Across Texas, school trustees provide education oversight and citizen governance to ensure our public schools meet the expectations of our local communities. The community perspective these leaders — and their constituencies — bring is critically important to state policymakers.

Raise Your Hand Texas’ Trustee Advocates Program gives Texas school boards and their superintendents the tools they need to find, use, and amplify their voices and the voices of communities to influence state education policy.

Over the course of an 18-month fellowship, Trustee Advocates learn to build a local public education advocacy network that encourages community connectedness and influences state legislative outcomes.

Program Details

In January 2022, Raise Your Hand Texas welcomed nine school districts to the inaugural Trustee Advocates Program fellowship cohort. In June 2023, eight districts graduated from the program. The six-session program included an initial onsite training session for each participating full school board and superintendent. Subsequent two-day sessions for the superintendent and up to three (3) school board members were held in Austin. All of the work that is part of the Trustee Advocates Program is issue-based, non-partisan, and held in accordance with the Open Meetings Act. As a Texas Education Agency-registered provider of continuing education, Raise Your Hand awards continuing education credits to participants for the hours spent in training.

The inaugural fellowship cohort included these school districts:

Representing Major Urban or Major Suburban Districts

Representing Other Central City or Other Central City Suburban Cities and Towns

Non-Metropolitan or Rural Districts

Those who complete the course earn the designation of Master Advocate. 

Please direct any questions about this program to Missy Bender, Trustee in Residence.

Program Schedule

Session 1March, April 2022 (exact dates TBD)Various (within each school district)
Session 2April 21-22, 2022Austin
Session 3September 15-16, 2022Austin
Session 4January 11-13, 2023Austin
Session 5April 20-21, 2023 *Austin
Session 6June 15-16, 2023Austin


Please direct any questions about this program to Missy Bender, Trustee in Residence at [email protected].

“We aim to impact education policy by developing effective individual advocacy, effective team advocacy within a school board, and ultimately activating entire communities.”

– Missy Bender, Raise Your Hand Texas Trustee-In-Residence Missy Bender (Program Facilitator)

Missy Bender is a Raise Your Hand Texas Regional Advocacy Director and experienced superintendent and trustee thought partner.


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