Superintendent Dr. Patty Shafer and all seven members of the San Marcos CISD school board joined local trustees from across the state at the Texas Association of School Boards’ (TASB) Summer Leadership Institute June 12-14, 2008, in San Antonio. Local trustees attending included board President Dr. Judy Allen, Vice-President Margie Villalpando, Secretary Kathy Hansen, and members Peter Baen, Tom Brown, David Castillo, and Jesse Ponce. More than 2,100 new and veteran school leaders received in-depth training on every facet of effective board governance, heard keynote addresses from renowned education experts, and gathered valuable ideas from district programs that work. Topics addressed during the two-and-a-half-day institute included high school reform, compensation trends, student religious expression, criminal background checks, crisis communication, and technology in schools. Breakout sessions also explored family involvement, employer-sponsored child care, trends in construction costs and contracts, board ethics, innovative mathematics curriculum, school safety issues, pre-kindergarten initiatives, and environmental and facility-related regulations.
Thursday’s general session featured Joan Brock, who shared her experiences as a teacher of the blind who then became blind. She was the subject of the television movie More Than Meets the Eye: The Joan Brock Story. In her session, she outlined what successful communication is and how it must be shared by all members of an effective team or organization.
Salome Thomas-El, Friday’s general session speaker, discussed his award-winning work with inner city children in Philadelphia. His presentation underscored a deep commitment to expose students to options beyond the ones they know and stressed the importance of leadership, parenting, mentoring, and service to others.
Special training sessions were available for new board members, covering basics in budget and finance, school law, district policy, teamwork, governance, and district planning and accountability. Board presidents’ academy sessions focused on basic responsibilities, meeting preparation, superintendent evaluation, key legal duties, and guidance for building team relationships.
By IRIS CAMPBELL
Public Information Officer – San Marcos CISD