The News Magazine for Public Education in Texas
Texas School Business
MARCH / APRIL
Let the sun shine in Texas schools opt for solar power
Also in this issue: TASB President Lee Lentz-Edwards Spotlight on Todd Bloomer of North East ISD
College Board Opportunity Scholarships A new scholarship program for all students to earn up to $40,000 for college. ÂŠ 2020 College Board.
Texas School Business MARCH / APRIL 2020
Cover Story Let the sun shine in: Texas schools opt for solar power
TASB President Profile Lee Lentz-Edwards takes the helm at TASB
by Dacia Rivers
by James Golsan
18 In the Spotlight Winning every day: Todd Bloomer nurtures a community spirit at San Antonio’s Winston Churchill High by Dacia Rivers
Departments 7 Who’s News 22 Calendar 27 Ad Index
5 From the Editor by Dacia Rivers 12 The Law Dawg— Unleashed by Jim Walsh 13The Digital Frontier by Alice Owen 20 Regional View by Lisa Adams and Christine Parks
25 Student Voices by by Marcus Gonzalez and Tatum Mowery
8 TCWSE holds annual conference in Austin
27 The Back Page by Riney Jordan
6 TASA’s Midwinter Conference brings school leaders to Austin
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
TEXA S ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL PERSONNEL ADMINISTRATORS
everal months ago, I opted into purchasing solar-powered electricity for my home, through a program offered by my utility company. It only costs a few dollars more each month, and of the many investments I make to try and ensure my kids have a bright future, this was an easy decision. Public schools across Texas beat me to the punch on this one, and several are operating solar arrays on their buildings, creating their own energy with help from the sun.
Summer Conference: July 15-17, 2020 Renaissance Hotel, Austin, TX Fall Conference: October 5-6, 2020 Embassy Suites, San Marcos Winter Conference: December 10-12, 2020 Renaissance Hotel, Austin, TX
Starting on page 14, we’ve got a feature for you on districts across Texas that are using solar power on their campuses, including Lady Bird Johnson Middle School in Irving ISD, a net-zero campus that has been on the forefront of alternative energy for more than a decade. Give it a read, especially if you’ve been thinking about making energy-efficient changes in your schools. The costs have gone down significantly, and there’s no time like the present to plan for the future. I hope you all have a wonderful spring, and that wherever you may be, the sun, and the bluebonnets, are shining. Remember, if you have a program or student in your district that you’d like to highlight in our Student Voices or The Arts columns, I’d love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Texas School Business
MARCH / APRIL 2020 Volume LXVII, Issue 2 406 East 11th Street Austin, Texas 78701 Phone: 512-477-6361 • Fax: 512-482-8658 www.texasschoolbusiness.com EDITORIAL DIRECTOR
Dacia Rivers DESIGN
Dacia Rivers Editorial Director
Phaedra Strecher COLUMNISTS
Lisa Adams James Golsan Riney Jordan Alice Owens Christine Parks Jim Walsh ADVERTISING SALES
TEXAS ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA RELATIONS
Texas School Business (ISSN 0563-2978) is published online bimonthly with a special edition, Bragging Rights, in December, by the Texas Association of School Administrators. © Copyright 2020 Texas Association of School Administrators
Texas School Business MARCH / APRIL 2020
TASA’S MIDWINTER CONFERENCE BRINGS SCHOOL LEADERS TO AUSTIN In January, school leaders from across Texas gathered at the Austin Convention Center for the annual Midwinter Conference held by the Texas Association of School Administrators.
▲ Charles Best, founder of DonorsChoose,
addresses TASA members at the second general session.
▲ Students from Trinity High School in Hurst-EulessBedford ISD perform for conference attendees.
▲ TASA Executive Director Kevin Brown presents
of Aledo ISD, Keith Boles, retired superintendent for Henderson ISD, and Keith Bryant, superintendent for LubbockCooper ISD.
▲ Each winter, scores of
school leaders converge in downtown Austin for the Midwinter Conference.
opportunities for networking and education.
Texas School Business MARCH / APRIL 2020
Champion storyteller, speaks to conference attendees on the irresistible power of strategic storytelling.
▲ Derek Citty, retired superintendent
one of four Caudill Awards for outstanding school architecture to Mansfield ISD and Huckabee.
▲ Midwinter Conference attendees enjoy numerous
▲ Kindra Hall, National
► TASA President Greg Smith
of Clear Creek ISD addresses attendees.
He is a graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University, where he also earned his master’s degree in education.
Austin ISD The new principal of McCallum High School is Brandi Hosack, who had served as the school’s acting principal since June. She joined AISD from Forney ISD, where she was principal of Forney High School. Prior to that, she worked in Austin ISD as principal of Akins High School. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Texas.
Blooming Grove ISD Douglas Moore has accepted the position
of Blooming Grove ISD’s interim superintendent.
Boyd ISD Chris Chappotin has been approved to serve
as Boyd ISD’s assistant superintendent. He comes to his new assignment from Burleson ISD, where he was initially Centennial High School’s academic associate principal and then principal of STEAM Middle School.
Now serving as director of technology is Christine Magryta, most recently assistant principal of Central High School in Keller ISD. A new superintendent is in place for Boyd ISD. Tamara Vardy, a 17-year educator, began her career in Burleson ISD, where she worked as a teacher, at-risk coordinator, assistant and associate principal and principal. She subsequently served in Mansfield ISD, most recently as director of campus support. She is a graduate of Texas Tech University with a master’s degree in educational leadership and a doctorate in education from Tarleton State University.
Bullard ISD The district’s newly hired superintendent is Jack Lee III. He led Blooming Grove ISD since 2017 and prior to that was the district’s high school principal.
Center ISD Former Garrison ISD superintendent Arnie Kelley has agreed to serve as Center ISD’s interim superintendent. He brought his education career to a close in 2009 but came out of retirement to lead Chireno and then Garrison ISDs on an interim basis.
Justin Risner, former special programs director and assistant superintendent of curriculum, is now district superintendent.
Cleburne ISD Andrea Hensley, former assistant
superintendent of curriculum and instruction, now serves as assistant superintendent of human resources. The 27year educator has been with the district for five years, previously working in Mansfield ISD as a middle school principal.
and a doctorate in educational leadership from Stephen F. Austin State University. Now serving as principal of Watkins Middle School is Abe Lozano, moving to his new position from Holbrook Elementary, where he also held the top position. A graduate of Cypress Springs High School, he has spent his 12-year career in the district, working as a teacher and assistant principal as well as principal. His bachelor’s and master’s degrees were awarded from Sam Houston State University and his doctorate in professional leadership from the University of Houston.
executive director of research, data and accountability, has been promoted to assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction. He began his career in 2000 as a high school science teacher and served in Cleburne ISD as an assistant principal and principal before taking his most recent position.
Formerly Bridgeland High School’s director of instruction, Michelle Provo is now principal of Bleyl Middle School. She has spent her 25 years as an educator in Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, working as a history teacher and assistant principal of Dean Middle School and Cy-Fair High School and as summer school assistant principal and principal. She earned both her bachelor’s degree in history and her master’s degree in education administration from Prairie View A&M University.
Chris Jackson, who was the district’s
The district’s newly appointed athletic director, Jason Fiacco, comes to Cleveland from Elkhart ISD, where he served in the same capacity. A graduate of the University of Iowa, he also worked in Yoakum ISD as football offensive coordinator and in Hartford and La Vernia ISDs as a coach.
College Station ISD Mike Martindale, the district’s deputy superintendent and chief financial officer, has accepted the position of interim superintendent. He joined CSISD in 2007 as principal of Rock Prairie Elementary School, going on to serve as the first principal of College Station High School prior to taking his most recent position in 2012. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and a master’s degree in education administration from the University of Houston-Clear Lake.
Cypress-Fairbanks ISD Heather Bergman, former principal of Dean Middle School, has been promoted to assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction. She has been an educator for 19 years, including 10 with CFISD. She is a graduate of the University of Houston with a master’s degree in mathematics from Texas A&M University
Former superintendent of Red Oak and Allen ISDs Scott Niven has accepted the role of Denton ISD’s chief financial officer. He brings 26 years of experience to his new job, initially working in the private sector and subsequently as director and then assistant superintendent of business and operations for Texarkana ISD. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas and a master’s degree from Texas A&M University at Texarkana. His doctorate was awarded from Texas A&M University at Commerce.
Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD The district’s 16th elementary school, Copper Creek Elementary, will open in August with Amber Beene as principal. She brings 17 years of experience to her new assignment, the past six leading Saginaw Elementary. She is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a master’s degree in educational leadership from Walden University. Now serving as chief financial officer is Robb Welch, a 22-year educator who comes to the district from Grand > See Who’s News, page 9 Texas School Business MARCH / APRIL 2020
TCWSE HOLDS ANNUAL CONFERENCE IN AUSTIN The Texas Council of Women School Executives hosted its annual conference in Austin in January. With a theme of “2020: A Clear Vision,” TCWSE members came together for two days of networking and professional learning.
▲ TCWSE board president Karla Moyer
poses with past president Sharon Ross of Tarleton State University.
▲ TCWSE founder Margret Montgomery
presents the leadership award to Jamie Goodwin of ESC Region 20.
▲ Tamy Smalskas of Sherman ISD
receives the Bravo Award from TCWSE board president Karla Moyer.
▲ Christina Winters, ▲ Conference attendees enjoy ample opportunities for networking and relationship-building.
▲ TCWSE members stop for a selfie during the conference.
► TCWSE past presidents pose at the conference.
Texas School Business MARCH / APRIL 2020
Creating & Managing Wealth, LLC, offers tips on how to balance the things you need, want and must have.
▲ TCWSE members pose with student art that was on display at a silent auction during the conference.
Who’s News > Continued from page 7
Prairie ISD, where he served as assistant superintendent of business and finance since 2015. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting from the University of North Texas.
El Paso ISD Julie Anne Chavez, assistant
principal of Mesita Elementary School since 2016, now leads Moye Elementary as principal. An educator in the El Paso area for 15 years, she began her career in San Elizario ISD, joining El Paso ISD in 2015. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in early childhood education and educational administration from the University of Texas at El Paso. Jefferson High School and Silva Health Magnet High School have a new principal. Cynthia Luna, most recently an assistant principal at Transmountain Early College High School, will lead both campuses. She formerly served in El Paso’s Socorro ISD, where she was an assistant principal and dean of instruction, and in Ysleta ISD, also in El Paso. An alumna of Jefferson High, she is a graduate of the University of Texas at El Paso and holds a master’s degree in school leadership from Sul Ross State University.
ESC Region 7 Longtime ESC Region 7 executive director Elizabeth Abernethy has retired. She spent 18 years with the service center, which oversees 95 Texas school districts.
Fort Worth ISD Fort Worth ISD’s director of athletics, Lisa Langston, is the new president of the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA). A 30-year employee of the district, she has spent the past 25 years as an athletics administrator.
Grand Saline A new athletic director and head football coach has been named for Grand Saline ISD. Joe Drennon, who comes to his new job from Hallsville ISD, has served in the same capacities in Mildred, Liberty-Eylau and Texarkana ISDs.
HISD trustees have chosen a new superintendent. Gerard Soto, who was executive director of operations, previously served as principal of the district’s alternative campus, the Tejeda Academy. An educator for more than 25 years, he began his career in South San Antonio ISD, going on to work in Judson and Medina Valley ISDs before joining Harlandale ISD 17 years ago.
New superintendent Joe Lopez most recently led Taft ISD and, prior to that, served as Mission CISD’s executive director for state and federal programs. A graduate of Lindenwood University, he has been a teacher, primary and secondary principal and middle school principal. He received his master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Houston Baptist University and is at work on his doctorate from Capella University.
Joshua ISD’s first communications and public relations director, Zoheb Hassanali, comes to the district from Manor ISD, where he spent the past three years as a communications
Karnes City ISD Former San Benito ISD assistant superintendent Hector Madrigal now leads Karnes City ISD as superintendent.
Katy ISD Sally Gupton has been promoted from assistant principal to principal of Creech Elementary. A graduate of Texas A&M University, she began her career in 1999 in Fort Bend ISD. She received her master’s degree in educational management from the University of Houston Clear Lake. Marc Kampwerth has been named principal of Fielder Elementary School. The 20-year educator began his career in CypressFairbanks ISD and most recently led Katy ISD’s Morton Ranch Elementary. He received his bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University, going on to obtain his master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Houston-Clear Lake.
Former Creech Elementary principal Euberta Lucas has been tapped to lead the district’s newest, yet-unnamed elementary school. She has been an educator for 20 years, including assignments in Round Rock ISD and in Katy ISD’s Mayde Creek Elementary, where she was a technology facilitator and principal. Katy ISD’s ninth high school, Jordan High, will open in August with former Mayde Creek High head football coach and athletic coordinator Mike Rabe serving in that capacity. After coaching in Ganado and Waco ISDs, he joined Katy ISD five years ago.
Klein ISD The principal of Klein ISD’s newest elementary school, the yet-unnamed Elementary #33, is Lakita Combs. She has spent her career in the district, beginning as a second grade teacher at Schultz and Metzler elementaries and going on to work as KISD’s math and science program coordinator and assistant principal and principal of Metzler. Elementary #33 is scheduled to open this fall.
La Porte ISD Superintendent Lloyd Graham has announced his upcoming retirement, effective at the end of the 2019-20 school year. He has led the district since 2008.
Lake Travis ISD Former Lake Travis Elementary School principal Angela Frankhouser is now principal of Rough Hollow Elementary. A 25-year educator, she began her career in Austin ISD, joining Lake Travis ISD in 2006 as a teacher and TAKS specialist and going on to serve as an assistant principal before taking her most recent position. She is a graduate of the University of Texas with a master’s degree in educational administration from Concordia University. Superintendent
Brad Lancaster has
announced his plan to retire this summer, bringing to a close a 37-year career in Texas public education, the past eight leading Lake Travis ISD.
> See Who’s News, page 10 Texas School Business MARCH / APRIL 2020
Who’s News > Continued from page 9
Leander ISD Rouse High School assistant principal Josh Haug has been promoted to principal of Leander Middle School. A Leander ISD employee for 13 years, he began his career as a teacher at Vista Ridge High and was an assistant principal at Wiley Middle School. New Naumann Elementary School principal Shanita Kozlowski has joined the district from Round Rock ISD, where she was an assistant principal at Caldwell Heights Elementary. Prior to that, she served in the same position at Round Rock’s Union Hill Elementary and as a teacher in Bastrop ISD’s Red Rock Elementary.
Longview ISD Assistant superintendent of human resources and community relations Jody Clements retired in December, concluding a seven year relationship with the district. He came to Longview in 2012 as assistant superintendent for administrative and pupil services, moving to his most recent position in 2016. He is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Monticello with a master’s degree from Louisiana Tech University and a doctorate in educational leadership from Lamar University. James Hockenberry has
accepted the position of assistant superintendent of human resources and community relations. The former Center ISD superintendent earned his bachelor and master’s degrees and doctorate in education administration from Stephen F. Austin State University.
Mansfield ISD A new superintendent is in place for the district. Kimberly Cantu, an educator for 27 years, most recently was the district’s deputy superintendent. She began her career in Llano ISD, moving to Mansfield ISD a year later.
Mineola ISD A new superintendent has been hired for Medina Valley ISD. Cody Mize, a Mineola High School graduate, most recently led Winona ISD. In addition, he served as a teacher and administrator in Quitman and Alba-Golden ISDs and in Grand Saline ISD, where he was assistant principal of Grand Saline High School.
Needville ISD Ben Pape has accepted the role of Needville
ISD’s assistant superintendent of finance. He comes to his new job from Galena Park ISD, where he was senior director of business services.
New Braunfels ISD The district’s newly created position of director of safety and security has been filled by Jay Huffty. A graduate of the East Texas Police Academy, he served as a police officer for 10 years. He holds a master’s degree in education with a focus in special education.
Northside ISD (San Antonio) The following administrative appointments have been made: • Rene Barajas, deputy superintendent for business and finance; • Claudia Colunga, principal, Myers Elementary School; • Rachel Delgado, principal, Behlau Elementary School; • Lance Enderlin, vice principal, Construction Careers Academy; • Araceli Farias-Vasquez, assistant principal, Clark High School; • Tesilia Garza, director of transportation; • Jaime Heye, academic dean, Hobby Middle School; • David LaBoy, assistant principal, Bernal Middle School; • James Mears, principal, Construction Careers Academy; • Kimberly Ridgely, executive director of social and emotional learning. • Lori Shaw, principal, Wernli Elementary School; • Demetria Simmons, academic dean, Holmes High School; • Sandra Valles, principal, the Holmgreen Center; • Tracy Wernli, executive director of student services.
Texas School Business MARCH / APRIL 2020
Peaster ISD Lance Johnson has been
hired to serve as Peaster ISD superintendent. He comes to his new position from San Antonio’s Randolph Field ISD and is a 22-year educator.
Pflugerville ISD Jeffri Orosco has been approved as the district’s director of finance. She comes to Pflugerville from Hutto ISD, where he held the same position since 2015. In addition, she was Florence ISD’s business manager. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University and her master’s degree in business from Wayland Baptist University.
