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Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume III, Issue 1 2014 “I remember applying for a superintendent’s position, when the board president called me. ‘You are the best qualified applicant, but you don’t want this job!’ I later learned his high school principal expressed an interest: in the position and the job went to him!” “Even though I was a district administrator, when the superintendent’s position came open, the men on staff were encouraged to apply. But not me!” “We saw so many qualified women, just flat overlooked!” The Women’s Caucus of American Association of School Administrators. A brochure and an invitation to attend the Women’s Caucus of AASA found its way to Margret Montgomery’s desk in 1982. She received permission from her superintendent, Dr. Jack Davidson, who commented, “This is a need that is long overdue.” Margret went off to the conference in Chicago looking for a model she could bring back to Texas. To her surprise, the first women she met were from Texas! In fact, the President of the Women’s Caucus was Dr. Edna McDuffie Manning, Superintendent of Tuloso-Midway ISD! Dr. Manning along with Joan Curcio and Dr. Louise Littleton, all from Tuloso-Midway, were executive officers in the national organization. Margret immediately had her support base and leadership seed for change in Texas! Texas Response. The first call Margret made when she returned to Texas was to Dr. Charles Matthews, Executive Director of the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA). She was eager for that organization to know what she was doing. The women’s initiative advocated for both qualified men and women and campaigned for men for advancement and expected male administrators in TASA to respond in kind. Fortunately, Dr. Matthews was a strong supporter for the advancement of women into administration, even though he had been frustrated with his efforts to bring women into TASA. Consequently, he encouraged Margret to go forward with her plans to help women advance to leadership positions. Their philosophical agreement foreshadowed the close relationship that exists today between TCWSE and TASA, now led by our friend Dr. Johnny Veselka. . Another one of the first calls was to Dr. Nolan Estes. “Nolan was so excited when I called, he talked nonstop without a period or pause about what we could do! Dr. Estes had often lamented the fact that he had such a difficult time locating women qualified for advancement. We became an important resource for search committees wanting to place women in administrative positions” Change was in the air! It was led in large part by Pat Shell. In 1984, Pat Shell was both Deputy General Superintendent of Houston ISD and Superintendent of the Year for Texas Association of School Administrators. These two significant accomplishments served as inspiration and hope for women. Pat was the second call Margret made!! Pat Shell’s influence and strong network connections paved the communication highways. Almost 100 women across the state responded to the invitation to attend the first conference. “The first woman to call about the conference was 3

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JTWSE—Volume 3  

JTWSE—Volume 3  

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