The Holdsworth Center, an Austin-based nonprofit focused on leadership in public education, has selected 20 independent school districts to join its world-class programs aimed at building stronger principal pipelines for Texas public schools.
Seven districts will join the Holdsworth Partnership, a multi-year investment to build stronger principals and help superintendents and central office staff build their own best-in-class principal pipeline systems. Those districts are Corpus Christi, Duncanville, El Paso, Lubbock, Seguin and Texas City ISDs, and Los Fresnos CISD.
Thirteen districts will join the Holdsworth Leadership Collaborative, an 18-month program designed to help district leaders build a strong bench of aspiring principals who are ready to step into school leadership positions when they arise. Those districts are Abilene, Belton, Canutillo, Cleburne, Crosby, Edgewood, Edinburg, Liberty Hill, Midlothian, New Caney, San Antonio and Texarkana ISDs, and San Felipe-Del Rio CISD.
Selected districts demonstrated a strong commitment to developing principals and a growth mindset around learning new concepts. The goal is to help expert educators become skilled, visionary district and school leaders who can provide the support teachers and students need to thrive.
“Great leaders draw out the best in people and inspire them to achieve the unimaginable,” said Dr. Lindsay Whorton, president of The Holdsworth Center. “Leadership is not a skill people are born with – it can be taught and honed through day-to-day practice.”
The choice to focus on leadership is strategic. Research shows that effective principals can significantly impact student outcomes by creating the conditions for teachers to thrive. Because principals influence the working conditions and skill level of every teacher in the building, their impact is outsized.
In both programs, leaders work towards ensuring every school is served by an excellent principal with a goal of building a strong bench of candidates for each principal vacancy.
“We don’t believe there are any quick fixes in education. Investing in the skill and capacity of the people working in our schools is the only way we will see true transformation,” Whorton said.
In surveys, 100 percent of alumni respondents said they were stronger leaders because of the skills gained through Holdsworth and were more effective at leading change and delivering excellent and equitable outcomes for students. One hundred percent of superintendents surveyed rate their leadership pipeline as stronger after partnering with Holdsworth for at least three years.
Since its founding in 2017, Holdsworth has served 1,371 educators across 50 districts and more than 200 schools in Texas.
“In Holdsworth, you learn things about yourself that you didn’t know. You learn better ways to deliver for kids. You’ll never regret this investment because you’ll see a return,” said Dr. Gonzalo Salazar, superintendent of Los Fresnos CISD.
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