Frisco ISD School Board Trustee Debbie Gillespie was among a group of school board members gathering in El Paso April 10-12 to continue learning the latest on 21st century challenges to leadership and the implications of those trends for educators. Session theme for this, the fourth of five training sessions of Leadership Texas Association of School Boards (LTASB), was “Where Leadership Happens through Embracing the Differences.”
Trustees began activities Thursday with keynote speaker Kelly McDonald, CEO of McDonald Marketing, Dallas. McDonald’s remarks, “Changing Demographics Changing Texas,” challenged the trustees with making sense with the 2010 federal census and seeing the demographic numbers as indications of a shift in what traditionally has been seen as the all-American family. The class ended the first day of the session with a tour of Canutillo ISD and dinner provided by students of that district.
Friday’s session began with presentations of group research projects followed by a discussion on board governance at El Paso ISD. Leading the discussion was Donald R. “Dee” Margo, president of the EPISD appointed board of managers. In his remarks, Margo addressed the current situation of board governance in El Paso and directed the class members to recognize signs when the traditional pattern of elected board governance appears to be off track.
Activities ended Saturday with a presentation by Derek Greenfield, director of Educational Equity and Inclusion/Title IX coordinator and assistant professor of sociology at Alcorn State University. Greenfield’s remarks, “From Diversity to Inclusion,” highlighted techniques and strategies public schools can employ to better include all children and all families in the educational enterprise.
Selected by TASB, the group of 31 trustees is participating in a yearlong education leadership study program. The LTASB class of 2014 represents Texas school districts of all sizes, with student populations of 240 to more than 201,000, and reflects the range of property wealth. Participants who complete all required elements of the study will graduate in June with a unique designation recognized by TASB. LTASB is sponsored in part by H-E-B.
Each session has a specific theme that builds on the previous session and features state and nationally recognized experts in the fields of leadership development and education. Teams also work on extended learning assignments between meetings throughout the year. Created in 1993, Leadership TASB has almost 700 graduates to date.
TASB is a nonprofit association established in 1949 to serve local school districts. School board members are the largest group of publicly elected officials in the state. The districts they represent serve more than five million students.