Where does the road to expanded leadership begin? For Texas school board members, the journey often begins with the Leadership TASB (LTASB) Program, which accepts applications from May 1 through July 1.
Since 1993, LTASB has offered school administrators the opportunity to be part of a network of school board leaders who learn and work together to improve school governance in Texas.
For alumni like Audrey Young, a senior administrator who sits on the board of the LTASB Alumni Association, the LTASB has served as the foundation for a long career involving leadership roles. Young is currently a member of the State Board of Education, representing District 8.
“In my experience, the collective insights gained and the relationships established have been thriving, informative and self-sustaining,” she said of LTASB. “I have been fortunate to use my leadership training at the local and state level, and the benefits of the LTASB continue with me through every endeavor.”
Young believes the program is challenging and encourages directors to reach their potential.
“LTASB provides a means for administrators to intimately define aspects of their legitimate duty, realize their position within the team, hone important skills, deeply understand community values, and learn the need for shared decision-making,” she said. “This is a great opportunity to share, among participating districts, the crucial role administrators play in fostering conditions that facilitate successful student growth and a safe, collaborative environment.”
Kay Douglas agrees. Douglas, principal consultant for TASB Board Development Services, is the program manager for LTASB. A former school counselor, she was part of the LTASB class of 1998.
“What it’s done for me is broaden my understanding of child-rearing across the state, the programs school districts offer, and the issues they face,” she said. declared.
After completing the program, Douglas was asked to serve on the Board of the TASB Risk Management Fund and was elected by other board members to serve on the Legislative Advisory Council and the Legislative Committee. His 18-year career at TASB focused on training school board members to become more effective leaders.
Learn with extended benefits
The one-year program typically consists of five weekend sessions lasting two to three days each. Nationally recognized speakers and experts in education and business address topics such as teamwork, equity, diversity and visionary leadership. Sessions rotate between different cities in Texas and include visits to high-performing schools and innovative programs.
What exactly do participants learn? The list is long. LTASB graduates gain skills that help them perform activities such as:
- Serve as mentors for new directors and facilitate education sessions for board candidates and directors.
- Build community coalitions with citizens, community groups and local businesses to support public education.
- Talk to citizens and community groups about education issues.
- Share knowledge of innovative programs around the state with educators.
- Write editorials on education.
- Testify before the legislature and the State Board of Education.
- Take on leadership roles in area school board associations or with the TASB.
- Serve as advisors for statewide education initiatives.
The rewards are not just for the individual, but for the entire education system.
“Public school systems make a wise investment when they cultivate administrators who will influence measurable change within complex systems,” Young said. “There are a number of interconnected factors that argue for the need for directors who understand data analysis, budget, long-term plans, and who will listen actively, facilitate meetings properly, maintain a discussion on track, decide on an action plan, and monitor progress.
A new class is starting soon
Interested in starting the journey? Douglas says any administrator would benefit from participating in the LTASB, but those who benefit the most are those who have accumulated enough training and experience as administrators to be able to use what they learn and use it to improve. their district.
Applications for the upcoming year’s class will be available May 1 and must be returned to TASB by July 1. The first session takes place in September, during the TASA | TASB agreement. Enrollment is limited and applicants must meet certain continuing education qualifications.
This article was originally published in the May 2022 issue of The Lone Star of Texas magazine.