Round Rock ISD Director of fine arts Lisa Roebuck has been honored with the designation of 2019 Outstanding Music Administrator by the Texas Music Education Association. The award, which recognizes outstanding K-12 music education administrators, was presented during the organization’s February annual convention in Austin.
San Angelo ISD Roxanne Fentress has been promoted to the position of director of career and technical education (CTE), having previously worked as a high school teacher and secondary instructional coach. She came to San Angelo from Copperas Cove ISD, where she was CTE coordinator. She received her bachelor’s degree from Texas State University and her master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Texas.
San Antonio ISD Sam Houston High School’s new head football coach is Quincy Stewart. A coach since 2009, he spent the past two years as linebackers’ coach at Duncanville High School in Duncanville ISD.
Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD (San Antonio) Former College Station ISD superintendent Clark Ealy now leads SchertzCibolo-Universal City ISD. He is a graduate of Texas A&M University, where he also received his doctorate in educational administration, and holds a master’s degree in education from
Texas A&M University at Commerce. He previously worked as a teacher, coach and administrator in districts in the Houston and Dallas areas.
South San Antonio ISD The district’s new chief academic officer, Dolores Sendejo, has worked as a teacher, associate superintendent, vice principal and principal and for ESC Region 20. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of the Incarnate Word and her master’s degree in education from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She is at work on her doctorate at Our Lady of the Lake University.
Sweetwater ISD Jimmy Parker has accepted the role of
interim superintendent. He most recently served in the same capacity in Stamford ISD.
Taft ISD Ricardo Trevino, an educator for 25 years
and an employee of Taft ISD for 22 of those, is now superintendent. A graduate of Taft High School, he holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in educational administration from St. Mary’s University.
Terrell ISD Former Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD associate superintendent of educational services Georgeanne Warnock
now leads Terrell ISD as superintendent. An educator for 21 years, she is a graduate of Trinity University with two master’s degrees, in education administration and secondary administration, from the University of North Texas, where she also received her doctorate in educational leadership.
Texarkana ISD A new principal for Texas High School has been hired. Carla Dupree came to TISD in 2017 as assistant principal of curriculum and instruction at Texas High. Prior to that, she taught for five years and served as an administrator for 18 years with Queen City ISD. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Stephen F. Austin State University and received her master’s degree in education from Texas A&M University at Commerce.
Tomball ISD Grand Oaks Elementary School, the district’s eleventh elementary school, will open in August with Niesa Glenewinkel as principal. She has been with the district since 1992 and will remain as principal at her current campus, Creekview Elementary, until the beginning of the 2020-21 school year. Natalie Priwer has been
promoted from assistant principal of Tomball Memorial High School to dean of innovative programs. She will oversee the new Tomball ISD Academy of Energy and International Business.
Waco ISD The district has hired a new assistant superintendent for human resources. Josie Hernandez-Gutierrez
has been an educator for since 1995, spending more than a decade with Fort Worth ISD. In addition, she was Dallas ISD’s assistant superintendent for school leadership and chief of schools for Spring ISD. Most recently, she was an education consultant and CEO of Proactive Leaders, providing
support to the University of Virginia’s Turnaround Program. She received her bachelor’s degree from Texas Christian University and her master’s and doctoral degrees in education administration from the University of North Texas. Now serving as district athletic director is Ed Love, who returns to Waco ISD after serving as executive director of school leadership at Transformation Waco. He was formerly principal of Waco High School, Carver Middle School and the Wiley Opportunity Center. A graduate of Paul Quinn College, he earned his master’s degree in education from Tarleton State University.
Warren ISD The district’s new superintendent, Tammy Boyette, was most recently Stafford ISD’s chief academic officer.
Waskom ISD Longtime Waskom ISD superintendent Jimmy Cox has announced his upcoming retirement, effective the end of June. This will conclude his 43-year career in education, the past 19 of which were spent leading Waskom. He began his tenure with the district in 1977 as a teacher, going on to serve as principal of Waskom Middle School and then Waskom High before accepting the superintendent position.
White Oak ISD Former Gladewater ISD superintendent Mike Morrison has accepted the position of interim superintendent. Prior to his time in Gladewater, he was Jefferson ISD superintendent for five years.
Ysleta ISD Superintendent
Do you have good news to share about your district? Send news items for Who’s News directly to email@example.com
Xavier De La Torre has been named president of the Texas Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (TALAS). He will initially serve as vice president of the organization for two years, taking the helm as president in 2022. An educator for 32 years, he has led Ysleta ISD since 2014. ◄
Texas School Business MARCH / APRIL 2020
THE LAW DAWG – UNLEASHED
Is it a level playing field? by Jim Walsh
ome charter schools take advantage of lax enforcement and do things that school districts would not do, nor would they be allowed to do. A recent decision from a California administrative law judge (ALJ) provides an example. The Empire Springs Charter School offers an “independent study home-school program.” Parents of students in that program sign a contract that requires the student to participate in the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress, or, at parent request, an alternative grade-level instrument. Only special education students are exempt from this contractual obligation. The student who was the subject of the case was in special education until April 1, 2019, when his mom revoked consent for the provision of special education services. The charter school promptly informed the parent that it would discontinue special education services and that the student would henceforth be treated as a general education student, subject to testing, discipline and graduation requirements that applied to all students. Upon receipt of this letter, mom quickly reversed course, requesting that the student be evaluated and reconsidered for special education. The charter school set up a timeline to get the student tested, but in the meantime, he was still a general education student. Meanwhile, the statewide testing occurred and the student did not participate. The charter school treated this as a breach of contract by the parent and “disenrolled” the student. The parents requested and received an expedited special education hearing. They argued that this “disenrollment” was, in effect, an expulsion. If it’s an “expulsion” and if the student is back in
special ed, there has to be a manifestation determination. However, the ALJ held that the student was not back in special ed just because his mom had requested it. The special ed evaluation was not yet done, the IEP team meeting had not been held, and so he was a general education student. Thus, a manifestation determination was not necessary. That’s interesting, but it’s not the part of this decision that caught my eye. The ALJ also held that this was not an “expulsion.” It was the consequence of a breach of contract. That’s an example of a charter school doing something that a traditional school could not and would never do. There are two legal principles that come into play. First, in traditional schools, the courts have never been OK with a punishment of a student based on the behavior of the parent. You can call it a “disenrollment” if you want, but it sure looks like an expulsion. You have a student who is told he can no longer attend the school he has attended for several years. Why? Because of his parents. If a traditional school pulled that stunt, the outcry would be loud and wide. Secondly, the ALJ treats the parentschool relationship as a contractual one. Thus the school is empowered to impose requirements on the parent that can be enforced by removing the child from the school. That would never fly in a traditional school. A traditional school does not have contracts with parents — it has a constitutional obligation to serve its children.
student in need of special education services that a charter school would have leverage that is not available to a traditional school. We were told that charters would provide competition to traditional schools that would spur innovation and improvement. That sounds good, but we’d like to see the competition on a level playing field. The case is Empire Spring Charter School, decided by an ALJ acting for the California State Educational Agency on July 19, 2019. The Dawg found it at Special Ed Connection, 119 LRP 32343.
The ALJ also held that this was not an “expulsion.” It was the consequence of a breach of contract. That’s an example of a charter school doing something that a traditional school could not and would never do.
It’s understandable that the Empire Springs Charter School wants to have some leverage to make sure that all kids show up for testing day. But it’s not appropriate for a
JIM WALSH is an attorney with Walsh Gallegos Treviño Russo & Kyle PC. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow him on Twitter: @jwalshtxlawdawg.
Texas School Business MARCH / APRIL 2020
What the future holds for our students by Alice Owen
rtificial Intelligence (AI) is impacting our daily lives in many ways. From personal voice assistants to packages delivered by drones to self-driving cars, AI will continue to bring efficiencies and convenience to our world. The use of big data to help machines learn will expand knowledge and impact our economy over time. China and Russia have invested heavily in AI, but the US is behind in this research. The future is here right now, but we need thoughtful consideration of these new technologies as they relate to learning.
AI is currently being used in schools and is growing as a technology support system. It has great potential for individualized learning, but also may have inherent bias. These new systems will only be as good as the data given to them to operate and must be given inputs that cover all possible perspectives. “All students today should be taught basic computer literacy and the fundamentals behind how an AI works, as they will need to be comfortable with learning and incorporating rapidly emerging new technologies into their lives and occupations as they are developed.”
Machine learning is the biggest revolution we have had in a long time. The ability for machines to learn rules from highly repetitive data can actually make machines fundamentally different from the way they are now. They will be able to learn from data as it is generated. The more data you have to train systems, the better the machines will learn and will continually get smarter over time. This new way of using data will improve human progress and help solve big world problems. But there are a lot of risks, so we need to be deliberate as we move forward finding the best way to help machines work alongside humans.
