. CHPS addresses all aspects of school design, construction and operation in an effort to make schools effective places in which to learn. Sprague will serve a three-year term.
Bobby Manson has been named the first
Former Celina Junior High School Principal John Mathews is now Celina ISD’s assistant superintendent of administrative services. An educator for more than two decades, he has been with the district for three years.
The board of trustees has approved Travis Young as director of student services, a new position for the district. A native of Dayton and a graduate of Dayton High School, Young went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in communications from Stephen F. Austin State University and a master’s degree in education administration from Prairie View A&M University. He has been an educator for 14 years, most recently serving as principal of his alma mater.
chief of the Celina ISD Police Department. He had been serving as the district’s security director and was formerly an officer with the police departments in Celina and Prosper ISDs.
Skip McCambridge, former executive director of administrative services for Lake Worth ISD, is now Coleman ISD’s superintendent. He also has held administrative positions in Azle and DeSoto ISDs. McCambridge earned his bachelor’s degree from Howard Payne University and his master’s degree in education from Dallas Baptist University.
College Station ISD Holly Scott, former assistant principal of A&M Consolidated Middle School, is now principal of Cypress Grove Intermediate School. She was an employee of Bryan ISD from 1993 until joining College Station ISD last year. Scott earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Texas A&M University.
Commerce ISD After seven years as superintendent of Commerce ISD, Blake Cooper is retiring. In addition to serving in Winnsboro, Garland, Sulphur Springs and Sheldon school districts, he has been an instructor and coach at East Texas State University (now Texas A&M University at Commerce). Cooper was named 2015 ESC Region 10
Jim Watson is the
district’s new director of transportation. He was formerly head of operations for Gunter ISD and most recently served as principal of Chalmers Elementary in Gainesville ISD. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Tarleton State University.
Duncanville ISD Now serving as superintendent is Marc Smith, former superintendent of Marshall ISD. He holds a bachelor’s degree in human performance from Texas Southern University, a master’s degree in administration and supervision from Prairie View A&M University and a doctorate in the same field from the University of Houston.
> See Who’s News, page 8 Texas School Business JULY/AUGUST 2016
Who’s News > Continued from page 7
Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD Cristal Hollinger is now principal of Willow
Creek Elementary School. She comes to the district from Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD, where she was assistant principal of Harrison Lane Elementary since 2014. The 15-year veteran educator earned her bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from Tarleton State University and her master’s degree in education administration from Texas A&M University at Commerce.
Dozier Elementary School will greet Erin Richter as a new assistant principal this fall. She has been an educator for 11 years, two of those with Eagle MountainSaginaw ISD as a Response to Intervention specialist.
El Paso ISD Former El Paso ISD board manager Carmen Arrieta-Candeleria is now the district’s deputy superintendent of finance and operations. Prior to her service as board manager, she was chief financial officer for the city of El Paso from 2004 to 2014. Taryn Bailey has been named chief school
officer. She most recently was the district’s area 3 superintendent. The 18-year district employee received her bachelor’s degree in education from The University of Texas at El Paso and her master’s degree in education from Sul Ross State University.
Karen Blaine has agreed to serve as interim
chief academics and innovation officer. She came to the district in 2015 as executive director of that department. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the United States Air Force Academy and her master’s degree in education from Lamar University.
Blanca Garcia, former principal of Transmountain Early College High School, has been appointed interim area 3 superintendent. Neil Routledge, a product of El Paso ISD
schools, has been named head football coach of Burges High School, from which he graduated in 1993. He returns to El Paso from Del Valle ISD, where he spent six years as offensive coordinator and two as assistant varsity football coach and track coach at Del Valle High.
Texas School Business JULY/AUGUST 2016
Forney ISD Barbi Donehoo, who was assistant principal of Rhea Elementary since 2008, has been named principal of that campus. The Texas Woman’s University graduate has been an educator for 21 years. She holds a master’s degree in education administration and a doctorate in elementary curriculum, supervision and instruction from Texas A&M University at Commerce.
The district announces the appointment of Stormy Lemond, former principal of the Forney Academic Center, as director of instructional technology. She has served in a number of administrative roles in the district, including assistant principal, instructional facilitator for secondary math and assessment specialist. She received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of North Texas and her master’s degree in education administration from Texas A&M University at Commerce. Courtney Peck is the new principal of North Forney High School, where she had been serving as interim principal. An educator for 13 years, Peck received her bachelor’s degree in English literature and her master’s degree in adult education from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, La. She is pursuing her doctorate at Texas A&M University at Commerce.
Stepping into the role of principal of the Forney Academic Center is Bryan Sharkey, former assistant principal of North Forney High School. An educator for 18 years, he came to the district in 2015 from Rockwall ISD. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics education from North Carolina State University and a master’s degree in education administration and supervision from the University of Phoenix.
Fort Bend ISD Leonard Brogan, principal
of Ridge Point High School, comes to his new job from Sugar Land Middle School, which he led for the past three years. The 18-year employee of the district has a bachelor’s degree from St. Joseph’s University and a master’s degree in administration and supervision from the University of Houston.
The new principal of Crockett Middle School, Joseph Chandler, is an educator with more than 20 years of experience. Most recently principal of Willowridge High School, he received his bachelor’s degree from St. Meinrad College and his master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Houston. Now leading Willowridge High School as principal is Thomas Graham, who has been with the district as an assistant principal of Elkins High School since 2007. He received his bachelor’s degree in education from Tennessee State University and his master’s degree in education and supervision from the University of Houston. Alfred Holland, who most
recently was principal of Bowie Middle School, returns to Marshall High as principal, having served there previously as an assistant and associate principal. He is a graduate of Southern University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in administration and supervision. The new academic year at Ridgemont Elementary School will begin with Stephanie Houston as principal. She has been an educator for 22 years, serving as principal of Townewest Elementary for the past eight years. She is a graduate of Texas Southern University and earned her master’s degree from the University of Houston at Victoria. She is pursuing her doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Houston at Clear Lake. Elkins High School’s new principal, Diedra LyonsLewis, most recently held the top job at Hodges Bend Middle School. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Grambling State University and her master’s degree in counseling from the University of St. Thomas. Now leading First Colony Middle School as principal, Jessica McMullen joined the district in 2014 as principal of Schiff Elementary School. The former Alvin ISD Principal of the Year earned her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree > See Who’s News, page 18
THE LAW DAWG – UNLEASHED
A call for new leadership by Jim Walsh
ell, that’s that. Eight lawsuits have challenged the Texas school finance system. The first one was decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. The High Court thought our system was inequitable and badly in need of repair, but it held that the system did not violate the U.S. Constitution. The court urged the Texas Legislature to fix the problem. That ended litigation in federal court over this issue. That was 1973. The scene shifted to the state courts with a focus on the Texas Constitution. Seven cases advanced all the way to the Texas Supreme Court, each one asserting that the system was inequitable and broken to the point that it violated the Texas Constitution. In five of those seven cases, the court found the system to be unconstitutional and ordered the Legislature to fix the problem. The Legislature always responded to those orders, but, obviously, the response was deemed inadequate by many. Thus, more litigation.
education is the No. 1 priority for state government. It is more important than the rights of gun owners. It is more important than immigration. And it is certainly more important than which bathrooms transgender people use. Here’s how bad it is: In the very week that the court handed down this decision, our lieutenant governor was on potty patrol, grandstanding for the cameras in Fort Worth. The bathroom issue gives Mr. Patrick one more reason to justify the use of public money going to private schools. Make no mistake: That’s what we will hear in the next legislative session.
Where is the politician who will lead us to the Do not cut off “transformational, topblack outline to-bottom reforms” that the court said our kids deserve?
Over the course of the past three decades, a general consensus has developed, a sense of what “everyone knows.” I heard it repeatedly from school administrators and board members and lawyers. “Everyone knows,” they would say, “that the Legislature will never fix the system untilAdvertiser: the court tells them they Where is Inc. the clarion call for a Blue Ribbon WRA Architects, have to.” So, we put our faith in the courts Panel to help prepare for the next legislative Art Deadline: Thursday, February 04, 2016 and, particularly, the Texas Supreme Court. session? Where is the politician who will lead Submitted Date: Friday,us January 29,“transformational, 2016 to the top-to-bottom That faith was shattered with the decision on reforms” that court said our kids deserve? Publication: Texas School Businessthe Magazine May 13 in Morath v. The Texas Taxpayer and
Full Architectural Services Facility Assessment Site Evaluation Feasibility Studies Pre-Bond Planning, Budgeting Bond Election Promotion Bond Program Management Programming Master Planning Architectural Design Interior Design Scope-to-Budget Management Construction Administration
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Student Fairness Coalition. The decision was Getting educators to the polling place to elect a h a l ste a d @ ta s a n et .o rg unanimous and the message crystal clear. the right kind of leaders is a slow process, Justice Don Willett’s 100-page decision can but it is our only option. The school finance March-April 2016 be summed up inPub fiveDate(s): words: GO AWAY. case was well funded, well lawyered, well reDON’T COME BACK. searched, well organized and involved more than half of the districts in the state. The fact This is the end of Ad school finance litigation. Size/Color: 1/3-page vertical, full color thatxit9.75” failed 2.5” wide tallsays nothing about the law but a So, what do we do now? lot about the politics of our state. Only eduArt Contact: Grady L. Frank, AIA We get a new Legislature. That is the only cators at polling places can turn this around. solution. We get new leadership. We put in WRA Architects, Inc. office people who understand that public 214-750-0077 main 972-658-0103 cell f r a n kGallegos @ w r a aTreviño r c h i t eRusso c t s . c&oKyle m PC. JIM WALSH is an attorney with gWalsh He can be reached at email@example.com. You can also follow him on Twitter: @jwalshtxlawdawg. Texas School Business JULY/AUGUST 2016
TACS CELEBRATES 40 YEARS AT PRESIDENTS LUNCHEON The Texas Association of Community Schools celebrated its 40th anniversary at its annual Presidents Luncheon in Austin in May.
