HCDE Leaders Set the Bar for Exceptional Leadership at Annual HAABSE Conference

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July 7, 2023 by HCDE Communications

Educators from the Houston region area got lessons on exceptional leadership this week with nine presentations offered by Harris County Department of Education trailblazers at the Houston Area Alliance of Black School Educators’ (HAABSE) “Connect to Excellence: Equipping, Empowering, and Engaging Today’s Educators” summer conference.

Superintendent James Colbert Jr., left, and Trustee Danny Norris, top right, pose for a photograph with members of the Harris County Department of Education staff that attended and presented at the HAABSE summer conference.

The professional development gathering, held at Moody Gardens in Galveston on July 6-7, focused on instruction, educational leadership, social-emotional learning (SEL), and school culture.

Superintendent James Colbert Jr. was at the forefront of the event, participating in the superintendent’s panel during the opening session. The panel, which Sheldon ISD Superintendent Dr. King Davis moderated, also included superintendents Dr. Carnelius Gilder from West Sabine ISD, Dr. Tiffany Spicer from Buna ISD, Paula Patterson from Crosby ISD, and Dr. Anthony Mays from Alief ISD.

Among the HCDE champions who presented at the conference was Chief of Staff Danielle Bartz, whose session tackled landing your first big job and succeeding; Assistant Superintendent of Education and Enrichment CJ Rodgers and outgoing ABS West Principal Victor Keys, whom each presented on leadership qualities and skills; Center for Educator Success (CES) Educator Advancement Officer Jasmine Booker, who discussed how women of color can overcome imposter syndrome in the workplace and ascend to administrative roles; and CES Recruitment Manager Chaney Williams-Ledet, who led two presentations on how to support black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) students.

Also presenting at HAABSE’s annual summer conference were Instructional Coach Nkechineyere Washington and Center for Safe and Secure Schools (CSSS) Culture and Climate Specialists Sasha Blake and Alysia Chatman. Chatman’s workshop explored strategies to foster a positive classroom culture for special education students, while Blake led two SEL-focused sessions about fostering resilience in students who have experienced trauma.

This record number of presentations by HCDE leaders at the conference, which were all well-attended, denotes the expertise and value of the Department’s staff within Harris County and beyond.

Trustee Danny Norris, Assistant Superintendent for Academic Support Services Jonathan Parker, and numerous HCDE instructional staff attended the conference to support their colleagues and take in professional development opportunities.

Members of HCDE’s Marketing and Client Engagement division represented the Department with a booth promoting the Department’s services and divisions.

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