There are real concerns that AI will get so good — better than humans — that job displacement will become an issue. The power of AI is that it is able to handle large volumes of data and frees people from the burden of repetitive work. This will not only expand the capabilities of humans, but also free up our time. As machines will be taking over the repetitive tasks that humans used to do, we will need fewer people to do the jobs of the past. This will spur a great deal of innovation, but routine jobs will become obsolete for humans. What jobs will be created by this innovation? What jobs will be replaced?
With predictions of robots taking over and controlling humans in a dystopian society, the use of big data will generate ethical dilemmas. Will we use facial recognition to profile people in public places? Or will we use the data for medical imaging where machines can recognize cancers more accurately than humans? Will interconnected devices share our personal data across systems to know our needs and wants before we do? Or can we use data across systems to build more reliable information to improve the safety of autonomous vehicles and improve the lives of senior citizens?
How can we prepare our students for their future in this rapidly changing world? We need to rethink the purpose of schools and learning and embrace these new technologies to shape the future of education. In his book “Education to Better Their World,” Marc Prensky says we need to rethink what schooling is all about. He feels that learning is not an end in itself and that our role as educators is to help students accomplish what they are most passionate about — not just learning for learning’s sake but accomplishing big societal problems to better our world. Today’s kids operate faster than any other generation because they
There are real concerns that AI will get so good — better than humans — that job displacement will become an issue.
are highly connected through the internet, mobile devices, social media. We can use AI in more effective ways with students to take in information, extend, combine and analyze data to help them solve problems they are passionate about. We need to provide them and teach them technology tools such as databases that can support the projects they research. If machines take over the repetitive tasks that humans once did, soft skills and empathy now become more important to what it means to be uniquely human. We need to incorporate these skills into schooling and cultivate these qualities in our children: Follow your passion, connect globally, accomplish big goals that solve problems that their generation will face in the future. The Texas K-12 CTO Council is hosting its annual conference this summer to explore these ideas with our theme “Building the Future.” Marc Prensky will be our keynote speaker and will also facilitate a panel of students to hear their voices on what they see as their future. You can find out more about our conference at: https:// www.texask12ctocouncil.org/cpages/ summerclinic Come help us build the future we want to see in our schools!
ALICE OWEN, PH.D., CAE, CETL, is the executive director of the Texas K-12 CTO Council, the state chapter of CoSN. She has served as CoSN board member, developer of national training and chair of the Certification Governance Committee for the CoSN CETL™ certification program. Texas School Business MARCH / APRIL 2020
Let the sun shine in:
Texas schools opt for solar power by Dacia Rivers
▲ The roof of Lady Bird Johnson Middle School in Irving ISD is home to 66,000 square feet of solar panels.
ou’ve been burned by it. You’ve cursed it. People have written songs about it. The Texas sun is not to be ignored. Every major city in Texas gets at least 200 sunny days per year, according to the National Climatic Data Center, and for some of us, that number is a lot higher. But beyond the burning and the cursing, the sweating and the singeing, that lucky old sun has one use that can’t be denied, and that’s the ability to keep the lights on and the air conditioner blowing. And the best part? The sun’s rays are as cheap as they are plentiful. Cost efficiency is just one reason some Texas school districts are implementing solar power at every opportunity. There’s also the whole it’s better for the environment thing. Lots of folks will tell you it’s the way of the future. Clean, efficient and powerful, solar energy has the potential to benefit every school district in Texas, and more than a few have jumped on the bandwagon already.
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An example in efficiency Irving ISD, outside of Dallas, has always strived to be an innovative district, and in 2011, they completed construction on what was at the time the largest net-zero middle school in the country, Lady Bird Johnson Middle School (LBJMS). With a campus of 152,000 square feet, LBJMS is also a LEED Gold certified campus, as rated by the U.S. Green Building Council. Design planning for LBJMS began back in 2008, at the forefront of green building design, and the district went all out. The campus is home to 12 functioning wind turbines, geothermal heating and cooling units, high-efficiency windows, enhanced insulation and daylight harvesting and shading designs. The crowning jewel of the design sits on top of the building: 66,000 square feet of solar panels, which capture the sun’s rays and convert them
into electricity, much more than the superefficient school can even use. Jim Scrivner, executive director of facilities and School support services in Irving ISD, is proud of LBJMS, and delighted to discuss the forethought that went into its planning, which began more than a decade ago. “I always joke that we weren’t leading edge with this building, we were bleeding edge,” Scrivner says. “It just made sense, at the time, when all the technologies were coming together to allow us to finally be able to do a net-zero building of this size. It was the right thing to do.” When thinking about cutting-edge environmentally friendly construction methods, many people might be concerned about potential added costs. But in Irving, the district found that the extra costs were minimal and worth it in the long run.
The original budget for LBJMS construction was about $25,650,000. When the district included the additional design features that would make for a net-zero campus, the cost rose about $3.75 million beyond that number. However, Scrivner says, they anticipated a 12-year payback, which was viewed as a positive, as most of the energyefficient systems have 20-plus-year lifespans.
Cost savings are important for any school district, but in Irving, the net-zero campus has also become a learning library for all students in the district. Experts from the Perot Museum in Dallas helped create four learning nodes on the campus, each focusing on a different sustainable energy source: earth, wind, water and solar.
In the end, Irving was able to get a rebate from Oncor, its electric utility, which reduced that extra cost to less than $3 million. Multiple electricity providers across Texas offer similar rebates, putting the switch to energy-efficient systems within reach for many school districts. Grants are also available for schools that incorporate energy-efficient upgrades, such as solar panels. Bridgeport ISD received a $900,000 grant from the State Energy Conservation Office (SECO), which allowed the district to install several energyefficient features, including solar panels, at Bridgeport High School. Carroll ISD received a $2,000,000 grant from SECO that allowed the district to add solar arrays to a middle and high school in the district, among other improvements. The cost of going solar has reduced significantly since Irving completed construction on LBJMS. When a hailstorm took out some of the solar array on the school’s roof, the district was able to replace the destroyed panels with more efficient panels at a reduced cost. Scrivner says the cost per watt back in 2011 was about $5 for a 600-kilowatt array, whereas nine years later, a good array comes in closer to $2 per watt.
“Our students get to see the effects of solar power, the effects of wind power,” Scrivner says. “We talk about water conservation. It’s truly a living laboratory for our kids.” Every fourth grade student in Irving ISD takes a field trip to LBJMS to learn about conservation, sustainability and renewable energy. Teachers use data from the school’s energy systems and incorporate it into lesson plans in science, math, reading and social studies curricula.
Inspiration Irving ISD is a land-bound district, which means the opportunity for new construction doesn’t come along often. But Scrivner says that if the district decides to tear down old schools and build new ones, he is certain they’ll be following the energyefficient example they created with LBJMS, including the use of solar arrays.
buildings to cut electricity usage and costs, and it’s not alone. In 2014, Presidio ISD installed a 72-kW rooftop array at an elementary school. Pasadena ISD installed solar arrays at two of its high schools, saving the district approximately $15,000 in electricity usage a year, according to GoSolar Texas, a division of the North Central Texas Council of Governments. Visitors from across the globe have traveled to Irving to see LBJMS up close, including a member of the German Parliament and university and energy professionals from as far away as Japan and Singapore. Scrivner says the campus welcomes visitors, and invites anyone interested in learning more to contact the district to set up a tour with a student ambassador. “It’s such good technology and it’s so important to the future of our students and our planet that it’s been extremely popular,” he says. “And people are finding out now, nine, 10 years later, that so much of what we’re doing there isn’t expensive anymore.” For more information on how Texas school districts can incorporate solar power on their campuses, including cost calculators, case studies and available financing and incentives, visit gosolartexas.org. DACIA RIVERS is editorial director of Texas School Business.
Right now, the district is considering installing arrays on some of its existing
LBJMS’ rooftop array doesn’t just power the school beneath it. During the summer, when the days are long and bright and the campus isn’t in much use, the district is able to sell the energy the array collects, serving as a generator for the local community when the need is highest. One additional financial benefit has been the reduction in maintenance costs at LBJMS. The super efficient building was constructed to disallow any unfiltered air to enter, and the energy-efficient window design made the use of blinds unnecessary, meaning there’s less to dust and clean at the end of the day. As a result, the campus has a reduced custodial staff compared to other middle schools in the district.
▲ The design at Lady Bird Johnson Middle School includes four learning nodules, where each focuses on a different sustainable energy source.
