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March 2023

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

What's New with LFTX

New Board Members Announced

Dr. Becky Odajima

Asst. Superintendent for

Administrative Services

Midway ISD

Dr. Rob Thornell

Professional Learning Consultant


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Dr. Nicole Zwahr

Director of Professional Learning

Katy ISD

Learning Forward Texas is pleased to announce the appointment of three experienced educators to its Board of Directors. Dr. Becky Odajima, Dr. Rob Thornell, and Dr. Nicole Zwahr will replace Anna Jackson and Shelly Crofford, who are completing their terms in April.

"We are thrilled to welcome these talented educators to the Learning Forward Texas board," said Vicki Arrington, President of Learning Forward Texas. "Their expertise and experience in education will be invaluable as we work to improve professional learning in Texas."


Potential board members submit an application including a resume, letter of intent, and professional reference in the fall.  Board members serve three-year terms which begin with the spring board meeting. Read the Press Release for more information.

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.

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

Featured Speakers
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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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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. 


Visit our Conference Website

for updates and additional information. 

Conference Deadlines - March 3rd

Don't miss out! Important deadlines are approaching on March 3rd.

  • Annual Conference Scholarship

  • Early Bird Registration Discounts

  • Slogan Sticker Contest 

Click each graphic for more information 

Sponsored Content

On-Demand Webinar: Defying the NAEP Trend—Lessons from Districts with Reading Growth Gains

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While poor NAEP scores have captured national attention, some districts have made gains in reading achievement during this challenging time. In this webinar recording, learn from literacy leaders at three diverse school districts and hear their strategies for accelerating students’ foundational skills.

Access the on-demand webinar recording.

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Learning Forward Academy Scholarships

The Learning Forward Academy provides a forum for educators to analyze their practices and engage in dedicated, uninterrupted think tank-type experiences with individuals from all facets of education. Learning Forward Texas annually provides the Terri Iles Academy Scholarship for a member of our Texas affiliate to participate in the Learning Forward Academy.  But this year, we are pleased to announce we will be adding a scholarship for the 2025 class provided by the Star Learners. 


Star Learner Academy Scholarship Announced

For 31 years, a group of Texas Educators met as a Professional Learning Community to grow in
knowledge together and support each other as Star Learners. The “Stars” (as they called themselves)
often talked about legacy and how to “pay it forward” and are happy to have found an appropriate way
to do so through this scholarship that can carry forward the goals and aspirations begun in 1991.

To that end, in conjunction with Learning Forward Texas, this Star Learners Scholarship will underwrite
the cost of a Texas Educator’s attendance at the Learning Forward Academy in hopes of creating the
dynamic and nurturing relationships that will support the recipient, enhance the quality of leadership for
the educator’s home organization, and ultimately improve the quality of education for the children of

Learning Foward Texas wants to thank the Star Learners, many of whom were former board members, for their generous donation to support the learning and growing of educational leadership in Texas.  We continue to stand on the shoulders of giants and would not be the organization we are today without their vision and leadership. 

Learning Forward is recruiting candidates for the Academy Class of 2025, and the Scholarship recipient will be selected from those candidates. Application deadline: March 15, 2023

Click here to find out more information about the Academy.

Star Learners from left to right.  Front row - Terry Morganti-Fisher, Judy Stevens, Debbie Wells, Ellen Bell, Missy Tobia

Second Row - Jody Westbrook Bergman, Annette Griffith, Lyn Mefford, Carol Mendenhall, Linda O’Neal, Bob Wells, Susan Thompson, Gracie Clouse, Marilyn Sumner, and Ed Tobia


Going Up! Elevate Student and Teacher Learning through School-Based Professional Learning

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"Professional learning at the school level accelerates the application of learning, personalizes the learning process for the school’s specific needs, and builds collective responsibility for student and educator learning."


Elevate School-Based Professional Learning, Joellen Killion, William Sommers, Ann Delehant

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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LFCTX met on January 13, 2023. Fort Sam Houston ISD hosted the event at ESC 20 and Lizzy Perez (Dare to Lead facilitator and LFCTX Steering Committee member) provided lunch.
Their next virtual meeting will be March 21, 11:30 - 1:30 Click here to join their email list


Plano ISD hosted the February meeting at their Administration Building on Friday, February 10, 2023. The meeting started with Problems of Practice, and during the afternoon, Plano ISD led a deeper dive into the Learning Forward Standards implementation. The next meeting is on April 14 at Region 10 ESC. Click here for more information.

Pictures from the LFNTX meeting in Plano ISD 


LFSETX has been engaging in a book study using Elena Aguilar's newest book, The PD Book, 7 Habits that Transform Professional DevelopmentThe final meeting for the year will be on March 7, 1:00 - 2:00 pm, as they continue to explore Chapters 6 and 7.  Click for more information and to RSVP 

Shared Resources 

  • 2023 Raising School Leaders Program application- Charles Butt Foundation  The primary strategy for the Raising School Leaders program, and the Foundations' first statewide program, consists of a week-long leadership development institute through The Principals’ Center at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and yearlong participation in a community of practice focused on campus improvement and individual leadership development. More Information

  • Free Tool: Overcome 5 PLC Challenges - The Learning Professional - Teachers in learning communities can encounter obstacles or plateau as a result of five common challenges: incoherence, insularity, unequal participation, congeniality, and privacy. Fortunately, teachers and administrators who support them can overcome these obstacles with self-reflection and intentionality.  Use this tool from Thomas H. Levine to see how these five challenges play out in schools and gain discussion questions that help learning community members and facilitators reflect on these challenges and address them in their own work. Download Tool 

2023 Professional Learning

Schedule a workshop for your district today!


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 

The Learning Professional announces 2023 guest columns

A new slate of guest columnists is lined up to write for The Learning Professional in 2023. February's forthcoming issue will debut pieces by Kathy Perret and Val Brown, who address the educator retention theme through their unique lenses — Perret's as a veteran instructional coach, author, and consultant and Brown's as an adult learning and education policy leader. Laura Lee Summers is contributing a column on teacher well-being, a 2023 staple that will be written by a variety of authors throughout the year. Read More

Join Learning Forward's Academy Class of 2025 now

Over a 2 1/2-year period, Academy members come together with colleagues from around the world to dive deep into a problem of practice. They learn about and apply innovative, equity-centered professional learning practices with the support of expert coaches and professional learning leaders. The program provides members with the opportunity to develop fluency with the content of revised Standards for Professional Learning that Learning Forward released last spring. Applications due March 15. Learn more and apply.

Learning Forward Texas 

516 E. Byron Nelson Blvd., #1279

Roanoke, TX 76262

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