Linda Valk of TACS with luncheon sponsor Elgin Allen of Association Insurance Management (AIM).
TACS past presidents Roger Huber, retired; Herb Youngblood, retired; Terry Myers, Crockett ISD; Paul Vranish, retired; Jerry Doyle, retired; Steve Burleson, retired; Bob Jameson, retired; Tommy Sanders, retired; Clead Cheek, retired; Jeff McClure, Henrietta ISD; and Rick Howard, Comanche ISD.
For 40 years, the Texas Association of Community Schools has been supporting and advocating for school districts with no more than one high school, or 12,000 ADA. More than 700 small, mid-sized and rural school districts in Texas are TACS members.
TACS Executive Director Barry Haenisch (right) presents an honorary plaque to 2015-2016 TACS President Jeff McClure of Henrietta ISD for his service over the past year. Doug Killian of Hutto ISD is the 2016-2017 president.
Texas School Business JULY/AUGUST 2016
The importance of CTO, superintendent teamwork by Kevin Schwartz
solve problems you didn’t know you had in ways that you don’t understand,” is a popular saying among chief technology officers. It also needs to perish. For a time, I was part of a technology team known as “The Island of Misfit Toys.” I’m sure you remember the classic “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” Just as a child doesn’t want to play with a “Charlie in the Box,” it is a struggle to find the best place for the technology department “box” in the organizational chart. I’ve been a part of three great school districts across 20 years. My teams have been placed in the departments of purchasing, business, human resources, and curriculum and instruction. In my current position, I directly report to the superintendent. Across Texas, there is also little consistency on how technology is represented in the superintendent’s cabinet, if at all. These bureaucratic challenges often are symptomatic of a deeper problem. Sometimes, leadership will struggle to engage technology effectively in their districts. When this happens, the benefits of technology cannot be brought to bear on problems of practice in schools. If the conversations between CTOs and superintendents are ladled with words like efficient, uptime, reliable and maintenance, then technology is most likely seen as technical and serves as a utility. However, if the dialogue focuses on learning, innovation, access and the future, then it’s likely that technology is being used at its full potential, which can be revolutionary in a district. A CTO (or any technologist) knows that every conversation is a delicate dance. The task is always to both translate and convey a point. The stakes are higher if the conversations are scarce, and awkward if there is no shared context. Superintendents know that the communication struggle is real when gaps exist in technical understanding. Sometimes, it’s
hard to see a direct connection between technical advantage and learning advantage. Just how many petabytes does it take to screw in a learning lightbulb, anyway? Let’s face it: It’s easier to value the things that are easy to measure. Uptime, cost savings and efficiency — like STAAR test items — are easy to measure. Vigilance is necessary to avoid the trap. It is more difficult, but more meaningful, to measure the things that we value. Collaboration, creativity and social/emotional learning are crucial aspects of the whole child. It’s also hard to embrace change, but technology is synonymous with change. One thing that I have learned in my K-12 journey: Superintendents can make decisions. The best superintendents also “look down the road and around the corner” before making those decisions. This is not an exercise in looking back at the past and making small, iterative changes. It’s more about crafting learning solutions for the future. Technology is largely responsible for a present and future that is different from the past. Technology is also a big part of how we need to adapt to and shape that future. How can we solve for the future of education without the active involvement of technology leadership? So, let me make the case plainly. Superintendents and CTOs need each other and can form one of the most powerful partnerships in K-12. They need to be organizationally close. Both need to make time for robust formal and informal conversations. These help to create shared context and expectations. Superintendents will gain the ability to leverage technology for the benefit of all students. Technologists have much to learn about learning as well. Both need to be vulnerable with each other to grow, but this is true of any great partnership. It is something to embrace, not fear. After all, this is truly learning, and as a wise superintendent once told me: “In K-12, we kinda value that.”
KEVIN SCHWARTZ is the technology officer for learning and systems in Austin ISD and past chair of the Texas K-12 CTO Council.
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Three-toed sloth is no joke by Bobby Hawthorne
his column’s standing headline is “Game On,” which suggests, and typically delivers, a discourse on scholastic sports — but not always, and this is one of those times, because I have something to say. So, here goes: The biggest game in secondary education isn’t about bouncing balls or Day-Glo uniforms or pricey stadiums. It’s about teachers and their struggle to convince young people that knowledge is inherently good and that the acquisition of knowledge is a lifelong process that leads to civic engagement, economic stability and social order — among other positive attributes and outcomes. Teachers are finding this game harder to win because today’s “gotcha” culture reinforces an alternate narrative, which holds that (1) narcissism is merely healthy self-esteem; (2) image trumps substance; (3) opinion trumps fact; and (4) bad choices come with escape hatches. Most kids reject this narrative, but plenty don’t, as evidenced by a Facebook meme showing a three-toed sloth sitting at a classroom desk. The headline states, “I haven’t done anything all semester, but what can I do in the next five minutes to bring my grade up?” My teacher friends laughed it off and shared it widely, but it’s gallows humor because teachers fear — or should fear — the threetoed sloths, who can wreck their lives and their careers in ways you can’t begin to imagine. They can claim the teacher is incompetent. He or she didn’t explain an assignment clearly and used “nonsense” words like thesis and analyze and protagonist and MLA format. They can say the teacher is insensitive for failing to appreciate that they have better things to do than read 20 pages of a novel and then write an impossibly long five-paragraph essay about some guy who kills a mockingbird or whatever. They can call the teacher unrealistic in requiring multiple drafts, all of which must be
typed and double-spaced, spell-checked, and devoid of texting lingo, teen slang and “dotdot-dot etc.” They can hand in something along the lines of the following and expect a respectable grade, if not a pat on the head. “In today’s modern society, many people think its OK to kill innocent birds like mockingbirds, but I myself must take acceptance to this notion. Birds are people to and have writes and … so forth. KWIM? We must protect them as to not do this violates the constitution.” And when they don’t receive the grade they want, they’ll turn to Mom and Dad, who will hector the principal, the department chair, a school board member or two and even a state representative if that’s what it takes. “Our taxes pay this teacher’s salary,” Mom and Dad will spout. “And we expect teachers to teach what we think they should teach, not what some bureaucrat says.” In other words, they paid for an A — not a C or a D. Besides, their child — the three-toed sloth — requires special understanding and preternatural patience, and it’s the teacher’s duty to provide both. And if he or she doesn’t, Mom and Dad are willing to demean them, have them called in and written up, demoted or fired. That’s the game, and we’re losing. Acceding to the three-toed sloths is one of the reasons so many great teachers are walking away, or worse, being forced out of the classroom. Years ago, I was told this story: A parent complained about a column published in a student newspaper. Maybe it wasn’t chirpy enough. Maybe it dealt with a controversial topic. The principal respectfully listened to the complaint and then calmly replied, “No one is going to Hell because of something they read in our newspaper,” and that ended that. I miss those days. A lot of teachers I know do too.
BOBBY HAWTHORNE is the author of “Longhorn Football” and “Home Field,” published by UT Press. In 2005, he retired as director of academics for the University Interscholastic League.
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Texas School Business JULY/AUGUST 2016
The download School IT experts share whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s trending in technology spending by Evan Lieberman
Texas School Business JULY/AUGUST 2016
udgets for public school districts are shrinking while the costs of educational technology are rising. A kneejerk response to address this is to reduce instructional technology (IT) budgets, but this denies our students the tools of the future. By understanding recent patterns of spending in education technology, school boards, superintendents and other district-level personnel can ensure schools equip students with the technology skills they will need when they enter the modern workplace.
IT BUDGETING A recent FutureSource Consulting study indicated that school districts are increasing their technology budgets, and that hardware spending increased worldwide by 7 percent in 2015. The increase in IT spending makes sense when considering the constant expansion of technology in K-12 schools. It may be unpalatable to school boards and taxpayers, but funding for IT must increase every year to keep school districts up to date. One area that continues to affect IT spending is the market for interactive projectors and smartboards. The FutureSource study showed that increased competition is driving prices down, and, as a result, school districts have more choices and leverage when buying projectors and smartboards. Educators can decide to use projectors with smartboards, or they can choose touch-sensitive television screens. These screens and smartboards come in all sizes, types and prices, so every district can find something to fit their instructional needs and budgets.
book can allow the same configuration to serve multiple students. Ronald “Steven” Byrd, who has experience working at both the campus and district levels, currently serves as a virtual learning coordinator at San Antonio ISD. He says he appreciates how Chromebooks can serve many students throughout the day with their user-friendliness and security. Byrd cites their “ease of use and being able to control the environment from one central location, as far as what (the students) can get to when they log in.”
Miguel Guhlin, director of professional development at the Texas Computer Education Association, cites testing as another reason districts are switching to Chromebooks. “These devices are flexible, and preparing (the devices) for high-stakes testing is an easy process that makes yesterday’s efforts for maintaining Windows devices a nightmare by comparison,” says Guhlin, a former school district technology director.
