When Board Chair Dr. Ruth Simmons stood at a podium in January 2017 and announced the creation of The Holdsworth Center, the organization had two staff members and a tall order – to become a transformational, world-class leadership development partner for Texas public school districts.
Today, the Center employs 34 staff, has broken ground on a 44-acre campus on the shores of Lake Austin, graduated its first class of 42 District Leaders from seven school districts across Texas, and just this week, welcomed a second cohort of 36 new District Leaders from six school districts.
The pace has been astounding, and yes, we’re still sprinting. But over the past year, the prospect of expressing our identity on a permanent campus prompted us to slow down and reflect on some important questions. What is the unique gift we bring to the world? What values do we hold dear?
Conversations with staff and board members distilled our mission to this: To impact, over time, the quality of K-12 public education for all Texas students by supporting and developing leaders. We invest in a deep, five-year partnership with districts to help them build stronger leaders and stronger systems, which we hope will ultimately lead to stronger results for students.
Three core values also emerged: to drive for excellence and equity, believe in people, and be of service. From those values blossomed a new logo, color palette and visual expression of our identity.
The colors are warm and earthy, drawn from the wildflowers, native grasses, trees and rivers that define the Texas landscape and our beautiful future campus.
We call our logo the pinwheel because it conveys a sense of motion that suggests continuous growth and improvement. Like the Leaders we serve, we have a never-ending hunger to learn.
Each half-moon in the pinwheel represents one of the three values. No matter how fast we are running, the pinwheel is a daily reminder to act in line with our values and stay connected to our purpose.
Another element of the new brand features a creative juxtaposition of our namesake, Mary Elizabeth Holdsworth, whose deeply held belief we share: Public education holds worth.
Learn more about our partnership and the way we serve public school districts by watching the video below: