Holdsworth Leadership Collaborative

Building a bench of principals who are strong, courageous and ready to lead

Sylvia Denise Acuña, Principal, Sky Harbour Elementary of Southwest ISD is photographed smiling with her hands clasped.
A photo of two leaders walking on the Campus at Lake Austin.

Holdsworth Leadership Collaborative

The Holdsworth Leadership Collaborative is 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.

Next to a child’s teacher, a principal has the most impact on their learning, according to recent research.

As demands on schools evolve and heighten, principals must be more prepared to navigate ambiguity and respond to challenges with creativity. The best way to learn is through experience, but often principals are hit with all the demands of the role on the first day- few training wheels exist.

Aspiring principals need more opportunities within their own districts to learn, grow and prepare for these critical roles, and, when given support and guidance, district leaders can design and develop systems that make this possible.

See a list of districts

Our approach

A team of three – the superintendent and two district leaders – work with Holdsworth staff to define what great leadership looks like in their district and use this definition to design systems and structures to sustain their school leadership pipeline.

We chose the word 'collaborative' to describe this program because accomplishing the goals that have been set will hinge on Holdsworth staff and participants from each district working together in distinct ways.

It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. Each district will have a different starting place, and the program will give them the tools to investigate top challenges and areas for opportunity.

By the end of the program, districts will have made significant strides toward building internal leadership development systems and will be well equipped to continue the work.

Alexandra Arroyo speaks to leaders during a Holdsworth Center District Leadership Program session.
A photo of leaders gathered on the Campus at Lake Austin.

A philosophy of partnership

Everything we do at Holdsworth is based on a philosophy of partnership. We are committed to providing world-class programming, and we listen to feedback to adapt our plans and ensure we are providing the support districts need.

Each district in the Collaborative will have an opportunity to:

  • Work with Holdsworth staff to learn best practices from organizations inside and outside of education that have built high-performing talent management systems.
  • Attend learning sessions at the Campus on Lake Austin, a setting that will allow teams to step back from the day-to-day and see their district’s challenges and opportunities more clearly.
  • Form strong bonds, share ideas and get help with challenges from a network of peers in other districts around Texas.
  • Put the insights and designs they’ve come up with into action in between sessions to figure out what works for their district. During sessions, district leaders will share notes and adjust strategies with help from peers and the Holdsworth team.

Holdsworth Leadership Collaborative Districts

Central Texas

  • Eanes ISD
  • College Station ISD
  • San Marcos CISD
  • Temple ISD
  • Waco ISD

North Texas

  • Irving ISD
  • Plano ISD

Southeast Texas

  • Conroe ISD
  • La Porte ISD
  • Pasadena ISD
  • Tomball ISD

South Texas

  • Corpus Christi ISD
  • Los Fresnos ISD
  • Mission CISD