The study also revealed that sales of mobile computers, such as laptops and tablets, are outpacing traditional tower-and-monitor desktop computers. Just as mobile phones have become smaller and more powerful, so have our computers. In the face of dropping prices for laptops and tablets, schools have turned away from clunky, more expensive desktop workstations. As a result of this trend, many school districts have more mobile devices in use than desktop computers. A specific example of the growth in mobile devices is the recent emergence of the Chromebook as the top mobile device for instruction.
THE RISE OF CHROMEBOOKS Chromebooks are laptops or desktops that run the Google Chrome operating system (instead of Microsoft’s Windows or Apple’s OSX). Chromebooks are usually slimmer and lighter than other laptops, and most Chromebooks do not have a CD drive. Laptops and iPads require apps and programs to be installed on board. Conversely, Chromebooks use data and apps from the cloud, instead of storing data and apps on the actual device. This cloud-based setup requires more from the Internet, but less from the Chromebook itself. The shift of focus from the device to the cloud also makes Chromebooks ideal for classrooms or computer labs where different students use the same device throughout the school day. Instead of each student having to log in and out of a laptop or a computer, a Chrome-
Because Chromebooks are cloud-based devices, they can be managed remotely and securely. Byrd says this gives educators the ability to control and monitor the sites visited when the devices are online. A 2016 report by EdNET Insight cited that in 2015, Chromebooks had replaced iPads in America as the most widely purchased devices for mobile learning. The rise of Chromebooks goes hand in hand with a decrease in tablet purchases. One of the reasons for the recent dominance of the Chromebook is the lower price point. While a new iPad tablet might cost upward of $400, Chromebooks can cost less than $150 each. This means that school districts can buy at least double the amount of devices by going with Chromebooks instead of iPads. Byrd agrees that “Chromebooks serve a great functionality while lowering your overall operational costs.”
As state testing moves from pencil and paper to digital, Chromebooks are ideally suited to facilitate online standardized tests. Another advantage of using Chromebooks is that most of the software is free and set up to work with a Chromebook environment. Byrd says he appreciates this because “you can administer all your Chromebooks and all your Android devices from there.” While Microsoft and Apple products require purchasing apps and programs, Google offers free educational apps and device management systems that school districts can sign up for and use. Most Chromebooks are ready out of the box to access Google’s Apps for Education, while iPads and laptops require programs and apps to be purchased, installed and configured. > See DOWNLOAD, page 16
Texas School Business JULY/AUGUST 2016
Edgewood ISD instructional technology facilitators collaborate on the implementation of district-wide technology initiatives during a monthly meeting. Pictured left to right are Evan Lieberman, Yvonne Galindo, Norma Cantu and Debra Martinez. > Continued from page 15
Also, many districts are now using Chromebooks because they are ideally suited for using free digital content online, commonly known as open educational resources (OER).
OPEN EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES The William and Flora Hewitt Foundation defines OER as content that “permits their free use and repurposing by others. Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials or techniques used to support access to knowledge.” Guhlin agrees that OERs, such as digital textbooks, provide “unprecedented access to the wisdom of the learned in convenient packages.” Byrd emphasizes that digital textbooks, by design, are more up to date than traditional printed textbooks, because the electronic medium can be updated frequently and easily. “By the time you publish a textbook, you run the risk of having material being outdated,” he says. “And then in Texas, (teachers and students) are stuck with it for seven years.”
Texas School Business JULY/AUGUST 2016
The audience for OER ranges from one student being homeschooled to an entire district of students. OER can be in the form of a video series, an online activity, or a complete curriculum of recorded lectures, homework assignments and quizzes. One of the first OER websites, Khan Academy, offers free “micro lessons” through YouTube videos. Another commonly known OER clearinghouse is edX, a collection of free, online college courses developed by Harvard, MIT, The University of Texas and other top universities. With a simple Google search, educators can find OER on any subject for any age group, from elementary school content to graduate-level college courses. The most obvious advantage of using OER is the price — it’s free. Guhlin agrees that these resources are “awesome because they are updated frequently by both teachers and students and are frequently less expensive to acquire.” Instead of investing in printed textbooks or paid online curricula and e-books, districts can save money with OER. Why buy anything when school districts can find free digital textbooks and curricula? Another advantage of OER is that schools can customize curricula based on local needs.
Districts can choose systems that provide a complete curriculum, or they can create frameworks by picking and choosing among the thousands of resources available online. This flexibility gives OER the potential to be used for any subject and in any district of any size. Within each tailor-made course, teachers can go one step further to use OER to provide personalized learning for their students. While traditional textbooks give the same experience to every student, wisely implemented OER can deliver effective, specialized learning to all students.
TEACHER TECHNOLOGY TRAINING OER might save on spending, but districts still need to invest in IT experts to manage these online learning systems and to train teachers how to use OER. School districts must ensure that once the equipment is bought, it is used to its full potential. An EdNET Insight study revealed that, from 2014 to 2015, there was a decrease in funding for teacher training and tech support, while spending on hardware and software purchases increased. IT experts know that funding teacher training is equally import-
ant to purchasing equipment. Randy Rodgers is the director of digital learning for Seguin ISD. He has more than 20 years of experience in education. “Training is the most important factor in enabling technology resources to transform teaching and learning,” he says. Rodgers goes on to explain that technology preparation for teachers should not be a one-time event, but an ongoing offering of continuing education. Rodgers says, to truly improve teachers’ skills, educators need ongoing support as they try to implement new technology in their classrooms.
K-12 open educational resources clearinghouses and websites K-12 OER Collaborative http://k12oercollaborative.org OER Commons www.oercommons.org Curriki www.curriki.org CK12 Foundation www.ck12.org
Byrd concurs that one training session in isolation will not have a significant effect. He also says that training must be directly applicable to classroom situations. Guhlin agrees, saying that training sessions should focus on activities and projects that match what educators expect of their students. He says effective technology training helps students and teachers understand that classroom learning isn’t solely about gaining theoretical knowledge but also finding expression in real-life application.
NETWORK INFRASTRUCTURE Districts need a strong network infrastructure to support their technology investments. Chromebooks and most interactive digital materials require a robust network for optimum impact. Whenever your technology department suggests projects to improve the network, this money is well spent. Imagine that you are the owner of a racetrack, and you have the best cars and
the most-skilled drivers. Unfortunately, your racetrack is a narrow dirt road, riddled with rocks and potholes. Even with the best cars and drivers, the race itself is severely compromised because of the low-grade track. The same is true for your district’s network. It has to be high quality to power the best equipment and empower the end users. Rodgers says districts should create growth plans for their network infrastructure. He says districts must “think at least a decade ahead, when capacity and bandwidth demands are far beyond where we sit today. We have to envision each student, teacher and administrator with multiple connected devices and continued growth in the move to cloud-based resources.” Education technology is moving away from individual, isolated pieces of equipment and toward an integrated framework that depends on a strong network of interconnected devices. Add this to the increase in OER availability, and the need for a strong network infrastructure becomes even more critical. Equal in importance to the technology itself is an investment in teacher training to ensure that these tools are fully leveraged in the classroom. By acknowledging these trends, school districts can plan today to better serve our students of tomorrow. EVAN LIEBERMAN serves as an instructional technology facilitator for Edgewood ISD in San Antonio. He hosts a website at Personcentered.tech and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
K12 Open Ed http://k12opened.com Khan Academy www.khanacademy.org Hippocampus www.hippocampus.org
Texas School Business JULY/AUGUST 2016
Who’s News > Continued from page 8
in educational leadership from Stephen F. Austin State University.
Little Elm ISD
The district’s new chief financial officer is Leroy Vidales.
Felipe Vargas has joined the district
Lake Travis ISD Gordon M. Butler II has
The district announced several new appointments:
Mara Betancourt, assistant principal, Freedom Elementary
La Vernia ISD
Kristen Eriksen, principal, Sunset Valley Elementary School
accepted the job of principal of Lake Travis High School. An educator for 15 years, he spent the past four years with McKinney ISD, most recently as principal of McKinney High School. He is a graduate of The University of Texas at Arlington, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and public relations. He holds a master’s degree in educational administration from Texas A&M University at Commerce.
assistant principal, Ridgeview Elementary School
Kathy Gillum, assistant principal, Early Learning Center South
Karie Lynn McSpadden has agreed to step in as interim superintendent. She was the district’s assistant superintendent for human resources since 2006. She is a graduate of West Texas A&M University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and holds an MBA from Wayland Baptist University. She is at work on a second master’s degree, in education.
Jacque Hughes, assistant principal, Early Learning Center North
Angie Nayfa, principal, Woodland Springs Elementary School
assistant principal, Sunset Valley Elementary
principal, Early Learning Center North
principal, Early Learning Center South
Leslee Shepherd, principal, Center for Advanced Learning
Lewisville ISD announces the appointment of Kelly Knight as principal of McKamy Middle School. She has been with the district for 13 years, working most recently as assistant principal of Downing Middle School, where she was named Teacher of the Year in 2010. She is a graduate of The University of Texas, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in speech and organizational communications. Her master’s degree in educational administration is from Texas Woman’s University.
Lindale ISD Janice Caldwell, an educator for 38 years, the past 24 as Lindale High School’s speech and debate teacher and coach, has retired. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Stephen F. Austin State University. Under her tutelage, Lindale High students have five times taken the Golden Gavel Award at University Interscholastic League (UIL) competitions, in addition to numerous other statewide honors.
as assistant principal of the Prestwick STEM Academy. He previously taught in Mesquite ISD, then served in the U.S. Army before working as an administrative principal intern in the Leadership Development Fellows Academy in Dallas. He completed his master’s degree in educational leadership at The University of Texas at Arlington.