Texas School Business MARCH / APRIL 2020
Texas Association of School Boards
Lee Lentz-Edwards takes the helm at TASB by James Golsan
ee Lentz-Edwards, new president of the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB), has spent her life pursuing excellence. A high school graduate at 17 and a college graduate by age 20, this lifelong educator’s career is defined by passion for what she does, diverse experience within the education community, and through it all, a steady record of achievement. Any veteran educator will tell you it takes grit and drive to thrive in the profession, and Lentz-Edwards had to dig deep for plenty of both during her first year as a classroom teacher. Her rookie year as a teacher was spent in Rio Vista, the sort of small community where teachers, even those without classroom experience, often wear many hats. Lentz-Edwards embraced the challenge. “My first year I taught Typing I, Typing II, Bookkeeping, Business Math and Career Education. I was the Rodeo Club sponsor; I was the UIL Business sponsor … it was definitely trial by fire,” Lentz-Edwards says, and while a trial by fire it may have been, it was nowhere near enough to scare her out of the education field. Her next job would be with Kermit ISD, where she worked for 30 years.
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“In those 30 years I had a multitude of jobs, including classroom teacher, coach, student council sponsor, assistant principal at the high school, assistant principal at the junior high, principal at both the junior high and the elementary school, curriculum director, and my last job was special education director. In a small school, you do what they ask you to do!” she says, adding that she always had an eye open for opportunities to advance in her profession. With her eyes always open for new challenges and opportunities, Lentz-Edwards decided she wanted to make a change after her youngest child graduated from high school in 2004. Leaning into the special education experience that bookended her classroom career (she taught special education students during her year at Rio Vista, though she stressed that was before schools were required by law to teach special education), she took a position at the Region 18 ESC, where she has worked for the last 15 years to effect positive change for and assist educators throughout the state, currently through the Legal Framework project, which helps educators and education leaders navigate laws that protect special education students.
It was shortly after she started her job in Region 18 that Lentz-Edwards was inspired by a conversation with a neighbor to pursue a position on the Kermit ISD school board, a path she says at first she was reluctant to embrace. “I told my neighbor I wasn’t sure I was right for it; I didn’t have any kids in school anymore. They told me that’s exactly why they thought I should do it; because they knew I’d have the interest of every kid in the district at heart.” Though it might have been one of the few challenges in her life it took a little prodding to get her to take on, Lentz-Edwards proved she could demonstrate the same brand of excellence that characterized her classroom career with a larger leadership platform. She beat the incumbent she challenged for a board seat (“Twice! He ran against me again two years later,” she says with a laugh), and
has never looked back, serving on the Kermit ISD board for the last 14 years. Lentz-Edwards’ initial involvement with TASB began after her first electoral victory, at the suggestion of the Kermit ISD school board president during her first few terms, who urged her apply for the open Region 18 seat on the TASB board. Born partly of great respect for any guidance her board president would offer and of a strong belief that one should aspire for leadership positions in their field, Lentz-Edwards took his advice and ran for the TASB board post (which, naturally, she won) in 2009. She would seek a leadership role on the board shortly thereafter, and while she didn’t win the presidency on her first try, she chose to view the rejection as a learning experience and now enters the TASB presidency aiming to do her absolute best with the position. When asked about her goals for her time in leadership, Lentz-Ed-
wards stresses that above all else, she wants her members active and engaged in their local education community. “A question I often ask education leaders is, ‘Do you want to be the thermometer or the thermostat?’; ‘Are you just telling me the temperature in the room, or are you the catalyst that’s controlling it?’” For her part, Lentz-Edwards very much aims to be the latter. With her track record of diverse success, there’s no reason to think she won’t be. JAMES GOLSAN is a writer and education professional based in Austin.
Vote on Session Proposals March 15-31, 2020 Visit tasa.tasb.org for details.
Texas School Business MARCH / APRIL 2020
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Thought leaders and innovators in education
Winning every day: Todd Bloomer nurtures a community spirit at San Antonio’s Winston Churchill High by Dacia Rivers
◄ Todd Bloomer and his wife Sharon
odd Bloomer loves sports. A native New Yorker, he graduated from college with a teaching degree in the mid 90s and set out to look for a job. His home state was in a hiring freeze, so he cast his net wider, applying for jobs in any US city that was home to a trifecta of professional sports teams: one NBA, one NFL and one MLB. That’s when Houston came calling — Brookshire, to be exact, located on I-10 between Katy and Sealy. And so, at the age of 22, Bloomer packed up his Geo Prizm with his few belongings and moved to Texas to work as a history teacher at a rural middle school. At first, it was a culture shock. “I was on my own for the first time. In Texas. It’s 106 degrees seven months out of the year, and I’m a fair, red-headed boy,” Boomer says. “My background was in New York, and here I am teaching Texas history in my very first year.”
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For some, it might have been a one and done situation. In fact, Bloomer’s original plan was to head back north as soon as possible. But in Brookshire, he found a group of colleagues, teachers, administrators and coaches, who supported him and mentored him, inspiring him to become the best educator he could be. “They changed my perspective on how I taught. They showed me how you carry yourself, how you arrive early, how you take care of everything you need to take care of,” Bloomer says. “These people, they truly helped me.” In Brookshire, Bloomer also met the woman who would become his wife, and with that, Texas became his permanent home. In 1999, the couple moved to San Antonio, and it was there that he set down roots in North East ISD, at Eisenhower Middle School, followed by Churchill High School, where he currently serves as principal — a position he hopes to hold until his retirement.
Bloomer’s career is a family affair. Both of his parents were educators back in New York, and his brother is an assistant principal in Boerne ISD. Two of the Bloomers’ children have graduated from Churchill High, while three currently attend the school. “When a parent comes in with a concern, I tell them I have the same concerns they do, because I’m a parent, too,” Bloomer says. “At the end of the day, I want safety, I want high rigor, I want academic excellence, athletic excellence, I want clubs. I want everything they do.” Bloomer is enthusiastic about his work, and that enthusiasm is contagious. He’s inspired the staff at Churchill High, creating a supportive and uplifting environment that makes for a school with a true community spirit. Julie Shore, the executive director of fine arts and student activities in North East ISD, is quick to sing his praises. “Mr. Bloomer leads the campus of Churchill High with a true belief in doing what is best for his students and their families,” Shore says. “He takes time out to know the names of his 3,000-plus students; he knows stories about his staff and their families. He leads by example and is truly one of the very best administrators I know and have seen in action.” To inspire this inclusive atmosphere, Bloomer is a hands-on principal. Drawing from the “management by wandering around” method, he isn’t one to sit in his office. Emails wait until after hours. During the school day, Bloomer makes the rounds, greeting
students and talking to them, seeking their input and checking in to get their take on how things are going. His goal in 2020 is to meet one-on-one with a different student each day, just to chat. “I could stay in my office all day long, but I prioritize being with kids and teachers and interacting with them,” he says. “That drives me. It energizes me. And by taking myself out of my office, I get to meet and experience the best and the brightest in San Antonio.” By nurturing this positive campus culture, Bloomer has ensured that parents, students and staff at Churchill trust him. Students feel comfortable coming to his office to talk with him. Parents see him at extracurricular events and are able to chat with him, about issues big and small, in a way that makes them feel heard and appreciated. His work days are long, but the time and effort pay off in big ways. Teachers in San Antonio want to work at Churchill, and he has a virtual waiting list of new employees in the wings to replace those who retire or move away. In what little spare time he has, Bloomer has been writing a book called “The Blueprint,” in which he details his recipe for being a successful principal. He also has a blog, is an active user of social media, and sends out a weekly inspirational email designed to be a conversation starter. Called “What Gets Me Going,” the email has a readership of more than 400, and is something Bloomer puts together on Sunday mornings as a stress reliever and a way to reflect on a week gone by and prepare for a new one.
Bloomer is a member of the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals, and through the organization and his writings, he hopes to create networking opportunities for principals who can reach out to each other when they need support, advice or mentorship. His number one piece of advice for being a successful high school principal: Treat everyone with dignity and respect. “If I treat people like professionals, they are professionals,” he says. “Treat kids like young adults, and they tend to act like young adults. Treat them like little kids and they act like little kids.” Churchill High School is more than a workplace to Bloomer. His house is close enough to campus that his work-issued walkie talkie works in his living room. On off days, he can hear the school bell chime from inside his house. He’s proud of the work he’s done at the school. It’s important to him, as is his hope that he can do his job to the best of his ability and leave his mark on the community that has welcomed him with open arms. “I met with an ex-athlete who wants to do some mentorship in the community, and he said, ‘It feels like Churchill is winning every day,’” Bloomer says. “I love the direction our school is going. I love the energy. It’s a wonderful campus filled with great teachers, amazing kids and supportive parents.” DACIA RIVERS is editorial director of Texas School Business.
