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AUSTIN—More than 4,000 Texas school district leaders, educators and service providers will gather Jan. 28-31 at the Austin Convention Center for the 2018 Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) Midwinter Conference. The annual conference offers unparalleled professional development and learning opportunities for school leaders and leadership teams.

General session speakers:

  • Chip Heath is a Stanford Graduate School of Business professor and best-selling co-author of books including “The Power of Moments.” In his keynote, “Creating Moments That Matter,” Heath will reveal the four elements that create defining moments that spark delight, connection and insight. (3:30 p.m., Mon., Jan. 29, Exhibit Hall 5).
  • Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Morath, who heads the Texas Education Agency, will discuss the agency’s four strategic priorities: recruiting, supporting, and retaining teachers and principals; building a foundation of reading and math; connecting high school to career and college; and improving low-performing schools. (3:30 p.m., Tues., Jan. 30, Exhibit Hall 5).
  • Peter Dewitt, a school administrator turned author and expert on collaborative leadership, will focus his presentation, “Collaborative Leadership: Six Influences That Matter Most,” on how school district leaders can leverage high-effect influences on learning to foster growth in teachers and put the focus on learning for students. (9:45 a.m., Wed., Jan. 31, Exhibit Hall 5).

Other conference highlights:

  • An alternative to traditional concurrent sessions, TASA EdCamp @ Midwinter is designed to engage attendees in discussion facilitated by fellow participants. Attendees will gather in the EdCamp space (in the Exhibit Hall 4 entrance area) at specific times to discuss preselected topics: issues relevant to central office administrators (9:30 a.m., Mon., Jan. 29); campus leadership (10:45 a.m., Mon., Jan. 29); and small schools (10:15 a.m., Tues., Jan. 30).
  • The TASA/TASB Exhibit of School Architecture (Exhibit Hall 4) will showcase new and renovated Texas schools and celebrate excellence in planning and design of the learning environment.On display will be 25 projects awarded Stars of Distinction, including the
    four recently announced winners of the Caudill Award: Alvin, Houston, McKinney and Northwest ISDs.
  • TEA will host a Blue Ribbon Schools Luncheon and Recognition Program to honor the
    26 Texas schools selected as 2017 National Blue Ribbon Schools (noon-2:30 p.m., Mon., Jan. 29, Ballroom D).
  • Thought Leaders will speak on topics including transformational leadership, innovation in education, STEM, instruction with at-risk students, the Advanced Placement program, educator ethics, early literacy, inspiring teachers, next-generation assessment and accountability, learner-centered education and much more.
  • Recognized during the first general session (3:30 p.m., Mon., Jan. 29, Exhibit Hall 5):
    • TASA’s 2018 Honorary Life Members (members retiring this year who have demonstrated extraordinary devotion to education and to the association)
    • Elmer Avellaneda of Corsicana ISD, Mya Kendrick-Mercer of Round Rock ISD and Tanya Larkin of Pampa ISD – recipients of the 2018 Johnny L. Veselka Scholarship for doctoral students in educational leadership programs
    • Johnny L. Veselka, TASA’s executive director, who is retiring after 43 years with the association
  • Recognized during the second general session (3:30 p.m., Tues., Jan. 30, Exhibit Hall 5):
    • LaTonya Goffney of Lufkin ISD, Texas nominee for AASA’s 2018 National Superintendent of the Year and TASB’s 2017 Superintendent of the Year
    • Michael Kuhrt, Wichita Falls ISD superintendent, recipient of the Texas K-12 CTO Council’s Tech-Savvy Superintendent Award
    • Tara Bordeaux, 2018 Texas Teacher of the Year (and Texas Secondary Teacher of the Year) and Marissa Torres, 2018 Texas Elementary Teacher of the Year
    • Other outstanding Texas educators

Additional information:

TASA Midwinter Conference website

TASA Midwinter Conference mobile app

TASA Midwinter Conference program


Note: Media badges are required for entry to all Midwinter Conference activities. Stop by the main registration desk in the Atrium on Level 1 of the Austin Convention Center to sign in and receive a badge. Please be prepared to present your press credential or press ID that clearly shows your media affiliation and position. Without verification, you will be required to pay the full, non-member registration fee to access the conference.