Lubbock ISD Mario Ybarra was elected
vice president of the Mexican-American School Board Members Association at its annual convention in San Antonio. A member of the Lubbock ISD Board of Trustees since 2005, Ybarra is a business representative for Workforce Solutions South Plains.
McKinney ISD McKinney ISD has a new director of guidance and counseling. Jennifer Akins has spent 10 years in the guidance department of McKinney High School, most recently as lead counselor. She began her career in McKinney ISD after completing bachelor’s degrees in neuroscience and psychology at The University of Texas at Dallas. She also holds a master’s degree in school counseling from Dallas Baptist University. New McKinney High School Principal Alan Arbabi has spent the past 13 years of his 20-year career serving in McKinney ISD. He was principal of Dowell Middle School since 2012. Arbabi holds a bachelor’s degree in vocal music education from East Central University in Oklahoma and a master’s degree in education administration from the University of Oklahoma.
Mason ISD Mason ISD has welcomed a new superintendent. John Schumacher, who has been an educator for 32 years, comes to Mason from Johnson ISD, where he was assistant superintendent. He is a graduate of the University of Wyoming with a master’s degree from Montana State University.
> See Who’s News, page 20
Texas School Business JULY/AUGUST 2016
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Who’s News > Continued from page 18
Mesquite ISD Shelley Garrett comes to her new role as executive director of student services from Rockwall ISD, where she spent the past four years as director of student and family services. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Stephen F. Austin State University and a master’s degree from the University of North Texas. Her doctorate was awarded by Texas A&M University at Commerce.
The new principal of Poteet High School, Taylor Morris, was previously the school’s at-risk coordinator. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University and his master’s degree from Lamar University. Now serving as executive director of construction services is Don Pool, who comes from Wylie ISD, where he was executive director of operations for the past eight years. He has a bachelor’s degree in industrial technologyconstruction management from the University of North Texas. Seven new assistant principals are in place for the new school year. They are: Christine Alvarez, Achziger Elementary
Jessica Eaton, Wilkinson Middle School; Leeann Englert, McWhorter Elementary
Elizabeth Felton, Thompson Elementary
Amanda Relf, Hanby Elementary School; Kandy Shirey, Shands Elementary School;
Kay Velarde, Shands Elementary School.
Nederland ISD Robin Perez has been named
superintendent. She served in the same capacity in Buna ISD before leaving that district in 2013 to work as Humble ISD’s assistant superintendent.
Northwest ISD (Fort Worth) Penny Bowles, the new principal of
Nance Elementary School, has been with
Texas School Business JULY/AUGUST 2016
the district for 11 years, most recently as assistant principal of Lakeview Elementary. She received her bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies and her master’s degree in educational administration from Texas Woman’s University. Michelle McAdams, former assistant principal of Granger Elementary School, is now campus principal. She has been a part of the Granger team since 2011, beginning as a classroom teacher. McAdams earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University) and her master’s degree in educational administration from Texas Woman’s University.
Love Elementary School will begin the 2016-2017 academic year with Jaimie McAllister as principal. She has been an employee of the district for 12 years, most recently as assistant principal of Schluter Elementary. She is a graduate of University of Arizona, with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. She earned her master’s degree in education from Walden University. Jerhea Nail, executive
director of communications and government relations, will wrap up her 30 years of service with the district when she retires at the end of July. She has served as a volunteer in Northwest ISD schools, as an employee for 25 years and as a school board member.
Richardson ISD Leslie Slovak has been
named the district’s director of athletics after serving as assistant director of athletics for the past 15 years. An employee of the district for 21 years, she began as a teacher and volleyball coach at Berkner High School. She holds a bachelor’s degree from East Texas State University and an athletic administrator certification.
Sam Rayburn ISD Cole McClendon is the new superintendent.
He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Texas A&M University. He spent six years teaching high school
agriculture before becoming an administrator, including a superintendent, in several Texas districts. His doctorate was awarded from Texas A&M University at Commerce.
San Angelo ISD Assistant Athletic Director Mark Baker has been named Region 2 Athletic Administrator of the Year by the Texas High School Athletic Directors Association. An educator for 26 years, he joined the district seven years ago. Baker earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Angelo State University, where he played football. Jana Rueter has been approved as executive director of curriculum and instruction. A graduate of San Angelo ISD’s Central High School, she received her bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University, her master’s degree in educational administration from Texas A&M University, and her doctorate in educational administration and superintendency from The University of Texas. She spent the past seven years as executive director of curriculum and instruction in Georgetown ISD.
San Antonio ISD Kathy Bieser has accepted the role of principal of a new pre-K through 12th grade advanced learning academy scheduled to open in August. She had been serving as principal of the International School of the Americas, a magnet school in San Antonio’s North East ISD. The 18-year veteran educator earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology and two master’s degrees, in teaching and in school administration, from Trinity University.
Jefferson High School will welcome Edward Cardenas as head football coach when the athletic season begins this fall. A graduate of the district’s Edison High School, he has worked as the assistant varsity football and baseball coach at O’Connor High in San Antonio’s Northside ISD.
The new head football coach of Houston High School, Melton Schultz, served as the school’s assistant coach and baseball coach since 2005. The San Antonio ISD alum is a graduate of Burbank High.
a graduate of Snyder High School. He returns to his hometown from Denison ISD, where he was offensive coordinator for the Denison High School Yellow Jackets.
Socorro ISD David Carrasco is the
San Marcos CISD The district’s newly hired bilingual coordinator, Benjamin Grijalva, was most recently an assistant principal and summer school principal in Seguin ISD. He earned his associate’s degree from El Paso Community College, a bachelor’s degree from Park University in El Paso and a second master’s degree from Texas State University, where he is completing his doctorate in school improvement. A new principal has been named for Goodnight Middle School. She is Rose Pearson, who has served as the school’s associate principal since 2015. She has a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University) and a master’s degree in educational administration from Texas A&M University at Commerce.
Shepherd ISD Miles Robinson has been hired as athletic
director. He came to the district in 2012 as head track coach and offensive coordinator for the Shepherd High School Pirates. He is a graduate of Sam Houston State University.
Sherman ISD Chris Mogan has been hired to lead
Sherman High School as principal. He has been an educator for 17 years, working as a teacher, coach and administrator, most recently as principal of Wakeland High School in Frisco ISD. He is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in education, and the University of North Texas, where he earned a master’s degree in educational administration.
Snyder ISD The district’s new head football coach and athletic director, Cory Mandrell, is
district’s new director of maintenance and operations. After 18 years as a teacher, he took the position of general manager of the Clint Lower Valley Water District, returning to education five years later. He earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The University of Texas at El Paso. New Loma Verde Elementary School Principal Leslie Chavez has been an educator since 1993, most recently working as assistant principal of Paso Del Norte School. She holds a master’s degree from The University of Texas at El Paso. Enrique Herrera has been approved as the principal of Slider Middle School. The El Paso native began his career as a teacher in the district and was assistant principal of Socorro High School since 2011. He is a graduate of Sul Ross State University and holds two master’s degrees, in bilingual education and in school leadership.
Now serving the district as director of human resources and support personnel is Celina Stiles. A veteran educator of 15 years, she has been coordinator of compensation and position control manager. Her bachelor’s degree in human resources management is from Park University. She earned two master’s degrees, in human resources development and in management leadership, from Webster University.
Tyler ISD A Lee High School graduate has returned to his alma mater as the varsity girls’ basketball coach. Ross Barber returns to Tyler from Waco ISD, where he coached at Waco High since 2009. He is a graduate of East Texas Baptist University. He earned his master’s degree in educational leadership from Lamar University.
director of college and career. His 28-year career has included assignments in Pine Tree, Community, Winnsboro and Wylie ISDs. He is a graduate of Texas A&M University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in educational curriculum and instruction. He received his master’s degree in education administration from Texas A&M University at Commerce. An employee of Tyler ISD since 2002, Bethany Moody has been named principal of Birdwell Elementary School, where she has been assistant principal since 2014. She earned her bachelor’s degree in education from Frostburg State University in Maryland and her master’s degree in educational leadership from The University of Texas at Tyler. Mary Russell, a certified
public accountant who served as director of finance for Sabine ISD, is Tyler ISD’s new executive director of financial services. She earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from The University of Texas at Tyler and her master’s degree in accounting from Texas A&M University. Lee High School has a new boys’ varsity basketball coach. Alan Simmons comes to Tyler ISD from Rockwall ISD, where he was a math teacher and the head basketball coach since 2007. He is a graduate of the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.
Wall ISD Former Wall High School Principal Russell Dacy is now the district’s superintendent.
Weatherford ISD New Principal Tra Hall comes to Wright Elementary School from serving in the same position at Hines Elementary in Waco ISD. Stephen Haynes, now leading Seguin
Elementary School, comes to his new job from Perry Elementary in Perry, N.Y., where he also served as principal.
Former Lee High School Principal Gary Brown has been promoted to executive > See Who’s News, page 22 Texas School Business JULY/AUGUST 2016
Who’s News > Continued from page 21
Whitehouse ISD Whitehouse ISD has confirmed Christopher Moran as the new superintendent. He comes to the district from Brownsboro ISD, where he held the top position since 2011. He received his bachelor’s degree from Evangel University, his master’s degree in education from The University of Texas at Tyler and his doctorate in education from Stephen F. Austin State University.
