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Learning Roundtable: Building a Stronger Texas


 The State Board of Education hosted the Learning Roundtable: Building a Stronger Texas, a free one-day conference at the Austin Convention Center on Jan. 30.

“We wanted to bring the visions and recommendations found in the newly adopted Long-Range Plan for Public Education to life by highlighting the great work and student successes already happening in many areas of the state. Those programs can serve as role models and inspirations for other districts and charter schools,” said Donna Bahorich, chair of the State Board of Education.  

The 2019 conference focused on three topics from the Long-Range Plan. Those are equity and access, family engagement and empowerment, and student engagement and empowerment. The fourth topic adopted in the plan – educator preparation, recruitment, and retention - was covered in last year’s conference.  

Speakers this year discussed topics such as engaging and educating families through Parent University; using technology to provide equitable access to training classes, and programs; and using multiple systems of support to assist all students and help students through a crisis.  

Videos and presentations from the conference are found below.

   Conference Schedule  


Learning Roundtable: Building a Stronger Texas


Acting on the Long-Range Plan for Public Education


  Jan. 30, 2019
Austin Convention Center

Registration check-in: Fourth floor

8:30-9:35 a.m.  Ballroom D

Video of Welcome Address and Panel 1
Panel 1 Presentation (PDF, 3,743 KB)
 Welcome Address

·         Donna Bahorich, Chair, State Board of Education

Panel 1 – Activated and Empowered – Families as Partners

Long-Range Plan Vision: All families are actively involved in their students’ education at all levels.

Moderator: State Board of Education member Tom Maynard


  • Marta Plata, principal, Manuel Jara Elementary School, Fort Worth ISD  
  • David Vinson, superintendent, Wylie ISD
  • Lacy Wood, principal consultant, American Institutes of Research
  • Ramona Morin Aguilar, director of family and community engagement, Garland ISD 
    Aguilar handout 

9:35-9:45 a.m.


9:45-11:15 a.m. Exhibit Hall 5

General Session of TASA Midwinter Conference/Learning Roundtable

  • Mike Morath, commissioner of education, Texas Education Agency

“Instructional Leadership That Is Delivering For All Students”

11:20 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Ballroom D

Panel 2 –  Learning, Thriving, Growing - Equity & Access

Long-Range Plan Vision: Equity and Access means that all children get what they need to learn, thrive, and grow.

Video of Panel 2

Panel 2 Presentation (PDF, 117 KB)

Moderator: State Board of Education member Georgina Pérez

  • Usamah Rodgers, assistant superintendent for strategic initiatives and external relations, Dallas ISD
  • Nicole Conley Johnson, chief of business and operations, Austin ISD 
  •  Melody Parrish, deputy commissioner for technology, Texas Education Agency  
  • Sarah Baray, chief executive officer, Pre-K 4 SA and the City of San Antonio

12:30-1:15 p.m.

Lunch on your own and small group discussions

1:15-2:15 p.m. Ballroom D

Keynote speaker  

  • Sharon Hoover, co-director of the National Center for School Mental Health
     "Safe, Engaged and Successful Students: The Value of School Mental Health in Texas"
    Video of keynote address

2:25-3:50 p.m. Ballroom D

Panel 3 -  Engaged & Empowered – Students Invested

Long-Range Plan Vision: All students are actively engaged in and equipped to be invested in their own academic and personal growth to achieve educational, civic, financial, career, and interest goals.

Video of Panel 3

Panel 3 Presentation (PDF, 119 KB)

Moderator: State Board of Education member Lawrence Allen, Jr.

  • Bryan Williams, community superintendent, Spring Branch ISD
  • HD Chambers, superintendent, Alief ISD
  • Leigh Wall, superintendent, Santa Fe ISD  
  • Kari Garcia, Area X State Vice President, Texas FFA Association