Blueprint for Public Education Success Focus of 8th Annual Leadership Symposium

March 10, 2016 |

Another successful Raise Your Hand Texas® Leadership Symposium is logged in the record books!

“Juvenil Los Charros,” Wood Middle School, North East ISD

Last week, hundreds of our alums made their way to the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa for the 8th annual symposium with networking, plenary sessions, delicious dining, and great entertainment (the spirited mariachi band “Juvenil Los Charros” from North East ISD’s Wood Middle School helped us kick off the event in appropriate style). On the first morning of the symposium, fifteen excited students in traditional mariachi garb filed into the dining hall during lunch and treated the audience to a powerful performance.

Unquestionably, one of the highlights of the symposium was the keynote dinner. Texas Education Association Commissioner Mike Morath led a compelling conversation about his plan for strengthening Texas public schools, including a shift in the role of the agency from one of compliance to one of supporting schools to improve educational opportunities for all students.

Morath emphasized the need for well-trained and effective teachers, an improved governance structure, and the ability to scale effective practices statewide. Attendees got the chance to ask candid questions about the future of curriculum standards, TEA support for districts, and more. The commissioner was forthright and approachable, and even hung around after his speech to answer questions and take photos with a long line of school leaders. Speakers new to the annual symposium included Raise Your Hand’s Director of Blended Learning Cat Alexander and Harvard Graduate School of Education’s (HGSE) Senior Lecturer on Education Dr. Karen Mapp, who focused on family engagement in public schools. The always-anticipated Dr. Katherine Merseth, also a HGSE senior lecturer, returned with another jovial deconstruction of a situational, classroom-based case study.

Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath delivers keynote address.

Dr. Katherine Merseth returns with a new classroom case study.

Another highlight was the inaugural “Pinning of the Principals.” Each alumni received a Raise Your Hand lapel pin exclusively for school leaders who have graduated from one of our leadership programs.

We’ve already begun planning for next year’s 9th Annual “Campus to Capitol” Leadership Symposium which will take place in Austin in early spring of 2017, and will include a visit to the Capitol so school leaders may meet with their elected officials.

If you attended this year’s symposium, please take a moment to fill out our survey and offer feedback on what we did right and how we can improve your experience.

We hope to see all of you at next year’s symposium!

Visit soon for downloadable Powerpoint presentations, videos, and handouts from the symposium sessions.

Experience Raise Your Hand’s inspiring symposium blueprint for helping our alums reinvent public education in Texas.


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