Woodville ISD Ty Robinson is the new athletic director
and head football coach. He comes to Woodville ISD from Yorktown ISD, where he spent the past three years as head football coach.
Wylie ISD An executive director for operations has been named. Jennifer DuPlessis joins the district from Arlington ISD, where she was director of maintenance and operations.
She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of North Texas and is completing her doctorate at The University of Texas at Tyler.
University of Oklahoma, Mork received his master’s degree from Lamar University.
A new director of academic and career connections, Jason Hudson, is in place for the district. After a career in the private sector, he began teaching industrial technology in Mesquite ISD. In 2015, he was named CTE director for the North East Texas Career and Technical Consortium, where he worked with 12 school districts. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Texas A&M University at Commerce. Michelle Lindsay, who joined the district in 2011 as an English teacher at Wylie East High School and went on to serve as English department chair, is now an assistant principal at Burnett Junior High. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University at Commerce and her master’s degree from Lamar University.
Joe Martinez has been appointed head football coach and athletic coordinator at his alma mater, Ysleta High School. He served previously as a defensive coordinator and teacher at Horizon, Eastwood and Bel Air high schools, all in Ysleta ISD. He is a graduate of The University of Texas at El Paso, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history. He earned his master’s degree in educational administration from Sul Ross State University.
CORRECTION In the May/June 2016 issue, we incorrectly listed the university from which Abigail Tarango of Ysleta ISD received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Tarango earned her degrees from New Mexico State University. We regret the error. ▲
Justin Mork is now assistant principal of Burnett Junior High. Serving the district since 2013, he has been girls’ athletic coordinator since 2014. A graduate of the
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Texas School Business JULY/AUGUST 2016
The sense of brotherhood and culture of ambassadorship in our “district has never been stronger. Ambassador training has helped unite our team around our schools and our profession.”
-- Scott Niven, Superintendent, Red Oak ISD
hen my country, into which I had just set my foot, was set on fire about my ears, it was time to stir. It was time for every man to stir.”
-- Thomas P a i n e
Thomas Paine’s political declaration in Common Sense helped direct the energies of the rebels and point the way to American independence from England. The Ambassador Training Academy staff development program is inspired by Thomas Paine’s work. There are many parallels between educators today, condemned by blinded reformists, and early Americans, condemned by a blinded Crown. Just as Paine “enunciates... the specific right of the people to challenge unjust laws and an unjust government”, we are mobilizing an army of educators to challenge unjust criticism and false accusations of widespread failure.
Class of 2011 Red Oak ISD Ambassadors Academy
Friends of Texas Public Schools is educating Texans about Texas public schools and their many strengths and achievements through Ambassador Training and other initiatives in order to: 4 4 4 4 4 4
Underscore the significance of them; Unite Texans around them; Restore pride in them; Strengthen confidence in them; Lift spirits among them; and Inject resources into them…
…all of which will lead to even greater performance.
Stir your team into champions for your students, district, and profession by enrolling your school district in our Ambassador Training Academy.
It’s time for every educator to stir Visit www.fotps.org to learn more, or email us at email@example.com.
Texas Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development
Coaching, community are central to Roy Garcia's work By Merri Rosenberg
‘Leadership is synonymous with relationships. You have to have strong relationships, based in trust, to get results.’
Roy Garcia, associate superintendent of school administration and leadership development in Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, congratulates a graduate. “Every child has a story,” he says. “I love diversity in the classroom; diversity of thought is how we learn.”
oy Garcia was all apologies when a scheduled phone call had to be delayed by 15 minutes because he was at a school.
“When I get on a campus, it reminds me why I do what I do,” says Garcia, associate superintendent of school administration and leadership development in Cypress-Fairbanks ISD. That sense of purpose and connection to his “school family” has informed Garcia’s career from the beginning. Now in his 27th year as an educator, Garcia is the incoming president of the Texas Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (Texas ASCD).
Texas School Business JULY/AUGUST 2016
This Mississippi native, born in the Delta in Greenville and raised in Natchez, has spent his entire professional life in education. Although he originally entered Mississippi State University as a business major, the tug of education was too strong. “I didn’t care about the money,” he admits. After three semesters as a business major, Garcia recognized “this is not my purpose; I want to be a teacher and coach. “There are so many rewards that money won’t provide,” he says. “Hearing from former students, ‘I appreciate what you did,’ is gratifying.”
Garcia earned a master of education administration from Texas Woman’s University and his superintendent certification from Texas A&M University. After a brief stint in the classroom, he quickly became an assistant principal at South Grand Prairie High School, followed by a stint as principal in that district, before moving on to Cypress-Fairbanks ISD as an assistant superintendent for secondary school administration. He also served as the district’s associate superintendent for curriculum and instruction before assuming his current role. Garcia’s father, who was an educator, administrator and coach in Mississippi for 43 years, exerted a powerful influence. So did his mother, who worked in the oil and gas industry. “What they instilled in me, my two brothers and sister was the importance of integrity, character and serving others,” says Garcia. After his daily run at 4 a.m. (“It’s my relaxation”) and some time with devotional readings before beginning the workday, Garcia packs a lunch, including a special message, every day for his younger daughter, a sophomore at Cypress Woods High School. “I’m fortunate to have daddy-daughter time,” he says. Garcia’s wife is a teacher, and their older daughter, a Texas A&M University graduate, is married. Garcia opted to head to Texas, where his brother lived in Dallas, after graduating from college. His first job was in Grand Prairie ISD, where he coached football and track and taught science.
a middle school teacher, he made time for building relationships.
I earned my first dollar by:
“Every child had a story,” he says. “The more I could relate to them, the more I could make content relevant to them. I love diversity in the classroom; diversity of thought is how we learn.”
working as a custodian during the summers at the high school I attended.
The last time I felt extremely proud: was this morning as I reflected on the many blessings I have.
Similarly, as an athletic coach, Garcia had a chance to motivate and inspire students, many of whom needed a male role model, he says. Coaching is clearly part of Garcia’s DNA. To some extent, his current job — in which he supervises, coaches and mentors 87 principals and has been involved in hiring 92 principals since 2008 — is an extension of his earlier coaching career. “Principals have one of the most challenging jobs,” he says. “I want to provide the support they need. I tell them they have to have a healthy balance. You’re there for your family. Take care of yourself, then take care of your family at school.” One of the district’s signature programs offers each new principal in Cypress-Fairbanks ISD a mentor and leadership coach. The mentor is a currently seated principal who works with the new principal for the first year; the leadership coach is a retired principal who is available for the first three years. “All we ask is, what can we do to better support them?” says Garcia. “Leadership is synonymous with relationships. You have to have strong relationships, based in trust, to get results.”
“You learn so much from being a team player,” he says. “Participation in sports and activities gives you a sense of belonging.”
Garcia simply can’t stay away from coaching. He also serves as a field advisor for Rice University in its Business Fellowship for School Leaders program, where educators learn to apply business theories to the public school environment. He also is active with various professional and community boards, including Cy-Hope, a nonprofit organization that assists students in Cy-Fair who are economically, relationally or spiritually disadvantaged.
Cultivating that sense of belonging and forging strong relationships with students and colleagues reflect Garcia’s core values. As
Seeing students and educators through a customer service prism also influences Garcia’s approach to his work. One of his favorite
“Teaching and coaching were always something I wanted to do,” says Garcia, who, as an adolescent, spent time on the field as a baseball pitcher and a football player. He also was a Kiwanis member in student leadership during high school.
FUN FACTS about Roy Garcia –
Favorite flavor of ice cream:
vanilla with crushed Heath bar.
My dream vacation would entail: going to Disney World with my entire family.
experiences was meeting with a group called Students Gaining Power every Friday at 7 a.m. when he was principal at South Grand Prairie High School. “It was about hearing from students and empowering them,” says Garcia. “It was the voice of our customers.” As president of Texas ASCD, says Garcia: “I want to be positive and encourage all of our members to each day remember your purpose. I’m about being more collaborative. I want to hear from our membership, who are our customers, and provide what they need.” He is focused on offering professional learning opportunities throughout the state’s 20 education service centers. Garcia also wants to encourage more student participation in the association and is coordinating a student panel for the October Texas ASCD meeting in Dallas. “We’re in a people business,” says Garcia. “As a husband and father, I hope to inspire and motivate; I want to encourage people.” MERRI ROSENBERG, a former freelance education columnist and reporter for The New York Times Westchester section, is a New York-based writer and editor who reports on educational issues for regional and national publications.
Texas School Business JULY/AUGUST 2016
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Thought leaders and innovators in education
Carroll ISD's Julie Thannum to lead national associationfor school PR pros by Leila Kalmbach
Carroll ISD’s Julie Thannum is joined by her two daughters — Madison (left), age 20, and Riley, age 23 — at the National School Public Relations Association’s general membership meeting in Nashville, Tenn. Thannum will begin her term as NSPRA president this fall.
n her first day as a public information officer in a public school, Julie Thannum was handed a typewriter and a sheet of letterhead and told to start writing press releases.
