Communications Department
14705 Woodforest Blvd., Houston, TX 77015

March 2, 2012
CONTACT: Jonathan Frey
(832) 386-1231

Local Trustee Attends Program on Advocacy

        (Austin) – Joe Stephens of Galena Park ISD was among a group of school board members gathering inCorpus Christi February 16-18 to learn the latest on 21st century challenges to leadership and the implications ofthose trends for educators. Session theme for this, the third of five training sessions of Leadership TASB(LTASB), was “Where Leadership Happens through Becoming an Advocate for All.”

        Trustees began activities Thursday with tours of Driscoll ISD, London ISD, and the Early Scholar’sAcademy, an early childhood education facility of the Region 2 Education Service Center. Both school districtsare small, rural, and highly rated by the Texas public school accountability system. However, the similaritiesstop there. Differences in student demographics, levels of parental involvement, taxable property wealth, andother factors that impact education offered these school board members a stark comparison of the reality of howdifferent the “public” is in public education. The LTASB participants also continued their study of Why School:Reclaiming Education for All of Us by Mike Rose. Professor Rose later joined the group by Skype for aninteractive question-and-answer discussion session.

        Friday’s LTASB session began with a tour of Flour Bluff ISD, a more urban school district in CorpusChristi. Highlighted during the tour were the district’s early college program, the marine biology classes, and thedistrict’s award winning JROTC teams.

        Activities ended Saturday with a presentation by Jamie Vollmer, president of Vollmer, Inc., a publiceducation advocacy firm working to increase student success by raising public support for America’s schools.

        Selected by the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB), the group of 33 trustees is participating ina yearlong education leadership study program. The LTASB class of 2012 represents Texas school districts of allsizes, with student populations of 275 to 106,000 and a wide range of property wealth. Participants whocomplete all required elements of the study will graduate in June with a unique designation recognized byTASB. LTASB is sponsored in part by HEB and Estrada  Hinojosa Investment Bankers.

        Each session has a specific theme that builds on the previous session and features state and nationallyrecognized experts in the fields of leadership development and education. Teams also work on extended learningassignments between meetings throughout the year. Created in 1993, Leadership TASB has almost 700graduates to date.

        TASB is a voluntary, nonprofit association established in 1949 to serve local Texas school districts.School board members are the largest group of publicly elected officials in the state. The districts they representserve more than 4.9 million public school students.

Joe Stephens

Galena Park ISD Board of Trustees Vice President Joe Stephens attends a training session focusing on leadership and advocacy for all.