Communications Department
14705 Woodforest Blvd., Houston, TX 77015

November 30, 2011
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 inDallas November 11-12 to focus on their roles as advocates for public schools with state and nationalpolicymakers. Trustees, who met for the second of five training sessions of Leadership TASB, began theiractivities by hearing Kevin Tutt, president of Creative Solutions Improvement, speak on engagement and therole board members play in establishing community support and involvement.

        On Friday the group toured two school campuses in Cedar Hill ISD. The first was the district’s duallanguage elementary campus followed by a visit to Collegiate High School. Both schools offer uniqueeducational opportunities to Cedar Hill students. District visits ended with a stop at the Cedar Hill GovernmentCenter, the shared administration building for the school district and city government.

        Saturday speakers included Arch Lustberg, Emily Babb, and Patricia Ellis. Lustberg, a nationallyrecognized trainer in effective communication, provided the group with tips on effective strategies for contactswith policymakers. His client list includes numerous political candidates, corporate executives, and universityclasses. Babb and Ellis, lead investigators for the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, spokeabout the role of the federal government in the area of civil rights offenses in education. Included was adiscussion of what school board members should know if the Office for Civil Rights responds to a challenge intheir school district.

        Selected by the Texas Association of School Boards, the group of 36 trustees is participating in a year-long education leadership study program. The Leadership TASB class of 2012 represents Texas school districtsof all sizes, with student populations of 275 to 106,000, and reflects a wide range of property wealth.Participants who complete all required elements of the study will graduate next year with a unique designationrecognized by TASB.

        Each session has a specific theme that builds on the previous session and features state and nationalexperts 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 more than 600graduates 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 approximately 4.9 million public school students.

Joe Stephens

Joe Stephens - Galena Park ISD Board of Trustees Vice President