Twenty-six years, two school districts and seven superintendents later, Thannum is the assistant superintendent for school board and community relations in Carroll ISD, and the field of school public relations is a very different ball game — rife with campus security threats and parents who air their opinions and grievances on social media. But one thing has stayed the same: There are great things happening in Texas public schools, and if individuals like Thannum don’t work hard to share those stories, it’s the negative press that occupies the public spotlight. Thannum’s passion for school public relations runs so deep that after being involved in the Texas School Public Relations Association (TSPRA) and the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) for 26 and 19 years, respectively, she is now stepping up to be the 2016-2017 NSPRA president — a title she will accept at the organization’s national conference in Chicago in July. Her role officially begins in October.
Texas School Business JULY/AUGUST 2016
“In my whole school PR career, everything I know I learned from NSPRA and TSPRA,” Thannum says. “One of the reasons I even entertained the idea of running for national office is that I wanted to give back to an organization that I owe everything in my career to.” Though it’s not always easy to balance her local and national responsibilities, Thannum says she believes her NSPRA experiences inform how she leads and troubleshoots on the homefront. “The school PR function is getting, I think, harder and harder for school leaders,” she says, “and even the greatest superintendents need to have someone at their right-hand to be that voice, that conscience, that person challenging them to make sure we’re engaging the public, we’re giving the public a voice, we’re keeping the public informed.” Thannum started her career as a journalist covering the Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD and was frustrated with how difficult it was to get return calls from educators. She met with the then-superintendent of the district and told him she wished there were someone willing to be a contact. “Little did I know, but it ended up being a job interview,” she says.
“They created a position for me, though that was never my intent.” The biggest way school public relations has changed in that time is how quickly the public can get information now — from any number of sources, whether or not that information is accurate, Thannum says. It’s crucial for school public relations people to be among the first to report a story — and to do it accurately, she says. Then there’s the safety component, especially in a culture marred by school shootings. After the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., in 2012, Thannum started the school-mascot-branded social media hashtag #SAFEdragon (Safety Awareness for Every Dragon) to help parents easily find safety messages from the school, from security threats to weather-related closures. The hashtag caught on like wildfire. “It’s funny because I actually have kids who call me Safe Dragon,” Thannum muses. “It was never intended to be tagged onto me, but on Twitter we’ll say, ‘We’re monitoring the weather,’ and the kids will come back and say, ‘Come on, Safe Dragon, call off school!’” For Thannum, emergency response is a natural extension of the school public relations function. After a tornado in Van ISD, for example, Thannum and other PR volunteers
went to Van to help the district set up a website and Facebook and Twitter accounts to relay to the community what teachers and staff were doing to help their students in the face of the disaster. “No one was telling their stories,” Thannum recalls. “Now Van ISD is all over Facebook.” Outside of work, Thannum’s greatest passions are reading fiction and spending time with her family, which includes her husband, Scott, a U.S. history teacher and coach at Fort Worth Christian School; daughters Riley, 23, a second grade teacher at the elementary school she once attended; Madison, 20, an advertising and public relations major at Abilene Christian University; and Jackson, 9, a second grader at the school where his older sister teaches. As for what we can expect from Thannum’s year as NSPRA president, she says she wants to continue to promote the school public relations position, to advocate for public education and to encourage respectful twoway dialogue with the community. “When I ran for TSPRA president [in 2000], I used as my theme a lighthouse, and I truly do feel all these years later that that’s what a school PR professional has to be,” Thannum says. “We have to be a lighthouse in the storm, and we have to be the ones who peo-
Fun Facts about Julie Thannum –
A book that changed my life is:
“Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When the Stakes are High,” by Kerry Patterson.
If I could go anywhere on vacation, it would be:
Disneyland and Disney World with my kids.
My favorite Halloween costume I ever wore was: Mr. Smee from “Captain Hook.”
My go-to weeknight meal is: Mexican food.
ple look to for guidance and help. We have to be the calming, reassuring, confident voice in the middle of what can sometimes feel a little chaotic.” LEILA KALMBACH is a freelance writer in Austin.
Value-driven design that puts students first
Design with community in mind stantec.com
CTE Center – Frisco ISD
Texas School Business JULY/AUGUST 2016
The hidden consequences of dual and AP credit By Rachel Tuggle
rom the time kids enter high school, they dream about going to college — what fraternity or sorority they will join, who their friends and roommates will be, what living on a college campus will be like. So, naturally, many students — especially we high achievers — want to be prepared for that exciting time. Enter dual and advanced placement (AP) classes. The school system promises that these classes will help us prepare for college, which they do. They also promise to be cheaper than college, which they are. Finally, they promise to give students a “seamless transition from high school to college,” according to dualcredittexas.org. It sounds like the perfect scenario. Too bad the system fails on that last promise. Not to sound arrogant, but if this system of AP and dual credit worked in favor of the students, it would have worked for me. I was the perfect candidate — valedictorian of Stephenville High School, driven, ambitious and hard-working. There was not a challenge I was unwilling to tackle. So, I entered college with not three, not 12, but 49 college hours.
As a second semester freshman, I am actually a first semester junior. I will graduate with a bachelor’s degree and two minors in two-and-a-half years. As exciting as that sounds in theory, it poses several big problems that impact me on an almost daily basis. As a nontraditional freshman, I skipped out on all but three or four basic classes. That means I am in sophomore and junior classes with sophomores and juniors. It is quite difficult to make friends with freshmen when you never meet any in class. I do recognize that if I lived in the dorms (I live at home), this would not be as big of an issue. But why should I be penalized for trying to save $10,000 on living expenses by not meeting anyone my age? If I were in class with other freshmen, this would not be as great of an issue. Secondly, I have very few options post-graduation, which is looming alarmingly close, considering a semester ago I thought I had four or maybe even four and a half years to go. I will graduate about three months after I turn 20. Who is going to hire a 20-year-old with a degree and no experience? I may not be unemployable, but I would bet all of the money I saved
on college tuition that I will be underemployed. As a high achiever, that is a depressing reality to face. Pursuing a master’s degree or a Ph.D. is an option, but I want to freelance write, which makes both of these degrees rather unnecessary, not to mention expensive. I could extend my college time by adding these degrees, but that, to me, seems like an expensive way to avoid the future. All of these factors create an enormous amount of pressure, because my options seem to be limited to being underemployed or continuing my college education. College is stressful enough without all of these other problems added to it. Several people have asked me if I could do it all over again, would I? Without a doubt, this may have been one of the poorest choices I naively made. I sacrificed my college experience to get ahead, and I would go back to the basics in a heartbeat if I could. RACHEL TUGGLE is a second-semester freshman taking junior-level courses at Tarleton State University in Stephenville. She welcomes comments and feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Student Voices” is a regularly featured column in Texas School Business. It’s an opportunity for students of all ages from across Texas to share their experiences in K-12 public schools. Contact Editorial Director Katie Ford at email@example.com for publishing guidelines.
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Education service center programs & practices
ESC Region 3 empowers staff, builds capacity through service design teams By Brenda O’Bannion and Beverly Wyatt
The creation of service design teams at ESC Region 3 has fostered a culture that empowers employees to collaborate and do their best work together.
n education, each school year brings new buzzwords, such as turnaround efforts, transformation, engagement, restorative practices and so forth. There is a new buzz term at ESC Region 3 (R3), and that term is “service design teams.” A byproduct of an extensive reorganization effort at R3, service design teams are creating an exciting new way to plan for and deliver services and products. The center’s service design teams began in August 2014 when all employees — both professional and auxiliary staff — were organized into seven teams, each representing a cross section of departments to ensure strong collaboration and maximum utilization of everyone’s skills and knowledge. The teams were assigned priority areas, and these areas became their team names. They are: learner performance, school improvement, financial solutions, leading technology, human resource management, communication systems and leadership capacity.
Texas School Business JULY/AUGUST 2016
Each year, the teams produce and work to execute strategic plans for their priority areas. The plans include measurable short- and long-term objectives. Two to three designated team leads (representing both professional and auxiliary staff) are charged with ensuring their teams move forward with activities to reach their objectives. These leads receive training to facilitate the discussion, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation process of their teams’ activities. Also, each team has an assigned R3 administrator who serves as the go-to person for approving the strategic plans and clarifying issues, if needed. Since their inception, these teams have become a way of doing business, and, more impressively, they have brought a positive cultural change to the education service center. The service design team approach has cultivated new leaders within the organization and created a sense of ownership among all staff.
Says Nan Gainer, director of curriculum and instruction: “When you work as a team toward a common goal and everyone has a say in it, trust among colleagues begins to be felt.” During monthly staff days, service design teams are given a designated time to meet to monitor the progress of their plans and brainstorm new strategies and activities. The advising administrators are accessible if needed, but, for the most part, the service design teams meet as groups of coworkers charged with carrying out the business of improving R3 services. The administrators report on their teams’ progress at monthly leadership meetings.
New products and services R3’s service design teams have worked hard to address their priority areas by developing new products and services.
An example of a service design team product that is accessible in Region 3 and around the state is the R3 Family Engagement App, a free mobile app for Apple and Android phones and tablets that can be uploaded from Google Play or Apple’s App Store. Created by the school improvement team, this mobile tool connects parents to a variety of resources, updates and helpful tips on school requirements and family-related issues, such as early childhood development, health and nutrition, safety, behavior and discipline, state assessments and graduation requirements. The content accessible through the R3 Family Engagement App is not specific to any school district, making it appropriate for users in any region. Moreover, a successful strategy that emerged from the leadership capacity team is the use of advocate teams. These two-member teams, which consist of a professional staff member and an auxiliary member, select a designated number of districts to visit during the school year to discuss R3 programs and services with superintendents and administrators. The administrators appreciate the personal delivery of information and the opportunity to interact with R3 employees. “The philosophy behind the service design teams is to involve people to make a difference, reach a goal, and build collaboration and trust,” says Charlotte Baker, R3 deputy executive director. “This philosophy is evident by everything that has resulted from the numerous goals and activities of each team.”
