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Spring ISD Among Six Texas School Districts Selected for The Holdsworth Center’s 5-year Partnership to Build Strong Leadership

HOUSTON - April 16, 2019 - Spring ISD was selected Tuesday by The Holdsworth Center for the second cohort of a 5-year partnership focused on helping public school districts grow their pipeline of inspiring leaders so that teachers thrive and students excel on every campus.  

Spring was one of six districts selected for the leadership program by The Holdsworth Center founded by H-E-B CEO and Chairman Charles Butt. The other districts are Aldine ISD,  Mesquite ISD, Harlingen CISD, Judson ISD and Lockhart ISD.

With the announcement of these six districts, the Holdsworth Partnership now extends to two cohorts comprising 13 public school districts. By the end of their five-year partnership, more than 1,400 educational leaders across 277 schools in Texas will have been impacted. 

“We are honored and excited to be part of the Holdsworth Leadership Program,” said Spring ISD Board President Rhonda Newhouse. “This is such a tremendous opportunity for our district to learn and grow with the guidance of the Holdsworth staff and the nation’s top leadership experts. We are very much looking forward to seeing this program benefit all of our students and teachers.”

Holdsworth staff selected the six districts based upon willingness and ability to change, as well as level of commitment to growing and developing a pipeline of leaders. To ensure a diverse cohort, staff also considered each district’s student population and geographic location.

Any Texas public school district with a student population of 6,000 or more was eligible to apply through a written application, which was followed by in-depth site visits to 14 finalist districts earlier this year. The other eight district finalists were: Abilene ISD, Brazosport ISD (Gulf Coast), Brownsville ISD, Midland ISD, North East ISD (San Antonio), San Angelo ISD, San Antonio ISD and Waco ISD. Holdsworth is actively exploring ways to best partner with small and rural districts educating less than 6,000 students.

“We look forward to investing in and supporting district and campus leaders in these six systems as they work to grow as leaders, strengthen schools and districts and drive excellent and equitable results for every student,” said Dr. Lindsay Whorton, president of The Holdsworth Center. “We are grateful to every district who applied. Selecting only six districts was extremely difficult, and through our visits we were inspired by and optimistic about the excellent work being done in schools across Texas.”

The Holdsworth Partnership is centered on two core investments in leadership at the district and campus levels.  

This summer, the superintendent and a team of five other leaders from central office will embark on the two-year District Leadership Program, a learning journey that includes sessions with some of the nation’s top leadership experts and site visits to study high-performing organizations in the U.S. and abroad. Over the five-year partnership, District Leaders work together to build and implement robust talent management systems with help from embedded Holdsworth staff who provide support tailored to the unique needs of each district.

In the second year, principal supervisors, principals, assistant principals and teachers begin the 2-year Campus Leadership Program, a learning journey similar to District Leaders. Each campus team works on a significant challenge tied to school culture and student outcomes. Rolled out in phases, the program aims to serve 50 percent of campuses in each partner district.

“This partnership with The Holdsworth Center comes at a perfect time for Spring ISD,” said Superintendent Rodney E. Watson. “Next year will mark year five of our strategic plan, Every Child 2020, and is a great time for us to look ahead on how we can strengthen our pipeline of future leaders so that we can continue to grow as a district. We’ll be learning from the best in terms of how to build a high-performing organization where everyone is inspired to do their best work.”

Apart from in-state transportation costs, all programming and support are covered by The Holdsworth Center. In 2020, learning sessions will move to The Holdsworth Center’s new campus on the shores of Lake Austin, a peaceful setting where educators can focus on learning and reflection.

The announcement of the second cohort comes shortly after 42 District Leaders graduated from Holdsworth’s inaugural District Leadership Program. The first cohort included neighboring Klein ISD.

“Holdsworth has impacted our district inside and out,” said Dr. Joffery Jones, executive director of campus safety and support at Klein ISD. “We've employed programs and change that will forever be with the district. I tell people all the time that Holdsworth is different. You can't participate in this program and not grow as a professional.”