June 30, 2022 — A group of Midland ISD educators recently returned from a week-long training event at the prestigious Principal's Center, which is part of the Harvard Graduate School of Education in Cambridge, Mass.
San Jacinto Junior High Principal Dr. Jessica Gore applied for the opportunity through the Charles Butt Foundation. Gore was accompanied by two members of the San Jacinto leadership team, as well as MISD Associate Superintendent Dr. Luz Martinez.
"This event was taught and led by the smartest researchers in education," said Gore of her time at Harvard. "The professional learning we experienced at this event is something we can put to use right away."
The week's conference was titled School Turnaround Leadership Institute, and focused on helping campus leaders identify strategies in developing and implementing targeted improvement plans.
"When your focus day in and day out is on your teachers, students, and the content you're teaching, student achievement will necessarily improve," said Martinez.
One key point of the institute echoed one of Superintendent Angelica Ramsey's priorities since arriving in Midland 18 months ago: a focus on family engagement, rather than simply family involvement.
"Every parent should be involved with their child's education," Gore said. "At this conference, we learned that true engagement is when parents and school leaders are able to have an ongoing open dialogue about education."
Gore and her staff were selected from among only 400 attendees nationwide, including 39 from Texas representing 18 school districts and one charter school. Texas attendees, including those from MISD, were fully sponsored by the Charles Butt Foundation.
Midland ISD hopes more of its team will have the opportunity to attend the training in future years.
"Out of the ten years I've been in education in multiple school districts, this was by far the most powerful conference I've ever experienced," Gore said.