Building your teams Identifying your priority areas is one of the first steps to implementing service design teams within an organization. Tips on how R3 started the process can be found at www.esc3.net under “Products and Services.” Valuable resources include a video entitled, “Maximizing Potential through Shared Leadership”; the action plans of R3’s seven service design teams; and video clips of R3 staff sharing their thoughts on the service design team approach.
provide when our clients faithfully and consistently implement the products and services we offer,” says R3 Executive Director Patty Shafer. “We promote education, serve the community and provide a center where community members can acquire solutions that will prepare our children for a thriving future.” Whether a service design team is meeting as a group or helping to facilitate the many R3 activities, conferences and symposiums, those who work in the business
'The philosophy behind the service design teams is to involve people to make a difference, reach a goal, and build collaboration and trust.' — Charlotte Baker, deputy executive director, ESC Region 3
Education is in a constant state of change, and education service centers need to improve and adapt continually to meet the needs of its customers. The service design teams at R3 are helping to achieve this and to ensure that the center lives up to its vision as “the preferred and most trusted provider of educational products and services that guarantee viable solutions.” “We feel strongly about our work and are willing to stand behind services we
of education here at 1905 Leary Lane, in Victoria, have a passion and a devotion for what they do. All staff members are committed to developing our most important product — the academic and social-emotional success of every student in Region 3. BRENDA O’BANNION is the director of student support and BEVERLY WYATT is a Title I specialist at ESC Region 3.
Service design team accomplishments Here are a few products and services created by ESC Region 3’s service design teams: • R3 Family Engagement App (school improvement) • Rebranding and advertising initiatives (communication systems) • Leadership training for employees (leadership capacity) • Collaborative training conferences for content areas (learner performance) • Monthly technology training for all staff (leading technologies) • New-hire orientation videos (human resource management) • Region 3 services impact study on school performance (financial solutions)
Texas School Business JULY/AUGUST 2016
Calendar Professional development & events
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September 15 Legal Digest Back to School Workshop with Jim Walsh Office of ESC Region 7, Kilgore For more info, (512) 478-2113. www.legaldigestevents.com Cost: $155. See website for early registration discounts.
AU GUST August 1 lead4ward: Number Sense, Grades 1-4 Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-1306. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $160. August 2-4 Texas ASCD Instructional Rounds Location TBA, Bastrop For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (512) 717-2723. www.txascd.org August 8 lead4ward: Development of Equations and Inequalities Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-1306. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $160. August 9 TASPA Documentation Workshop Elgin ISD, Elgin For more info, (512) 494-9353. www.taspa.org Cost: $245. August 10 Focusing on Your Why: Leading Your School in the Digital Age Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-1308. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $175. TASPA Documentation Workshop North East ISD, San Antonio For more info, (512) 494-9353. www.taspa.org Cost: $245.
August 31 Grants for Afterschool: How to Get and Sustain More Funding for Learners Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-1393. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: In county, $25; out of county, $45.
S E PTE M B E R September 7 Legal Digest Back to School Workshop with Jim Walsh Office of ESC Region 13, Austin For more info, (512) 478-2113. www.legaldigestevents.com Cost: $155. See website for early registration discounts. September 11-13 Texas Association of Community Schools Annual Conference Hilton Palacio del Rio, San Antonio For more info, (512) 440-8227. www.tacsnet.org September 13 TASPA Documentation Workshop “A” Coppell ISD, Coppell For more info, (512) 494-9353. www.taspa.org Cost: $245. September 14 Legal Digest Back to School Workshop with Jim Walsh Office of ESC Region 11, Fort Worth For more info, (512) 478-2113. www.legaldigestevents.com Cost: $155. See website for early registration discounts. TASPA Documentation Workshop “B” Coppell ISD, Coppell For more info, (512) 494-9353.
Texas School Business JULY/AUGUST 2016
Quest for Grants Training Series: The Basics of Grant Writing Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-0712. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: In county, $25; out of county, $45.
September 21 lead4ward: Planning Instruction – Creating Student-Centered Classrooms Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-1308. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $160. September 22 Legal Digest Back to School Workshop with Jim Walsh Harris County Department of Education, Houston For more info, (512) 478-2113. www.legaldigestevents.com Cost: $155. See website for early registration discounts.
Raising the Bar: Literacy Strategies in Science Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-1306. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $85.
September 23 Board2Board Education Foundation Conference Klein ISD, Klein For more info, (512) 535-2046. www.foundationinnovation.biz/ board2board Cost: $45.
September 16 Legal Digest Back to School Workshop with Jim Walsh Office of ESC Region 8, Pittsburg For more info, (512) 478-2113. www.legaldigestevents.com Cost: $155. See website for early registration discounts.
HCDE Literacy Collaborative: 10 Things Every Writer Needs to Know Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-8223. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $225.
Snapshot: 21st Century – Raising the Academic Bar and Risk Mitigation Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-0771. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $50. September 20 Grade 5 Science STAAR: A Closer Look at Energy and Matter Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-1306. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $60. Legal Digest Back to School Workshop with Jim Walsh Office of ESC Region 18, Midland For more info, (512) 478-2113. www.legaldigestevents.com Cost: $155. See website for early registration discounts.
September 23-25 TASA/TASB Convention George R. Brown Convention Center, Houston For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. www.tasb.org Cost: Pre-registration (before Sept. 9): TASA/TASB members, $325; nonmembers, $425. Onsite registration: TASA/TASB members: $395; nonmembers, $495. September 25-26 TASPA Fall Support Staff Conference Westin Hotel at the Domain, Austin For more info, (512) 494-9353. www.taspa.org
September 26 Legal Digest Back to School Workshop with Jim Walsh Office of ESC Region 20, San Antonio For more info, (512) 478-2113. www.legaldigestevents.com Cost: $155. See website for early registration discounts. September 27 lead4ward: Build-A-Workshop – Spiral Intro and World War II Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-8223. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $160. lead4ward: Number Sense, Grades 1-4 Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-1306. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $160. September 28 Legal Digest Back to School Workshop with Jim Walsh Office of ESC Region 17, Lubbock For more info, (512) 478-2113. www.legaldigestevents.com Cost: $155. See website for early registration discounts. September 29 TASBO Workshop for Certified School Managers: Measuring School Risks Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, Houston For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org September 30 Legal Digest Back to School Workshop with Jim Walsh Office of ESC Region 9, Wichita Falls For more info, (512) 478-2113. www.legaldigestevents.com Cost: $155. See website for early registration discounts.
O C TO BE R October 3 Legal Digest Back to School Workshop with Jim Walsh
October 27 TASBO Certified School Risk Managers Workshop: Fundamentals of Risk Management Pasadena ISD, Pasadena For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org
Office of ESC Region 2, Corpus Christi For more info, (512) 478-2113. www.legaldigestevents.com Cost: $155. See website for early registration discounts.
October 13 TASBO Certified School Risk Managers Workshop Irving ISD, Irving For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org
October 4-5 TASBO Internal Audit Academy Marriott South, Austin For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: Members, $290; nonmembers, $340.
October 13-14 TASB Conference for Administrative Professionals TASB offices, Austin For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. www.tasb.org
October 5 Digging Deeper: Applying Webb’s Depth of Knowledge to the Science Classroom Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-1306. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $75.
October 16-18 TEPSA Assistant Principals Conference Omni Southpark, Austin For more info, (512) 478-5268 or (800) 252-3621. www.tepsa.org
October 27-28 TASBO Purchasing Academy Embassy Suites, San Marcos For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: Members, $290; nonmembers, $340.
October 17-18 TASBO Operations Academy Marriott Town Square, Sugar Land For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: $200.
October 30-November 1 Texas ASCD Annual Conference Location TBA, Dallas For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (800) 717-2723. www.txascd.org
Legal Digest Back to School Workshop with Jim Walsh Office of ESC Region 10, Richardson For more info, (512) 478-2113. www.legaldigestevents.com Cost: $155. See website for early registration discounts. October 5-6 Texas ASCD Curriculum Leadership Academy XVII (session 3 of 3) Georgetown ISD, Georgetown For more info, (512) 476-8200 or (800) 717-2723. www.txascd.org October 6 Make Texas History Come Alive, Grades 4 and 7 Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-8223. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $125. October 12 TASPA Documentation Workshop Frisco ISD, Frisco For more info, (512) 494-9353. www.taspa.org Cost: $245.
October 19-20 TASBO Accounting and Finance Symposium Marriott Town Square, Sugar Land For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: Members, $290; nonmembers, $340. October 20 Supporting Struggling Readers and Writers Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-8223. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $125. What Great Educators Do Differently Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-1308. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: In county, $225; out of county, $230.
TASPA Documentation Workshop Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, Houston For more info, (512) 494-9353. www.taspa.org Cost: $245.
October 31-November 1 TASB/TASPA HR Administrators’ Academy Marriott North, Austin For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. www.tasb.org
NOVEMBER November 1 EOC Fiction: Examining and Planning with Readiness Standards, Grades 9-10 Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-8223. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $60. November 3 Biology EOC: A Closer Look at Cell Structure and Function Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-1306. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $60.
> See Calendar, page 34 Texas School Business JULY/AUGUST 2016
> Continued from page 33 Board2Board Education Foundation Conference Frisco ISD, Frisco For more info, (512) 535-2046. www.foundationinnovation. biz/board2board Cost: $45.
