Several new but familiar faces will join the TASA staff this summer, while two longtime staff members will retire.
Long-time TASA member service representatives John Fuller and Roel Peña will retire this summer. Both Fuller and Peña had long and distinguished careers as public school educators and superintendents. As TASA member reps, they have supported a generation of school leaders across the state. Most recently, Fuller has served ESC Regions 7, 8, 10 and 11, while Peña has served ESC Regions 1, 2, 19 and 20.
“I am so grateful to John and Roel for their exceptional leadership, friendship, and support for so many years,” said TASA Executive Director Kevin Brown. “They will be greatly missed at TASA and will always be considered a part of our family.”
Although TASA leadership and staff regret losing Fuller and Peña as team members, we are also pleased to announce several new hires.
Thomas Randle, who recently retired from his position as superintendent of Lamar CISD, will join TASA June 1.
“Thomas is not only a legendary superintendent, but he also contributed to writing TASA’s Creating a New Vision for Texas Public Schools, the document that guides our work even today,” said Brown.
Dr. Randle served as TASA president in 2007-08. His list of accomplishments and awards is long, and includes being twice named the Region 4 Superintendent of the Year (in 2001 and 2017) and being a finalist for Texas Superintendent of the Year. In 2017, the Texas Alliance of Black School Educators named a statewide award in his honor.
Art Cavazos will also join the TASA team starting July 1. He is retiring from his position as superintendent of Harlingen CISD at the end of June.
“Art is a leader among superintendents in Texas,” Brown said. “In his 34 years as an educator, he is known for his visionary leadership, exceptional work with school boards, and support for his fellow superintendents.”
Dr. Cavazos also has a long list of awards and accomplishments, including being recognized as Region 1 Superintendent of the Year in 2017. In 2016 Gov. Greg Abbott selected him to serve a five-year term on the State Board for Educator Certification. He was also appointed to the Legislative Council of the University Interscholastic League.
Randle and Cavazos will join current TASA superintendents-in-residence Alton Frailey, Karen Rue, and Mary Ann Whiteker as well as current member service representatives Stephanie Arterbury, Larry Coffman, and Kelli Moulton. These former superintendents, who serve on a part-time basis, support the TASA vision and Strategic Framework, as well as the members in their assigned regions.
All will hold the title of “Executive Superintendent,” as the superintendent-in-residence and member service representative programs are being combined. Assignments for regions will be announced this summer.
Professional Learning and Member Engagement
On September 1, Jill Siler, currently superintendent of Gunter ISD, will join the full-time TASA staff as TASA Deputy Executive Director, Professional Learning. Brandon Core will continue in his role of TASA Associate Executive Director, Professional Learning and Member Engagement. He will support the expanded member engagement efforts at TASA.
“The addition of Jill Siler as a full-time member of our TASA team is great news for our organization and for our members,” Brown said. “Frankly, Jill is a rock star. As an exceptional superintendent, writer, speaker, and designer of professional learning, she will fit in perfectly with our team and help take us to new heights,” said Brown.
Dr. Siler is currently the chair of TASA’s Future-Ready Superintendent Leadership Network (FRSLN) Design Team and lead facilitator for TASA’s Aspiring Superintendents Academy.
“Through her efforts with FRSLN and the Aspiring Superintendents Academy, Jill has provided transformational leadership to her peers through the design and delivery of rich and engaging learning and networking experiences,” said Brandon Core. “This experience, her true passion for developing current and future leaders, and the firsthand knowledge of the TASA Strategic Framework she gained as a member of the TASA 2025 Task Force make her well-prepared for this position. I have so much admiration and respect for Jill, as a person and a leader, and I am incredibly excited to continue working closely with her in this new role.”
TASA Chief Learning Officer Eric Simpson, who will also work closely with Siler in her new position, added: “If you’ve worked with Jill Siler, you are a fan for life. She’s a brilliant thought partner, generous collaborator, and meticulous designer. With her dedication to school transformation and her passion for leadership development, she is an enthusiastic mentor to administrators across our state. She’s helped us reimagine TASA’s Inspiring Mentors program, was integral to the formation of the Texas Public Accountability Consortium (TPAC) and FRSLN, and has even been a thought leader and keynote speaker! I’m thrilled to have Jill join our Professional Learning team, and I’m excited for what lies ahead at TASA!”
On joining the TASA staff in September, Siler said: “I have been deeply connected to the vision and mission of TASA throughout my years as a superintendent and have seen firsthand the impact that this organization has had across the state. The work of school and district leaders is challenging beyond measure and I am excited to join an organization whose mission is to inspire and equip leaders. The entire TASA team, under Dr. Kevin Brown’s leadership, is stellar and I am truly honored to be a part of the impactful work this organization leads.”