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April 2023

Upcoming events, resources, and information to support leaders of professional learning.

What's New with LFTX

How professional learning supports teacher retention

Learning Forward created this infographic to provide an easy to read data source which supports the importance for professional learning as it relates to teacher retention. Download pdf here.


Educators respond: Designing professional learning when teachers are overwhelmed

Dean Shareski shared a tweet in October 2021 that sparked robust debate, with educators of all levels sharing opinions on the topic. Learning Forward is keenly interested in Shareski’s question, so we reshared his tweet and posed this question to teachers earlier this year.  Click here to read the blog.

Annual Conference Updates

Learning Forward Texas will Focus on the Future through Leading and Learning at the 31st Annual Conference. The only conference in Texas focused on Professional Learning will be held on June 19 - 21, 2023 at the Irving Convention Center, Irving, Texas.

Pre-Conference Events

In addition to the featured speakers, keynoters, and other conference events, we have added a one-day pre-conference you can bundle with your conference registration. Spend a full day with these exciting speakers and hone your leadership skills. 

Keynote Speakers

We are excited to announce our Keynote Speakers for this year's conference.  Todd Whitaker will open the conference with "What Great Educators Do Differently."  Fred Brown, Learning Forward President/CEO, will close the conference with a message from Learning Forward national. 

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Featured Speakers

Below are a few of our featured speakers who will be presenting various topics focusing on leadership, coaching, professional learning, culture, and new teacher support. Check out their sessions by clicking on the Speaker tab on our Conference website

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Michelle Bowman

Visit our Conference Website

for updates and additional information. 

Conference Scholarship Winner Announced 

Learning Forward Texas is proud to announce Cynthia Cuellar, a dedicated educator from Southwest ISD, as the winner of the 2023 Learning Forward Texas Annual Conference Scholarship. Cynthia has been an educator for over 15 years and is a Digital Learning Mentor/Teacher at Bob Hope Elementary in Southwest ISD. She has been instrumental in improving student outcomes through her innovative teaching strategies and her dedication to professional development.


The Learning Forward Texas Annual Conference Scholarship recognizes Cynthia's commitment to continuous learning and growth in the field of education. As a scholarship recipient, she will have the opportunity to attend the 2023 Learning Forward Texas Conference, which will be held in Irving this year.

The conference will provide Cynthia with the chance to engage in meaningful conversations with fellow educators and learn from experts in the field. As a first-time attendee, she looks forward to the opportunity to network with other educators and learn about the latest trends and best practices in professional learning. She hopes to bring back new ideas and strategies to implement at her school and continue to improve student outcomes.

Sponsored Content

Webinar: Texas Literacy Leaders Close the

Reading Achievement Gap

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On April 12, join us for a complimentary webinar featuring Texas literacy leaders discussing successful strategies for accelerating students’ foundational skills. Hear about impactful resources, implementation structure, and how varying models, including MTSS, tutoring, and professional development, increased student achievement. Panelists include:

  • Deanna Payne, Coordinator of Academic Intervention and Section 504, Keller ISD

  • Kimberly Neill, Director of Academic Services, Arlington Classics Academy

  • Jacklyn Wilson, Chief Operating Officer, Literacy Now, Houston, TX

  • Alayna Siemonsma, Section 504 and Dyslexia Services Coordinator, Montgomery ISD

  • Norma Garcia, Director of Multi-Language, Harlingen CISD

Register now for the April 12th webinar

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Professional Learning Award Winner 

Lisa Ham, Executive Director of Learning Forward Texas, presented Jessica Cain, Instructional Technology Facilitator, with the Outstanding Professional Learning Award at a Ferris ISD school board meeting last month. Jessica is surrounded by the educators who participated in the Mastermind program, which Jessica designed to support teachers as they learned to implement various applications and software into instruction. Click here to view Jessica's award presentation. 


Klein ISD will be recognized for their award at the Klein ISD board meeting in May. 


Congratulations, You Have Been
Promoted to Project Manager

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As education leaders, the majority of our work revolves around projects, both large and small. Yet very few campus and district leaders have received formal training on the discipline of project management. The private sector, for comparison, relies heavily on certified project managers, project management software, and project management terminology in order to complete projects on time and within budget. Check out this month's blog post to learn more.

Regional Affiliates 

Learning Forward Texas regional affiliates build capacity to design, facilitate, and assess professional learning that aligns with the Standards for Professional Learning and improves educator and student outcomes.  Click here for more information about TEXAS Regional Affiliates. 

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The final meeting of the year was hosted virtually by Southwest ISD on March 21.  The Southwest team facilitated an exciting discussion on "Assessing Impact."  The LFCTX steering committee is gathering feedback on this year's meetings and formulating a plan for next year. You can stay up-to-date by joining the email list.    Click here to join their email list

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Region 10 will host the April meeting for a day of problem-solving, learning, and networking at their Spring Valley Campus, on Friday, April 14, 2023.  Click here for more information.


LFSETX does not have any more meetings scheduled for this school year.   Click for more information


LFWTX is looking for a person or persons who might be interested in leading this group for the 2023- 2024 school year.  Contact Lisa Ham for more information.   

Shared Resources 

  • TxEd Talks digital series: Conversation with Dr. Ruth Simmons - Charles Butt Foundation  - The first installment of our TxEd Talks digital series features Charles Butt President, Dr. Shari Albright, sitting down with the incomparable Dr. Ruth Simmons, President Emerita of Prairie View A&M University, Smith College, and Brown University. The two discuss Dr. Simmons’ journey to her current position, the current state of public education in Texas, and how educators deserve more respect. Watch the interview 

  • Investing in Teacher Leadership #1: How Districts Can Empower Teacher Leaders National Institute for Excellence in Teaching - Empowering teacher leaders to lead professional learning with colleagues enables principals to ensure that every teacher is part of a collaborative learning team and receives individual classroom coaching. However, this approach represents a significant change from how most districts carry out professional development activities. Read More

  • A tool to help when everything feels urgent - Learning Forward The effort-to-impact matrix is a simple but valuable tool that can help instructional coaches, teacher teams, administrators, and other change agents prioritize their efforts and make strategic choices about which steps to take and when. It allows the user to map out potential strategies and identify how much effort each will take versus how much impact it is likely to make. Read More

2023 Professional Learning

What can have the biggest impact on your district? 
Effective Professional Learning


Tips and Tools Learning Series 

Quality professional learning will:

  • Increase teacher retention

  • Support new teachers 

  • Improve classroom instruction

Cultivating Leadership    

Quality leadership training will:

  • Grow new leaders' skills

  • Provide a leadership pipeline

  • Build confidence in new leaders

Contact Lisa Ham, Executive Director,

to discuss the benefits of Tips and Tools or Cultivating Leadership workshops        512-266-3086 ext. 1

News from Learning Forward 

2023 Annual Conference hotel registration now open

Learning Forward is holding rooms for our 2023 Annual Conference attendees and has published a link that offers secure, convenient hotel registration at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center from November 29, 2023, through December 7, 2023, to accommodate attendees who choose to stay longer in Washington, D.C., and sightsee. Because of last year’s high demand for conference hotel guestrooms, Learning Forward recommends that conference attendees reserve their rooms early.  Reserve now.

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Title II-A is in the line of fire in Biden’s FY24 budget request

On March 9, President Biden unveiled his budget request for fiscal year 2024. The major disappointment is that the administration included no increase for Title II-A, the only federal program devoted exclusively to supporting professional learning activities. Click here to read more

Learning Forward Texas 

516 E. Byron Nelson Blvd., #1279

Roanoke, TX 76262

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