The Holdsworth Center names 14 finalists for second program cohort


For Immediate Release                                  Media Contact: Melissa Ludwig, 210-380-0733

November 16, 2018

(Austin, Texas) ­– The Holdsworth Center, a leadership institute for Texas public schools founded by H-E-B CEO and Chairman Charles Butt, has selected 14 school districts as finalists for the second cohort of a 5-year program focused upon building a strong talent pipeline and leadership development system within each district.

Holdsworth staff will conduct site visits to each district in early 2019 and will announce the six districts selected to be part of the next cohort in April 2019.

The 14 districts are: Abilene ISD, Aldine ISD (Houston area), Brazosport ISD (Gulf Coast), Brownsville ISD, Harlingen ISD, Judson ISD (San Antonio), Lockhart ISD, Mesquite ISD (Dallas-Fort Worth area), Midland ISD, North East ISD (San Antonio), San Angelo ISD, San Antonio ISD, Spring ISD (Houston area) and Waco ISD.

Texas school districts with 6,000 students or more were eligible to apply. To ensure a diverse cohort, Holdsworth staff considered each district’s student population and geographic location. In addition, evaluators looked at current talent management practices and studied each team’s responses to questions in order to gauge their willingness and ability to change, as well as their level of commitment to the process.

Because many school districts in Texas are smaller than 6,000 students, Holdsworth is currently working to develop a strategy to serve those districts in the future. A Small District Superintendents Advisory Committee will provide input and feedback to guide the strategy development through 2019.

“I would like to thank every district who applied to be part of our program this year,” said Kate Rogers, president of The Holdsworth Center. “Each one is doing wonderful and important work, and we wish we could serve them all. We look forward to visiting each finalist district to learn more about how they are serving the students of Texas through a focus on great leadership.”

The Holdsworth experience begins with a two-year District Leadership Program that includes the superintendent and a team of five other leaders from central office. In the second year, the learning expands to campus-level leaders through the Campus Leadership Program.

The program includes travel to expose leaders to school systems and private industries across the globe that model best-in-class leadership development practices, as well as learning sessions with sought-after leadership experts and curriculum focused upon personal leadership, effective teaming, change leadership and aligned systems and structures.

District teams work together to assess their current talent management systems and craft a plan to strengthen those practices. To help districts implement those strategies, Holdsworth’s District Support Team provides on-the-ground support that caters to the individual needs of each district.

All program costs are covered by The Holdsworth Center.

“What’s different about Holdsworth is that we are not just strengthening individual leaders, we are helping districts strengthen and grow their own system of leaders,” Rogers said. “We are playing the long game because that’s what it takes to truly make an impact.”


The Holdsworth Center

Founded by Charles Butt in January 2017, The Holdsworth Center partners with public school districts in efforts to cultivate a pipeline of dynamic and inspired leaders so that teachers thrive and students excel in every classroom. The Center makes a deep investment in participating districts, working with each for a five-year period and including both district and campus leaders throughout the various programs offered. For more information, visit