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Breakaway Leadership

New for 2021-22! Breakaway Leadership is a six-month leadership development program intended to help participants learn new habits and skills that will enable them to perform at the highest levels of leadership 24/7, setting themselves apart from other leaders. Topics include mental health, social-emotional health, stress management, sleep, time management, weight management, exercise, and how each area affects participants’ leadership capacity. Sessions will be mostly virtual, with participants being invited to participate in a special breakout session at the 2022 TASA Midwinter Conference and a final in-person closing session and celebration at TASA txedFest in June 2022.

Breakaway Leadership was featured in the spring 2022 issue of TASA INSIGHT. Read the article >>>

Registration is closed for the first cohort.
Please look for information on registering
for future cohorts in TASA Daily!

Who Should Participate

Breakaway Leadership was designed especially for Texas public school superintendents who want to learn skills and habits to set them apart from other leaders. By focusing on developing and improving all aspects of their well-being – mental, social-emotional, physical – participants will come to the leadership table with a level of fitness that enables them to lead from a position of strength and clarity – all day every day.

Team Members Welcome

Participating superintendents may invite up to three members of their cabinet/executive leadership team to participate in the program along with them.

Physical Exam Recommended

Participants will be asked to schedule and complete a full physical check-up with their personal physician before beginning the program in January 2022. Participants will use this information to set personal, confidential wellness goals.

2021-22 Breakaway Leadership Program

Each session will feature nationally recognized speakers who will address leadership skills required of superintendents and how the various elements of wellness directly relate to leadership effectiveness. Each session will focus on a theme/topic intended to inspire participants to reflect and change behaviors, as well as accountability group conversations designed to support individual success.

Breakaway Leadership’s format is hybrid, with both virtual and in-person sessions.

Jan 10, 2022

Participants begin Wondr Health curriculum

All participants will be provided with access to Wondr Health, a 12-week virtual wellness program. Wondr Health is research-based, engaging, and proven to be extremely effective.

Jan 11, 2022

Opening Session Part A (Virtual) | 8-10 a.m.

Scott Conard, M.D.

Featured Speaker

Dr. Scott Conard is a practicing family physician passionate about transforming healthcare to provide more convenience, increase access, significantly improve quality, and lower cost. He believes that challenges can be best met with innovation, technology, and accountability, and that “greater convenience, increased access, higher quality, and lower costs” are not mutually exclusive. In fact, the surest path to reduced costs lies in a better model of care that embraces preventative care, early detection, excellence in management of known conditions, and improved behaviors. His work in patient engagement has led to the development of a new model for chronic care management, building knowledge and skills, resulting in better health outcomes.

Jan 13, 2022

Opening Session Part B (Virtual) | 8-10 a.m.

Dana Labat, Ph.D.

Featured Speaker

Dana Labat, Ph.D., is a practicing clinical psychologist. Her areas of specialty include supporting adolescents and adults with everyday life stressors, such as anxiety and depression, as well as women’s emotional health across the lifespan. She partners with women and adolescents who are coping with disordered eating patterns and clinically diagnosed eating disorders. She also assists couples in their search for improved communication and connection. In Dr. Labat’s private practice, she conducts psychological and psychoeducational assessment to determine learning differences, attention-related difficulties, and to clarify diagnoses. She serves as a Wondr Health team member.

Jan 31-Feb 1, 2022

Breakout Session at TASA Midwinter Conference (In-person)

Breakaway Leadership participants are invited to participate in a breakout session offered during the TASA Midwinter Conference, to be held in Austin January 30-February 2, 2022.

We will check in on progress and discuss early successes, early challenges, and keys to success in the program. Participants will also be encouraged to meet others and form small breakout, accountability groups to support their success. Participants should plan to attend one of the following conference sessions (both sessions will include the same content):

  • Monday, January 31, 1 p.m. 
  • Tuesday, February 1, 1 p.m. 

Feb 24, 2022

Learning & Accountability Check-in –
Month 2 (Virtual) | 2-4 p.m.

Scott McClelland

Featured Speaker

Scott McClelland is the president of H-E-B Food/Drug Stores. Under his leadership, H-E-B grew from an 11% to a market-leading 27% share by opening larger stores with a heavy emphasis on low prices, locally sourced products, and tailored assortment based on the neighborhoods around each store. H-E-B strives to be a good corporate citizen and, as such, Scott serves on numerous local boards. He is the former board chair of the Houston Food Bank and headed their $56mm capital campaign to fund the construction of the largest food bank warehouse in the United States. Scott spearheaded the Houston Super Bowl of Caring Food Drive, now the largest in the state, and annually collects over 2 million pounds of food for Houston’s hungry. In 2017 McClelland co-founded an education-based nonprofit called Good Reason focused on improving education for ALL students across Harris County from cradle to career by eliminating achievement gaps.

March 24, 2022

Learning & Accountability Check-in – Month 3 (Virtual) | 2-4 p.m.

Kevin Gilliland, Psy.D.