Social Studies Strategies for English Language Learners Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-8223. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $125.
November 30-December 2 TASPA/TAEE Winter Conference Westin Hotel at the Domain, Austin For more info, (512) 494-9353. www.taspa.org
November 7-8 TASBO Personnel and Payroll Academy TCEA Conference Center, Austin For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: Members, $290; nonmembers, $340.
November 15-16 TASBO Accounting and Finance Symposium Courtyard Marriott, Allen For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: Members, $290; nonmembers, $340.
Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented Annual Conference Sheraton Hotel, Dallas For more info, (512) 499-8248. www.txgifted.org Cost: See TAGT website for one-, two- and three-day registration options.
November 10 HCDE Literacy Collaborative: Literacy Workstations Harris County Dept. of Education, Houston For more info, (713) 696-8223. www.hcde-texas.org Cost: $225.
November 30 TASPA/Legal Digest Personnel Law Conference for School Administrators Westin Hotel at the Domain, Austin For more info, (512) 494-9353. www.taspa.org
November 30-December 3 TAHPERD Annual Convention Moody Gardens Hotel and Convention Center, Galveston For more info, (512) 459-1299. www.tahperd.org Cost: Early bird registration (by Oct. 1): $105; preregistration (by Nov. 1): $125; late registration (after Nov. 1): $145.
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CONTRACTS SHINE BRIGHT IN THE LONE STAR STATE.
As previously announced, National IPA and TCPN have merged. The combination of their lead agency cooperative contracting strategies, in addition to their strength in the K-12 market will deliver an unparalleled cooperative solution. As cooperative purchasing evolves, we are now poised to better meet the needs of our participants in Texas. All cooperative agreements have been competitively solicited and publicly awarded by a public agency/governmental entity. WE HAVE SOLUTIONS FOR ALL YOUR TECHNOLOGY NEEDS: Assistive Technology Audio/Visual Classroom Mobility Cloud Services Co-location Data Service Digital Archiving Hardware Information Systems Managed Print Oracle Products & Service Safety & Security Software Video Conferencing Web Based Procurement Platforms Web Hosting and Much More!
BECOME A PARTICIPANT AND START SAVING
TIME AND MONEY TODAY. Leverage the Purchasing Power of more than 42,000 actively engaged government and education entities. No Participation Fees Contracts Publicly Solicited By A Lead Government Agency OTHER CONTRACT CATEGORIES INCLUDE: Athletic Automotive Parts Equipment Rental Facilities Flooring Food Furniture Grounds Keeping and Irrigation Heavy Equipment HVAC Janitorial Maintenance & Operations Managed Print Office Supplies Playground Equipment Roofing School Supplies
OUR TEAM OF EXPERIENCED PUBLIC PROCUREMENT AND COOPERATIVE OFFICIALS ARE READY TO ASSIST YOUR AGENCY!
REGISTER TODAY Go to nationalipa.org or tcpn.org
Founding Member of NCPP
Texas School Business JULY/AUGUST 2016
TAGT HOSTS LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE IN FORT WORTH The Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented hosted its Leadership Conference in April, a two-day annual event for administrators, coordinators and specialists. The conference was attended by approximately 250 leaders in gifted education.
Karen Phillips, Texas IB Schools; Jim Patton, Woodway; and Cecelia Boswell, Austin Creek Education Systems.
Members of the TAGT Research Division discuss current work and future plans.
Jasmine Patel of Richardson ISD presents gifted identification methods.
Marcy Voss, Boerne ISD; Susan K. Johnsen, Baylor University; and Mary Christopher, Hardin-Simmons University.
Lori Seelig, Sherman ISD; Mary Lea TAGT Executive Director JJ Colburn Pfenninger, ESC Region 3; and Kay Shurtleff, and Michelle Swain, Round Rock ISD. ESC Region 10.
Texas School Business JULY/AUGUST 2016
Tara Brown, the “Connection Coach,” inspires TAGT members to examine their leadership footprint.
ACCEPTING NOMINATIONS NOW! Texas School Business wants to brag about you! Submit your nomination today for possible inclusion in the Tenth Annual Bragging Rights 2016-2017 special issue, which honors 12 deserving school districts and their innovative programs. Every winter, Texas School Business publishes and distributes this special issue to thousands of stakeholders in Texas public education. Does your school or district have a program thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wildly successful? Then you could be featured among our Top 12!
Simply visit www.texasschoolbusiness.com and click on Bragging Rights in the menu to fill out a nomination form.
The nomination deadline is 5 p.m. on Friday, September 2, 2016. Questions? Contact Texas School Business Editorial Director Katie Ford at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2016 - 2017 Texas School Business THE News Magazine for Public Education in Texas!
Texas School Business JULY/AUGUST 2016
THE BACK PAGE
He just needed a little encouragement
by Riney Jordan
ncouragement. It’s one of the most important things we can do for another person.
And in all the talks I’ve done for schools, banquets, graduations and so forth, I have never given one speech without mentioning the importance of encouraging others. Encouragement lifts spirits. It builds confidence in others. It can change attitudes and offer hope. Recently, a high school senior from a small Texas school district was determined that he wasn’t going on the traditional all-day senior trip.
All day, they thought about him. They wondered if the 175-mile trip to the destination had gone without any problems. Had he ever settled down and enjoyed the moment? It was well after dark when he arrived home. They could hardly wait to hear about the day’s events and his reaction to them. Suddenly, the front door flew open. He came
“Now, honestly, did you really have a good time?” they quizzed. “Seriously! We could ride any of the rides or play any of the games as many times as we wanted, and we could have all the pizza and soft drinks we wanted! And it was all free! I rode the bumper cars and bowled and did the rock climb and ate pizza off and on all day!
His parents just smiled and listened and refrained from saying, “I told you so.” Sometimes, it’s a pat on the back. Sometimes, it’s simply saying, “I’m so proud of you.” At other times, it may mean that you need to try something new, because encouragement can cause you to reach a little further than you’ve ever reached before. It means experiencing something for the first time that is out of your comfort zone. But, as the kids in our lives will discover soon enough, trying something new might be the encouragement they need to take a new direction in life. It might mean discovering a new interest that could have been missed. And so it was in the spring of 2016, a graduating senior learned that, sometimes, adults do know what is best for them. He also learned that, although he probably could have rebelled and gone fishing that day, there would have been consequences. He realized that some traditions continue year after year because they have worth and value. On this particular day, he learned that if you make some pleasant memories along the way, you’ll be savoring them for a lifetime!
RINEY JORDAN’S “The Second Book” is now available at www.rineyjordan.com, along with his other publications. You can contact him at (254) 386-4769, find him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter: @RineyRiney.
Texas School Business JULY/AUGUST 2016
Friends of Texas Public Schools.. 23 www.fotps.org
Houston ISD Medicaid Finance and Consulting.............................. 2 www.eshars.com
The evening before the trip, he grumbled about having to get up an hour earlier than usual. He sulked. He was irritated, and everyone around him knew it. As he trudged out of the house that morning, the parents couldn’t help but hope that this day would be a positive memory that he would treasure for years to come.
Focus School Software............... 19 www.focusschoolsoftware.com
“Oh, my gosh, it was great! We had a ball,” he said. His voice was full of expression and excitement.
This kid needed some encouragement.
Oh, he stammered and sputtered and talked about how unfair that decision was to him, but they just shook their heads and said, “Sorry. Once you go, you’ll see why this is the right decision for you.”
1GPA............................................ 12 www.1gpa.org
George K. Baum & Co. ................. 29 www.gkbaum.com
“And, listen to this: On the way home, someone had some speakers, and we played music and we all sang on the bus. It was so much fun! I’ll never forget this day!”
That was the simple, to-the-point, directive from his parents.
bounding in with his eyes open wide and a smile from ear to ear.
“That’s not gonna be any fun,” he grumbled. “You have to be on a school bus all day. It’s not air-conditioned, and they’re gonna take us to some stupid place and play games and junk. I’m not doin’ that! I’m just gonna go fishin’ and hang out with some of my buddies that day.” “No. You’re going. It’s not debatable.”
Texas School Business
IDIS.............................................. 39 www.idisglobal.com Spectrum Corp........................11, 13 www.spectrumscoreboards.com Stantec........................................ 27 www.stantec.com Sungard Public Sector..................4 www.sungardps.com TASBO.........................................40 www.tasbo.org TASPA........................................... 5
TCPN........................................... 35 www.tcpn.org Texas ASCD.................................34 www.txascd.org Texas Computer Cooperative..... 22 www.texascomputercooperative.net Texas School Business...................... 11, 13, 34, 37
WRA Architects............................ 9 www.wraarchitects.com
For specs and rates, contact email@example.com or by calling (800) 725-8272 TexasSchoolBusiness.com
IDIS Ensures Educators are SB507 Compliant
The Texas Senate Bill 507 compliant camera system is now available from IDIS. The IDIS packaged solution meets all requirements of the bill, which requires the placement and use of video cameras and audio monitoring in self-contained classrooms or other settings providing special education services.
801 Hammond Street, Suite 200, Coppell, TX 75019, USA T 1 (866) 986 1312 P 1 (469) 444 6538 F 1 (469) 464 4449 E firstname.lastname@example.org
Texas Association of School Administrators 406 East 11th Street Austin, TX 78701-2617
Back cover ad 8” x 8.25”