Our mission

Founded by H-E-B Chairman and CEO Charles Butt, The Holdsworth Center partners with public school districts in Texas to cultivate a pipeline of effective leaders so that students in every classroom and campus thrive under inspired and dynamic leadership.

Our story

Portrait image of The Holdsworth Center founder, Charles Butt

Charles Butt, Founder

H-E-B Chairman and CEO, Charles Butt has been a longtime advocate for public education and has directed much of his personal philanthropy towards programs and practices that have proven to positively impact student outcomes.

It’s not for my mom, but for the kids. And she was for the kids.

— Charles Butt

Over the years, Charles has developed a number of well-known initiatives, including the annual H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards, the Read 3 early literacy program and Raise Your Hand Texas, an advocacy organization focused on public policies that support and improve our public schools. The Holdsworth Center builds on those efforts by getting to the heart of education — strengthening our schools by strengthening both current and future leaders.

Historic photo of the founder’s mother, Mary Elizabeth Holdsworth Butt

Mary Elizabeth Holdsworth Butt

The Holdsworth Center is named after Charles’ mother, Mary Elizabeth Holdsworth Butt, an educator, philanthropist and lifelong leader for social justice. Many of her years were spent advocating for children and those with mental illness.

She was focused on other people about as much as anyone I’ve ever known. That inspired me.

— Charles Butt

The Holdsworth Center

Charles organized a group of advisors from around the country to study best practices in leadership development within the education sector, the private sector and the military. After 18 months of travel that included places as far away as Singapore, this group concluded that those who approached the cultivation of internal talent as a strategic imperative had greater impact than those with fragmented systems and structures and a heavy dependence on outsourcing.

With that, The Holdsworth Center was born with the belief that in order to create lasting change in culture and strategic talent planning, districts must build their own capacity to successfully identify future leaders, train them through a range of experiences and then support them once placed into the role.

Charles Butt

Portrait image of The Holdsworth Center founder, Charles Butt

Mary Elizabeth Holdsworth Butt

Historic photo of the founder’s mother, Mary Elizabeth Holdsworth Butt

The Holdsworth Center

Charles Butt, Founder

H-E-B Chairman and CEO, Charles Butt has been a longtime advocate for public education and has directed much of his personal philanthropy towards programs and practices that have proven to positively impact student outcomes.

Mary Elizabeth Holdsworth Butt

The Holdsworth Center is named after Charles’ mother, Mary Elizabeth Holdsworth Butt, an educator, philanthropist and lifelong leader for social justice. Many of her years were spent advocating for children and those with mental illness.

The Holdsworth Center

Charles organized a group of advisors from around the country to study best practices in leadership development within the education sector, the private sector and the military. After 18 months of travel that included places as far away as Singapore, this group concluded that those who approached the cultivation of internal talent as a strategic imperative had greater impact than those with fragmented systems and structures and a heavy dependence on outsourcing.

With that, The Holdsworth Center was born with the belief that in order to create lasting change in culture and strategic talent planning, districts must build their own capacity to successfully identify future leaders, train them through a range of experiences and then support them once placed into the role.

It’s not for my mom, but for the kids. And she was for the kids.

— Charles Butt

She was focused on other people about as much as anyone I’ve ever known. That inspired me.

— Charles Butt

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Over the years, Charles has developed a number of well-known initiatives, including the annual H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards, the Read 3 early literacy program and Raise Your Hand Texas, an advocacy organization focused on public policies that support and improve our public schools. The Holdsworth Center builds on those efforts by getting to the heart of education — strengthening our schools by strengthening both current and future leaders.

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What we do

Engage

We work hand-in-hand with districts to strengthen leaders and leadership culture through development programs that are aligned from the superintendent’s office down to campus principals.

Empower

We help districts understand their own gaps in talent management, to establish their individual goals and priorities, and to develop action plans that will lead to sustainable changes. Throughout the partnership, the District Support team offers implementation assistance to ensure that key learnings from each immersive training session have an opportunity to take root.

Educate

Participants have the opportunity to visit and learn from high-performing organizations around the world and to tap into our exclusive network of experts and resources throughout their careers.