Texas School Business MARCH / APRIL 2020
Education service center programs & practices
Implementing blended learning: tips from Temple ISD by Lisa Adams and Christine Parks
▲ Temple ISD hosts a learning series of professional development opportunities for its staff.
lended learning, when it’s implemented well, can be a game-changer for schools and students. In a blended learning model, students learn via traditional face-to-face teaching and learning as well as online curricula and resources. The model can have many benefits, such as improving engagement and allowing students to work at their own pace; moreover, it better aligns with how many generally work and learn today. As with any initiative, however, a blended learning model must be implemented strategically to be effective. And our school district, Temple ISD, is a great example of a district that has done this well.
About Temple ISD Located 30 minutes north of Austin, Temple ISD is comprised of 15 schools serving 8,800 students. More than 70% of our
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students qualify for free or reduced-priced lunch. For the past several years, Temple ISD has been focused on how to best transform and enhance instruction, improve relationships, and help all students take more ownership of their learning. Blended learning is at the forefront of this effort.
A blended learning philosophy Like many districts, we started our journey by adding technology. In 2015, we issued Google Chromebooks on a one-to-one basis at the high school level and a two-to-one basis at the middle and elementary levels. Once the technology was in place, however, district leaders noticed the technology wasn’t being used in a transformative way. Instead of using paper worksheets, students were simply doing the worksheets on their
Chromebooks. The tech was merely acting as a substitute. This insight led to us looking for instructional models that would allow teachers to better leverage the technology in the classroom to improve student success. That’s when we decided blended learning would be a good fit for our community. We agreed that our blended learning initiative couldn’t be all about the technology. Rather, we felt that it must center on creating the right policies and practices to ensure the technology supports instruction and helps students collaborate. This philosophical stand, we believe, has driven the success of this initiative.
The implementation process Successful implementation of a blended learning initiative requires close attention
to the process, including planning, training, rollout and communication. Planning. Temple ISD started with a pilot in 2016 involving 13 high school teachers. The classrooms that were doing blended learning outperformed the other classrooms, and the program received positive feedback from teachers. The following year, the district added additional pilot teachers from select middle schools and elementary schools and continued to see great success in the classrooms. In 2017, the district partnered with education consultants Education Elements, who guided the blended learning design process and helped illustrate what blended learning would look like in action and how to sustain it. Training. To train teachers, the district created a “learning series.” This is a mixture of different professional development methods. We did some on-site professional development where we had educators who excelled in certain practices come in and lead training, or we had them partner with educators who were struggling with that practice. The district also opened up these learning series to central office administrators, principals and assistant principals. We found that when staff members learned together, it helped them all feel that they had a part in supporting our goal. The district also invited staff to do “learning walks,” where they went on site to see the blended learning methods and technology working together. The district also hosted reflection sessions to talk about where the district is in the implementation process, what it’s struggling with, and what are its next steps. This helped everyone look beyond the instructional practice or technology to better understand how they work together to meet our goals. The district also created a facilitator boot camp to build more capacity for our leaders so they are more autonomous. Rollout. Temple ISD rolled out the blended learning initiative in phases. It started with a single grade level at each school, and then six months later we added another grade level. This gradual scaling up was beneficial and helped the district address any issues or problems quickly before expanding to the next grade level. Communication to stakeholders. Part of the implementation plan was to make sure stakeholders understood what the
▲ Educators in Temple ISD participate in a learning series. district was doing — particularly parents. If children are watching videos in class instead of listening to the teacher, or are having a different experience at school than they did before, their parents want to know why. The district needed to help bridge the gap between what parents think education should be and how it’s been changed and adjusted since they themselves were in school. The solution was to be intentional and transparent with parents. We invited them — and the school board — for tours, and it helped. We have since expanded this outreach and communication by sharing our story with other school districts throughout the region. As part of this, we hosted a National Academy for Personalized Learning last year for other schools in Region 12. This was essentially a one-day professional development event focused on best practices for the implementation and sustainability of personalized learning.
Advice for others District leaders learned a lot during our journey toward blended learning. Here are some key takeaways. Seek out partnerships. Look for grant opportunities to support professional development and the acquiring of technology. This can help financially support the project. Outside organizations can also help with implementation and strategy. We partnered with Education Elements for this, and they provided us with invaluable insight and guided us through the process. These partnerships are what helped us succeed. Empower your principals. This is key. Temple ISD found that as it trained teachers, many got hung up on the details and worried about how they would be evaluated.
To address this, the district worked with principals to create a culture of innovation among teachers. Teachers were encouraged and empowered to try new approaches which helped alleviate some of their trepidation and helped with buy-in. Involve the community. Getting buy-in from the community is also important to an initiative’s success. By communicating throughout the process with parents and other stakeholders, we were able to make sure everyone was on board with the initiative. Sharing best practices by hosting the National Academy of Personalized Learning helped us spread the word and created excitement among staff as they showcased their skills and expertise. This careful planning and implementation has led to many successes. We are now in the second year of our district-wide implementation. District leaders have seen an increase in student engagement, and the initiative has reenergized teaching and learning. Survey results revealed that students have more positive interactions and more time with their teachers, and teachers have overwhelmingly said that they would not return to a traditional teaching model. District data indicates that blended learning classrooms outperform their peers, and the district has seen increases in state assessment data due to the focus on student agency and a growth mindset. Temple ISD now has a successful blended learning model that is helping to transform the student experience in our classrooms. LISA ADAMS is the assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction in Temple ISD. CHRISTINE PARKS is chief of communications and community relations in Temple ISD. Texas School Business MARCH / APRIL 2020
Calendar Professional development & events APRI L April 1 TASA Academy for Transformational Leadership, Session 4 of 4 Hammerlun Center, Georgetown For more info, (512) 477-6361 www.tasanet.org TACS Annual East Texas Spring Conference University of Texas, Tyler For more info, (512) 440-8227. www.tacsnet.org TASB Facility Services Training: Best Practices in Hazardous Materials Response and Removal TASB offices, Austin For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. events.tasb.org Cost: Participants from TASB member districts, no charge; all others, $425. TASPA Workshop: Personnel Skills for Supervisors of NonExempt Staff Boerne ISD, Boerne For more info, (512) 494-9353. www.taspa.org Cost: Members, $110; nonmembers, $135. TASSP Regional Meeting, Region 9 ESC Region 9, Wolfforth For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org TASSP Regional Meeting, Region 11 Joe T. Garciaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, Fort Worth For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org April 1-3 CMSi Curriculum Writing Workshop TASA Headquarters, Austin For more info, (512) 477-6361 www.tasanet.org April 2 TASA Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, Dallas Area Cohort (session 5 of 6) Allen High School, Allen For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: $1,000 for all six sessions.
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TASB Facility Services Training: Best Practices in Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities TASB offices, Austin For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. events.tasb.org Cost: Participants from TASB member districts, no charge; all others, $425. TASB Spring Workshop Tarleton State University, Stephenville For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. events.tasb.org April 5-8 THSADA Annual State Conference Convention Center, Waco For more info, (832) 623-7803. www.thsada.com Cost: Pre-registration, $100; onsite registration, $150. April 6-8 TRTA Annual Convention American Bank Center, Corpus Christi For more info, (512) 476-1622 or (800) 880-1650. www.trta.org Cost: $50. April 7 TASA Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, Houston Area Cohort (session 5 of 6) Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, Cypress For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: $1,000 for all six sessions. TASB Facility Services Training: Asbestos Designated Person ESC Region 18, Midland For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. events.tasb.org Cost: Participants from TASB member districts, no charge; all others, $425. TASB Spring Workshop ESC Region 15, San Angelo For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. events.tasb.org TASPA Workshop: Certification Fundamentals ESC Region 9, Wichita Falls
For more info, (512) 494-9353. www.taspa.org Cost: Members, $110; nonmembers, $135. April 8 TASB Facility Training Services: Integrated Pest Management Coordinator ESC Region 18, Midland For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. events.tasb.org Cost: Participants from TASB member districts, no charge; all others, $425. TASSP Regional Meeting, Region 10 Spring Creek Barbecue, Richardson For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org April 9 TASB Facility Services Training: Best Practices in Construction Fundamentals ESC Region 18, Midland For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. events.tasb.org Cost: Participants from TASB member districts, no charge; all others, $425. TASBO Course: Certified School Risk Managers Irving ISD, Irving For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org April 14-15 TASBO Workshop: Bud to Boss Austin ISD, Austin For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org April 15 TASA Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, Austin/San Antonio Cohort (session 5 of 6) Hammerlun Center, Georgetown For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: $1,000 for all six sessions. TASA Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, Lubbock Area Cohort (session 5 of 6) Frenship ISD, Wolfforth For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: $1,000 for all six sessions.
TASSP Regional Meeting, Region 15 Lowake Steak House, Rowena For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tassp.org TASSP Regional Meeting, Region 18 Location TBA, Midland For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tassp.org April 16 TASBO Course: Basic Systems Overview ESC 8, Pittsburg For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: Members, $175; nonmembers, $225. Texas ASCD Curriculum Leadership Academy McKinney ISD, McKinney For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (800) 717-2723. www.txascd.org April 19-21 TASB Risk Management Fund Membersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Conference Hyatt Regency, Austin For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. events.tasb.org Cost: Participants from TASB member districts, no charge; all others, $425. April 20 TASSP Regional Meeting, Region 7 Whitehouse High School, Whitehouse For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org April 21 TASB Facility Services Training: Asbestos Designated Person ESC Region 12, Waco For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. events.tasb.org Cost: Participants from TASB member districts, no charge; all others, $425. TASB Spring Workshop ESC Region 17, Lubbock For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. events.tasb.org
Level 1 CMAT TASA Headquarters, Austin For more info, (512) 477-6361 www.tasanet.org
TASA Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, Corpus Christi/Victoria Cohort (session 5 of 6) Victoria ISD, Victoria For more info, (512) 477-6361. www.tasanet.org Cost: $1,000 for all six sessions. TASB Facility Services Training: Indoor Air Quality Coordinator ESC Region 12, Waco For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. events.tasb.org Cost: Participants from TASB member districts, no charge; all others, $425.
TASBO Workshop: Bud to Boss Allen ISD, Allen For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: Members, $500; nonmembers, $550.
TASB Spring Workshop Texas A&M University, Commerce For more info, (512) 467i-0222 or (800) 580-8272. events.tasb.org
TASBO Course: Navigating TSDS for PEIMS Data Collections San Angelo ISD, San Angelo For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: Members, $175; nonmembers, $225. April 22 ED 311 and TCASE Conference on Special Education Law Convention Center, Irving For more info, (512) 478-2113. email@example.com Cost: $215. TASB Facility Services Training: Integrated Pest Management Coordinator ESC Region 12, Waco For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. events.tasb.org Cost: Participants from TASB member districts, no charge; all others, $425. TASB Spring Workshop ESC Region 4, Houston For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. events.tasb.org TASBO Course: Intro to Purchasing and Supplies ESC 10, Richardson For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: Members, $175; nonmembers, $225. TASPA Workshop: Certification Fundamentals Georgetown ISD, Georgetown For more info, (512) 494-9353. www.taspa.org Cost: Members, $110; nonmembers, $135. TASSP Regional Meeting, Region 2 Cunningham Middle School @ South Park, Corpus Christi For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org TASSP Regional Meeting, Region 3 ESC Region 3, Victoria For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org
April 29 TASBO Workshop: Investment Training ESC 15, San Angelo For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: Members, $215; nonmembers, $265. TASPA Workshop: Personnel Skills for Supervisors of NonExempt Personnel Goose Creek ISD, Baytown For more info, (512) 494-9353. www.taspa.org Cost: Members, $110; nonmembers, $135. TASSP Regional Meeting, Region 14 Abilene Country Club, Abilene For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org April 30-May 1 TASB Special Education Solutions Conference: SHARS 2020 Marriott North, Round Rock For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. events.tasb.org
MAY May 1 ED 311 and TCASE Conference on Special Education Law Embassy Suites, San Marcos For more info, (512) 478-2113. firstname.lastname@example.org Cost: $215. May 4 TASB Spring Workshop Sul Ross State University, Alpine For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. events.tasb.org
May 5 TASB Spring Workshop Iraan-Sheffield ISD, Iraan For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. events.tasb.org May 6 TASBO Workshop: Orange Frog: The Happiness Advantage ESC 1, Edinburg For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: Members, $335; nonmembers, $385. May 7 TASB Spring Workshop ESC Region 19, El Paso For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. events.tasb.org TASBO Course: PEIMS: Focus on Finance ESC 10, Richardson For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: Members, $175; nonmembers, $225. TASPA Workshop: Certification Fundamentals San Elizario ISD, San Elizario For more info, (512) 494-9353. www.taspa.org Cost: Members, $110; nonmembers, $135. May 7-8 TASBO Workshop: Bud to Boss ESC 8, Pittsburg For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: Members, $500; nonmembers, $550. May 8 TASBO Course: Advanced Spreadsheets ESC 1, Edinburg For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: Members, $175; nonmembers, $225.
May 12 TASB Spring Workshop Texas A&M University, Commerce For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. events.tasb.org TASB Spring Workshop Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. events.tasb.org May 13 TASB Spring Workshop West Texas A&M University, Canyon For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. events.tasb.org May 14 TASB Spring Workshop ESC Region 6, Huntsville For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. events.tasb.org TASBO Course: CSRM: Emerging Risks and Trends in Schools TASBO offices, Austin For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org May 15-16 TASB Spring Workshop South Padre Island Convention Center, South Padre Island For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. events.tasb.org May 18 TASB Spring Workshop ESC Region 14, Abilene For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. events.tasb.org May 19 TASB Spring Workshop ESC Region 12, Waco For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. events.tasb.org
> See Calendar, page 24 Texas School Business MARCH / APRIL 2020
> Continued from page 23 May 20-22 Learning Forward Texas Workshop: Tips, Tools and Techniques, Part 1 Comal ISD, New Braunfels For more info, (512) 266-3086. www.learningforwardtexas.org
TASB Spring Workshop Victoria College, Victoria For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. events.tasb.org May 27 TASB Spring Conference Uvalde CISD, Uvalde For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. events.tasb.org
JUNE June 2 TASA Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, Austin/ San Antonio Area Cohort (session 6 of 6) Hammerlun Center, Georgetown For more info, (512) 477-6361 www.tasanet.org TASA Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, Dallas Area Cohort (session 6 of 6) Allen High School, Allen For more info, (512) 477-6361 www.tasanet.org June 3-4 TASBO Workshop: Bud to Boss ESC 2, Corpus Christi For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org Cost: Members, $500; nonmembers, $550.
ED 311 and TASSP Conference on Education Law for Principals Hotel Anatole, Dallas For more info, (512) 478-2113. email@example.com Cost: $230.
TASBO Course: Certified School Risk Managers: Handling School Risks Moody Gardens Hotel, Galveston For more info, (512) 462-1711. www.tasbo.org
TASA Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, Houston Area Cohort (session 6 of 6) Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, Cypress For more info, (512) 477-6361 www.tasanet.org TASB Training: Managing State and Federal Leave TASB offices, Austin For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. events.tasb.org Cost: Participants from TASB member districts, no charge; all others, $425. June 10 TASA Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, Corpus Christi/Victoria Area Cohort (session 6 of 6) Victoria ISD, Victoria For more info, (512) 477-6361 www.tasanet.org TASB Training: Get a Grip on the Family and Medical Leave Act TASB offices, Austin For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. events.tasb.org Cost: Participants from TASB member districts, no charge; all others, $425. June 10-11 Texas ASCD Academy Jumpstart HEB ISD, Bedford For more info, (512) 477-8200 or (800) 717-2723. www.txascd.org
TASA Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, Lubbock Area Cohort (session 6 of 6) Frenship ISD, Wolfforth For more info, (512) 477-6361 www.tasanet.org
TASSP Summer Workshop Hilton Anatole, Dallas For more info, (512) 443-2100. www.tassp.org
June 8-10 TAGT Gifted + Equity Conference Embassy Suites, Denton For more info, (512) 499-8248. www.txgifted.org
Texas School Business MARCH / APRIL 2020
June 15-16 TASBO Summer Solutions Conference Moody Gardens Hotel, Galveston For more info, (5120 462-1711. www.tasbo.org
June 17 TASA/TASB/TASBO Budget Cohort for District Leaders (session 4 of 4) Moody Gardens Hotel, Galveston For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. events.tasb.org Cost: Up to three participants, $3,000 each for all four sessions; each additional participant (up to 2), $750. June 17-19 TEPSA Summer Conference Renaissance Hotel, Austin For more info, (512) 478-5268 or (800) 252-3621. www.tepsa.org Cost: Conference only by May 15: Members, $379; nonmembers, $618. Conference only after May 15: Members, $429; nonmembers, $668. Conference and master class by May 15: Members, $528; nonmembers, $827. Conference and master class after May 15: Members, $628; nonmembers, $927. June 17-20 TASB Summer Leadership Institute Marriott Rivercenter, San Antonio For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. events.tasb.org June 18-20 TETA SummerFest Location and city TBA No phone number provided www.tetatx.com June 24-27 TASB Summer Leadership Institute Omni Hotel, Fort Worth For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. events.tasb.org June 28-30 TASA Summer Conference Hyatt Regency, Austin June 9 Information coming this spring!
