The Holdsworth Center launches first campus leadership program with 30 schools from 7 Texas ISDs

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(DALLAS, TX) ­– The Holdsworth Center, a leadership institute for Texas public schools founded by H-E-B CEO and Chairman Charles Butt, welcomed 163 principal supervisors, principals, assistant principals and teachers from 30 schools across seven ISDs at the Four Seasons Las Colinas to begin a 2-year program to help take their leadership to a new level on their campuses and within their school communities.

The program represents the next phase of deeper engagement within the Center’s existing seven partner districts.  The five-year process aimed at building a strong, world-class talent pipeline and leadership development system within each district began a year ago with the superintendent and five other leaders from central office.

“Principals are second only to the teacher in terms of direct impact on student learning.  A great campus leader creates an environment where teachers and school staff thrive and feel supported to do their best work,” said Kate Rogers, President of The Holdsworth Center.  “Our philosophy at Holdsworth is to first engage with administrators at the district level to lay the foundation for positive change, then bring campus leaders into the program so that everyone is singing from the same sheet of music.”

On Friday, school leaders and their teams from Holdsworth’s seven partner districts – Arlington ISD and Grand Prairie ISD (Dallas/Ft. Worth), Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD, Southwest ISD (San Antonio), Round Rock ISD (Austin), Lamar CISD and Klein ISD — arrive in Dallas.  They will begin their first major session on Saturday with Sydney Finkelstein, the Steven Roth Professor of Management and Director of the Center for Leadership at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College and author of the bestselling book “SUPERBOSSES: How Exceptional Leaders Master the Flow of Talent.”

Finkelstein will lead workshops on how to be a superboss, defined as someone who helps others accomplish more than they thought possible. Examples include people like Lorne Michaels and Ralph Lauren, who have mentored and helped grow and develop countless big-name actors, comedians, and designers to achieve amazing levels of success.

Something surprising about superbosses? They are willing to invest in someone, and then let them go when they are ready to move on to bigger projects or even other organizations. That’s a useful concept for educators because turnover in the ranks of teachers is inevitable for most school districts.

In addition to the workshops, campus leaders will tour local H-E-B Central Market stores on Monday to learn about the company culture and talent development strategies that have helped H-E-B become one of the nation’s largest privately held companies.

“There are many business practices that simply can’t be applied to public education, with one exception – creating a high-performing culture and talent development system,” Rogers said. “In H-E-B, there are a lot of similarities between the position of a store leader and campus principal.  Both must embody the common values and culture of the larger organization but have the flexibility to serve their own unique communities and be accountable for their own success.”

Over the next two years, campus leaders will be exposed to many of the same learning opportunities as the district leaders.

Since last June, superintendents and their teams have focused on personal leadership, effective teaming, change leadership and aligned systems and structures.  They have explored personal leadership with Hitendra Wadhwa, a professor at Columbia Business School and founder of the Institute for Personal Leadership, and Ram Charan, one of the world’s most sought-after leadership coaches. They have attended site visits to school systems in Singapore and Ontario, as well as to H-E-B headquarters in San Antonio, to learn how top-performing institutions succeed through a focus on culture and strategic talent management.  Last month, district leaders visited the Human Performance Institute in Orlando, Florida to take part in the corporate athlete program and learn how health and fitness play into mental and emotional energy.

The Holdsworth Center
Headquartered in Austin, Texas and founded by Charles Butt, a lifelong advocate for public education, the Holdsworth Center offers world-class training and leadership development to school districts selected to participate through a generous multi-year investment.  Named after Charles’ mother, Mary Elizabeth Holdsworth Butt, an educator and dedicated philanthropist, the Center’s goal is to successfully support and develop the leaders of the more than 1,200 school districts in Texas and the thousands of campus leaders in the state to improve, over time, the quality of education offered to every child in every classroom.  For more information, visit www.holdsworthcenter.org.