Featured Speaker

Kevin Gilliland is a clinical psychologist with a broad range of healthcare experience in business, treatment, and research. He has a diverse range of expertise and experience presenting on mental health and its relationship to physical health and work performance. Gilliland has presented to a diverse group of corporations and professionals – physician groups on opioid addiction, school superintendents, and keynote presentations for annual conferences. He has the ability to discuss complex research topics in a manner that resonates with the broader public and is part of the People Magazine Health Squad, Men’s Health Advisory Group, and a frequent guest on local and national television, radio, and print. His outpatient healthcare treatment company, Innovation 360, specializes in mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse and addiction. He has served as an adjunct professor at Southern Methodist University and Cooper Wellness Center.

April 28, 2022

Learning & Accountability Check-in – Month 4 (Virtual) | 8:30-10:30 a.m.

James O'Keefe, M.D. (Tentative)

Featured Speaker

James H. O’Keefe, M.D., is a cardiologist and the medical director of the Charles and Barbara Duboc Cardio Health & Wellness Center at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute as well as a professor of medicine at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Dr. O’Keefe consistently ranks among the regional ‘Top Doctor’ lists and has been named as one of USA Today’s Most Influential Doctors. He has contributed more than 250 articles to medical literature and authored best-selling cardiovascular books for health professionals. He lectures extensively on the role of therapeutic lifestyle changes and drug therapy in cardiovascular risk reduction. Dr. O’Keefe has co-authored, with his wife Joan, the best-selling consumer health book, The Forever Young Diet and Lifestyle. He is actively involved in patient care and research.

May 17, 2022

Learning & Accountability Check-in –
Month 5 (Virtual) | 2-4 p.m.

Bill Harris

Featured Speaker

Dr. Bill Harris is an internationally recognized expert on omega-3 fatty acids and how they can benefit patients with heart disease. He obtained his Ph.D. in Human Nutrition from the University of Minnesota and did post-doctoral fellowships in Clinical Nutrition and Lipid Metabolism with Dr. Bill Connor at the Oregon Health Sciences University. He has been the recipient of five NIH grants for studies on the effects of omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) on human health. He has more than 300 publications relating to fatty acids, including omega-3s, in medical literature and was an author on two American Heart Association scientific statements on fatty acids, both published in the journal Circulation. Dr. Harris is a professor in the Department of Medicine in the Sanford School of Medicine at the University of South Dakota and the president and CEO of OmegaQuant.

June 21, 2022

Closing Session & Celebration at Kalahari Resort, Round Rock (In-person) | 12-2 p.m.

Breakaway Leadership participants will wrap up the school year with a closing session and celebration at the Kalahari Resort & Conference Center in Round Rock during TASA txedFest, to be held June 21-23, 2022. Participants will be encouraged to include their family members in the closing session and celebration. The Kalahari offers many amenities and activities you can do during your downtime – all without leaving the resort.

Breakaway Leadership Program Moderators

Todd Whitthorne

Todd Whitthorne is recognized as one of the country’s leading public speakers regarding health, well-being, and productivity. He’s also the author of Fit Happens! Simple Steps for a Healthier, More Productive Life! Whitthorne has a particular interest in those who serve in public education. Since 2009, he has delivered multiple presentations for TASA, Texas ESCs, and individual districts. He serves as the chief inspiration officer for Wondr Health, a Dallas-based company dedicated to improving the health and productivity of organizations nationwide. The company currently serves more than 800 clients and positively impacts over 250,000 lives annually. Prior to joining Wondr in 2013, Todd spent 14 years as a senior executive at The Cooper Aerobics Center in Dallas. The Emmy award-winning broadcaster is an honors graduate of UCLA with a Bachelor of Science in kinesiology and exercise physiology.

Charles Dupre

Charles Dupre joined the full-time TASA staff as deputy executive director, Member Engagement and Support, on September 1, 2021. Dupre served as superintendent of both Pflugerville and Fort Bend ISDs. Under his leadership from 2013 to 2021, FBISD saw notable growth in student achievement and increased opportunities for all students, including traditionally underrepresented groups. In 2018, the district was awarded the H-E-B Excellence in Education Award as the best school district in the large district category, and Dupre was named the Region 4 Superintendent of the Year and finalist for Texas Superintendent of the Year in 2019. While serving in Pflugerville ISD in 2012, he was named the Region 13 Superintendent of the Year and was chosen as a finalist for Texas Superintendent of the Year. Dupre received his BBA with a major in Accounting from Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas, and his master’s degree in Educational Administration from the University of Houston. He received his doctorate in educational leadership from Lamar University in Beaumont.

Why Enroll?

In this video, Breakaway Leadership moderators Charles Dupre and Todd Whitthorne discuss why they’re excited about the program and how it can benefit Texas school leaders.


Enrollment Information

Interested in joining the first-ever Breakaway Leadership cohort? Register by November 5 in the online TASA Member Services Center. (Once logged in, click on the Events tab.) Participating superintendents must be TASA members (so please renew for 2021-22 before registering!) and may invite up to three members of their cabinet/executive leadership team (TASA membership not required) to participate in the program along with them. Cost is $685 per participant and includes a 12-week membership in the Wondr Health program. TASA Midwinter Conference and TASA txedFest conference registration must be purchased separately.


2022 Breakaway Leadership Program Sponsors

CPE Hours

Breakaway Leadership offers up to 12 hours
of Continuing Professional Education credit.


Jessica Arceneaux

Executive Assistant, Member Engagement & Support


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