Holdsworth has improved our leadership trajectory, our leadership pipeline and our systems for principal selection.”

Dr. Martha Salazar-Zamora

Superintendent, Tomball ISD

Dr. Martha Salazar-Zamora, Superintendent, Tomball ISD is photographed smiling at The Holdsworth Center at the Campus on Lake Austin.
These leaders were photographed collaborating during a Leadership Collaborative session at The Holdsworth Center at The Campus on Lake Austin.

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.

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.

Future cohorts

Texas school districts with more than 5,500 students are eligible for the Collaborative, and applications open every two years. Ideal applicants show eagerness to learn and a commitment to building a strong bench of principals within their district. If you are a district leader interested in joining a future cohort or receiving information about other learning opportunities, click the button below to express interest.

Express interest
A photo of a district leader during a Leadership Collaborative program session at The Holdsworth Center's Campus on Lake Austin.

“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.”

Dr. Gonzalo Salazar

Superintendent, Los Fresnos CISD

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.

Tiffany Parkerson of College Station ISD is photographed during a Holdsworth Center Leadership Collaborative session at The Campus on Lake Austin.
A photo of a leader interacting during a Holdsworth Center Leadership Collaborative session on the Campus at Lake Austin.

Program experience

Each district in the Collaborative has 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.