2018 Raise Your Hand Texas Leadership Symposium

February 21 – 23, 2018
JW Marriott Galleria - 5150 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77056

Program Overview

The 10th annual symposium is about honoring the more than 1,100 leaders Raise Your Hand Texas has invested in, and the different leadership characteristics, skills, and strategies that make us, as individuals and as a network, unstoppable in fulfilling our singular purpose to strengthen public education for all Texas students.

Arrival Day and Welcome Events

Participants are encouraged to join us at the JW Marriott Galleria on February 21, 2018 for several events:

  • Workshop: Teacher Development and Retention for Student Success
  • Alumni Reunion Reception
  • Welcome Dinner (included with event registration)

Symposium Agenda Overview

The 2018 Leadership Symposium officially begins the morning of February 22 with a keynote address from Dr. Pedro Noguera, Distinguished Professor of Education at UCLA. The remainder of the day will feature sessions led by faculty from Harvard University.

February 23 will include breakout sessions, site visits to Raising Blended Learners campuses, and a closing keynote by Dr. Ruth Simmons, the first African-American President of an Ivy League university and the current President of Prairie View A&M.

Hotel Accommodations


This is a preliminary agenda. Session information and times are subject to change.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Pre-conference Registration
12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Teacher Development and Retention for Student Success
Diana Richie – New Teacher Center
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Raising Family Partnerships Session
1:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

2017 Cohort Convening
4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Alumni Reunion Reception
5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

6:30 p.m.

Legislative Update
6:45 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Opening Keynote: Katherine Merseth, Ed.D.
7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Conference Registration
7:00 a.m. – 8:15 a.m.

7:00 a.m. – 8:15 a.m.

Symposium Overview
8:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.

Keynote Address
Dr. Pedro Noguera – Distinguished Professor of Education at UCLA
9:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

11:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

General Session: Adaptive Leadership
11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.

General Session: Adaptive Leadership
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

General Session: Shaping School Culture
2:40 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.

Raising Blended Learners Session with FSG
(Invite Only)

3 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

5:15 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Sustaining Family Engagement at Scale Planning – MOY Reflections
(Raising Family Partnerships fellows only)

5:30 p.m. – 6:45 p.m.

Networking Activity by Region
5:30 p.m. – 6:45 p.m.

6:45 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Friday, February 23, 2018

6:45 a.m. – 8:15 a.m.

RBL Site Visits Shuttle Departure
7:30 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.

Hotel Room Check-out
8:15 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

 Site Visits at Blended Learning Campuses
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Breakout Sessions
9:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

10:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

Breakout Sessions
10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Working Lunch
12:00 p.m. – 1:20 p.m.

Closing Keynote Address
Dr. Ruth Simmons –President of Prairie View A&M
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Closing Remarks
2:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Our conference theme was “Go Beyond,” a call to each of you to assess the great work you’re doing now while committing yourselves to pushing beyond those barriers that can impede the work of educating 21st century students.

The emphasis for this symposium was on campus-to-community partnerships. Conference sessions covering leadership development, family engagement and campus branding prepared school leaders to develop impactful campus community relations.

Participants made the trip from their public school campuses to the Texas State Capitol where they met face-to-face with their legislators. The remainder of the 3-day symposium was chock-full of sessions featuring some of the most renowned leaders in the world of public education today.

Meet Our Regional Directors

Have you met your regional director? These men and women help us maintain connections with our alums in every Texas region and serve as facilitators during the Leadership Symposium.