JULY July 12-14 TAHPERD Summer Conference Embassy Suites, Austin For more info, (512) 459-1299. www.tahperd.org July 13-15 TCASE Interactive Convention JW Marriott, Austin For more info, (512) 474-4492 or (888) 433-4492. www.tcase.org July 14 TASB Training: Asbestos Designated Person TASB offices, Austin For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. events.tasb.org Cost: Participants from TASB member districts, no charge; all others, $425. July 15 TASB Training: Integrated Pest Management Coordinator TASB offices, Austin For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. events.tasb.org Cost: Participants from TASB member districts, no charge; all others, $425. July 16 TASB Training: Environmental/ Facilities Regulatory Compliance TASB offices, Austin For more info, (512) 467-0222 or (800) 580-8272. events.tasb.org Cost: Participants from TASB member districts, no charge; all others, $425. July 19-21 THSCA Convention and Coaching School Gonzalez Convention Center, San Antonio For more info, (512) 392-3741. www.thsca.com â&#x2014;&#x201E;
Little Elm ISD graduates aim high In this issue, we have two student voices — both from graduates of Little Elm ISD who wanted to share their appreciation for the education they received in the district.
Giving back after graduation by Marcus Gonzalez
y name is Marcus Gonzalez, and I am a 2015 graduate of Little Elm High School. Life has been pretty busy since graduating. When I was in the health science program at LEHS, I knew I wanted to be involved in healthcare, but I was unsure of where I would fit best. Thanks to the encouragement of my teachers at the time, I decided to dive into the pre-med life and face the rigorous learning ahead of me. After graduation, I traded in my navy and gold for scarlet and black and attended Texas Tech University on a full scholarship through the Terry Foundation. This allowed me to obtain a college education at a world-class university without having to worry about tuition. They even sent me to study abroad in Europe. I was also granted early admission into the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center School of Medicine through UMSI, the undergraduate to medical school initiative program for high school seniors.
As a TTU student, I became heavily involved on campus where I served as a past president and current advisor of the Texas Tech Terry Scholars, an undergraduate teaching assistance program for the TTU Department of Biological Sciences, and a chancellor’s ambassador for the TTU System. I also used my free time to organize several service projects that benefited the Texas Tech and Lubbock communities. As a Tech Terry Scholar, I played a role in a Terry State Service Project that helped rebuild and prepare a YMCA summer camp after Hurricane Harvey. I not only gained leadership experience, but I found lasting friendships along the way. Even though I attended a college more than five hours away from Little Elm, I tried my best to give back to the school. During my winter breaks, I dedicated more than 300 hours to LEHS by serving as a volunteer teaching assistant for the anatomy and physiology course.
May 2019 with my bachelor’s of science in community, family and addiction sciences. In June, I began a joint program to work toward a master’s of business administration with a concentration in health organization management from the Texas Tech University Rawls College of Business and a doctorate of medicine from the TTUHSC School of Medicine. My hope is to practice as an emergency medicine physician and eventually become a hospital system administrator. I want to be in the best position where I can improve patient care and outcomes. I am grateful to LEISD for the knowledge and opportunities they provided me as a student. I feel like I am always welcomed home and know being a Lobo didn’t stop for me once I got my diploma. MARCUS GONZALEZ is a graduate student at Texas Tech University’s Rawls College of Business.
After four fleeting years, I graduated in
Texas School Business MARCH / APRIL 2020
How Little Elm ISD helped me find my voice by Tatum Mowery
fter moving from Ohio to Texas in the middle of the fifth grade, I was scared, yet excited about the possibilities ahead of me. Thoughts of wonderment and feelings of uncertainty swirled around in my head until I eventually ended up at Hackberry Elementary. Life was slow for me at first, and it didn’t exactly live up to my glamorous Texan depiction, but I mastered the important life skill of learning how to be uncomfortable. This skill is something that the teachers and staff around me at Little Elm ISD, along with my parents, pushed me to obtain. I wouldn’t have described myself as shy, but I definitely wouldn’t have said I was outgoing either. I was a rule follower and people pleaser to the max, and I tried to not assert myself in certain situations. However, my teachers began getting to know me more as a person and encouraged me to step outside of my comfort zone. I realized this was great
for my growth, and I began accomplishing things that I would have never imagined for myself. Now, one of my greatest passions is public speaking, and I credit so much of my development within that field to my time in Little Elm ISD. One of the earliest events I remember was leading the National Junior Honor Society induction ceremony at Prestwick STEM Academy as the president of the organization and speaking in front of a slew of parents and my peers. After my involvement in organizations such as student council, National Honor Society and DECA, my communication skills have blossomed into one of my best attributes. Little Elm ISD helped me find my voice. I am no longer nervous speaking in front of a crowd, no matter how large. I emceed the pep rallies during my senior year and had a blast doing so. I met the curator for the
TedX Plano event and discussed one day sharing my big ideas on her stage. I excel at my job and ace every interview I take on because now speaking is just second nature. I was given so many opportunities to hone my craft within Little Elm ISD, and I fully believe I was prepared for life after high school by my time in the district. Little Elm is special because the focus of teachers and administrators is not solely on stats, grades and the like. Instead, the focus lies on students as individuals and providing them with the soft skills and 21st century abilities they need to succeed in the adult world. I often have people ask me about my time in Little Elm ISD, and I have nothing but positivity to share. So, thank you to anyone who has helped me find my voice along the way. I am eternally grateful. TATUM MOWERY, a 2019 graduate of Little Elm High School, studies neuroscience at the University of Kentucky.
“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 Dacia Rivers at firstname.lastname@example.org for publishing guidelines.
Texas School Business MARCH / APRIL 2020
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Texas School Business Advertiser Index
A few reasons to be happy by Riney Jordan
here are so many reasons, practically limitless, of why working with kids is perhaps the most important profession in the world.
started spraying room deodorizer as I raced up and down each aisle.
Of all the reasons, I think it is the happiness and joy that it brings to each of us who have chosen this path.
“Where’s Happy?” they immediately began asking.
Oh, it may not be as financially rewarding as it ought to be, but the other aspects of the profession more than make up for that. How can anyone who has been gifted with the job of educating young people ever become bored with it? I simply cannot imagine it! Every day is a new challenge. Every day brings unexpected joy. Every new day is unlike any other day you will have as an educator.
As the kids began to arrive, I met each one out in the hallway and greeted them.
“We’ll talk about it once everyone gets here,” I answered. When I saw Sherry walking toward the classroom door, I pulled her aside, and as comforting as possible, I told her of the sad news. I expected a torrent of tears, and I was prepared with tissues and a shoulder to cry on.
And, I believe, it keeps you young.
Instead of tears, she shrugged her shoulders, rolled her eyes a bit, and said, “Oh, don’t be sad, Mr. Jordan. I never really cared for him that much.”
On newscasts, we frequently read of teachers, coaches, administrators and other school employees working until they reach the age of 80, and in some cases, into their 90s.
Years later, she would tell me how much she appreciated my effort at comforting her. “It was obvious,” she said, “that you loved him a whole lot more than I did.”
Historically, their reasons for working so many years is essentially the same each time: “I just loved it so much and hated to give it up.”
Oh, those moments are priceless.
How many career professions can make that kind of statement? Few, if any. I recall years ago having a young girl in my fifth grade class named Sherry. She had donated her hamster to the classroom, and all the students loved having their turn at feeding or cleaning the cage. We named him “Happy,” because he seemed to love the attention he received from all the students. One Monday morning, as I opened the door and walked into the classroom, the undeniable smell of something deceased hit me like a bolt of lightning. I knew immediately that it was most likely our beloved Happy and, yes, it was rather obvious that Happy would be happy no more in our classroom. I quickly removed him from the cage, disposed of him, stuffed the cage in a closet, and
And, add energizing to the education equation, along with job opportunities around the world, and more often than not, a great work schedule, job security, and, of course, humor. One year, the kindergarten teacher came to the office, laughing and shaking her head from side to side. “Oh, I love this business,” she muttered. “One of my parents just came in to tell me that her little boy proudly announced to her on the way to school that he had learned the ‘F’ word in my class the day before. The mother could barely catch her breath enough to ask, ‘Oh, really, what is that? ‘Phonics,’ her little boy answered.”
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Yep. You don’t get this kind of joy working in a cubicle. Today, be thankful that God has given you the love of teaching. And be happy.
RINEY JORDAN is the author of two books and a frequent public speaker. To invite him to speak at your convocation, graduation or awards banquet, visit www.rineyjordan.com.
Texas School Business MARCH / APRIL 2020
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