top of page

May 2024

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

What's New with LFTX

Terri Iles Academy Scholarship Announced

Learning Forward Texas annually provides a scholarship for a member of our Texas affiliate to participate in the Learning Forward Academy. The LFTX board renamed the scholarship the Terri Iles Academy Scholarship to honor Terri's years of dedicated service as Executive Director, Board Member, and Consultant. The scholarship covers tuition and travel expenses for the three-year program, which includes face-to-face meetings, virtual coaching, and annual conference participation.

Amanda Johns.png

The 2024 Terri Iles Academy Scholarship recipient is Amanda Johns, principal at Blue Ridge Elementary in Blue Ridge ISD. Amanda has over 25 years of education experience, including administration, instructional coaching, and as a teacher in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade. When contacted about the scholarship, Amanda said, "I am honored to be the recipient of the Terri Iles Academy Scholarship. As an elementary principal, I am excited to dive into all the academy has to offer, knowing it will deepen my understanding of the processes needed to assist my campus in taking the next steps in growth and achievement for all students. This new knowledge will strengthen my capacity to lead our teaching and learning community in response to the needs of our campus." 

Applicants applied to the Academy and were accepted after interviews by cohort leaders. The Learning Foward Texas board selected the academy scholarship recipients based on need and application responses. Congratulations to Amanda and the other Texas members of the Learning Forward Academy Class of 2026.

Learning Forward Texas has had over 50 educators participate in the Learning Forward Academy.  Current LFTX Executive Director Lisa Ham and board members Dr. Kelly Hastings, Valerie Minor, and Dr. Becky Odijma are all graduates of the Academy. Click here for a complete list of Texas Academy participants. 

Visit the Learning Forward Academy web page for more information, including benefits, timeline, and cohort details.  Applications for the Class of 2026 are closed.  Applications for the next cohort will be available July 1, 2024. 

Five Reasons to attend the 

2024 Learning Forward Texas
Annual Conference 

Keynote Speakers

Debbie Silver.jpeg
Amber Teamann

Debbie Silver 

Amber Teamann

Pre-Conference Sessions

Dr. Jim Knight

joellen killion 2_edited.jpg

Joellen Killion


Trish Hinze   Diana Ely

Cultivating Leadership 

2024 Learning Forward Texas Annual Conference logo
Registration is now open through May 24. 
The 2024 Learning Forward Texas Annual Conference will continue to focus on supporting adult learning. Connect and collaborate with other coaches, directors, and professional learning specialists.  This year's conference will be held at the Hurst Conference Center in Hurst, Texas. 
The same great conference at the same price! 

2024 Conference Scholarship Winner 

The Board of Directors selected Lexi Marks as the 2024 Learning Forward Texas Annual Conference Scholarship winner. Lexi is the Secondary Math Curriculum Specialist for Lamar Consolidated ISD in Rosenberg, Texas. The 2024-2025 school year will be the start of her 13th year in education, and her 3rd year as a Curriculum Specialist. Prior to working in LCISD, she taught 6th grade math in Houston ISD. She earned her bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies from Sam Houston State University with a desire to help change the stigmas surrounding math. 

This will be Lexi's first LFTX Conference.  She said about attending, "I am constantly looking for innovative ways to engage adult learners, as well as differentiate for their variety of needs. This conference sounds like a great way to fill my toolkit with ideas for planning professional learning for the 2024-2025 school year!" She can be found on social media using the handle @AKMarksMath.

PL Where You Belong

This summer, professional learning specialists will be able to join a session during the Learning Forward Texas Summer Conference in June, called PL Where Everyone Belongs. You are invited to share your previous learning experiences and the small actions that make you feel included and welcomed in professional learning environments, in addition to the ones that have not helped you to feel welcomed and valued. Your stories and examples will help professional learning facilitators identify practices that have the potential to cultivate learning where all adults feel a sense of belonging. 

Sponsored Content

Introducing SEEDS of Learning:
Ensure Early Literacy Success for Children Ages 3–5,
Presented by Emily Grunt, Program Director, SEEDS

Join us on May 7th for an informational webinar about SEEDS, a relationship-based training and coaching solution based on the science of reading and proven through rigorous research.

Emily Grunt

In the webinar, learn how SEEDS:

  • Aligns with the the latest research on child development, the brain, and early literacy learning

  • Has been proven through randomized controlled trials and quasi-experimental studies

  • Focuses on the Big Five Early Literacy Predictors

  • Embeds the art and science of sensitive, responsive 

  • relationships in every interaction

  • Provides fun, meaningful activities that are easily incorporated in daily routines

  • Ensures equity through training, coaching, and tiered interventions

  • Works with any early childhood curriculum

collaborative classroom logo.png
Click to Remain a Subscriber

Let us know you're enjoying the Straightforward Newsletter, click on any link to stay on our mailing list. If you don't click, you'll be removed from the list. 😢

Community Building Strategies

Community Building.JPG

As you plan for next school year, you might need a good community-building activity. Learning Forward Texas has curated a list of resources to help you plan your next meeting or learning session. The lists include Energizers, Engaging Processes, Reflection, and Grouping strategies. 

Click here to see all the resource lists.


Fostering Deliberate Optimism

Discover insights and inspiration from Dr. Debbie Silver in our exclusive interview, where she shares wisdom, humor, and practical advice for educators. Get a sneak peek into her keynote and session that she'll be sharing at this summer's Learning Forward Texas conference!

Fostering Deliberate Optimism with Dr. Debbie Silver

Learning Forward Texas is looking for monthly guest bloggers for our newsletter. Email Lisa Ham at if you are interested; include your name, title, topic, and the month you would like to contribute.

Sponsored Content





Screenshot 2024-04-26 at 12.18.43 PM.png

Transformational Leadership

Continuous Improvement

State & Federal Programs Leadership

Instructional Leadership

Mental Health/Wellness

Screenshot 2024-04-26 at 11.51.53 AM.png

Regional Affiliates 

The Learning Forward Texas Regional Affiliates are ready to go with meetings scheduled throughout the year.  Regional affiliates are meetings hosted and planned by local school district professional learning leaders. 

Invite a friend to these upcoming meetings! 

  • LFNTX - The next meeting will be held on May 10 in Richardson ISD. The April meeting was held in Keller ISD.  Thank you to Janet Corder, who presented various AI resources. Click here for more information.

  • LFCTX  - LFCTX has no other meetings this year.  Watch for more information about meetings this summer.  

  • LFSETX -  LFSETX would like to hear from you.  ​Please respond to the attached survey to join us for the 2024-2025 school year. Your feedback will help us plan our September 20, 2025, Kick-Off event in Cy-Fair. Watch your email for an invitation in late July. Click here to respond to the survey.

  • LFWTX - LFWTX is forming a steering committee to plan upcoming meetings. Watch for more information.

Click here for more information from each of the regional affiliates. 

LFSETX Sticker.png
LFNTX Sticker.png
LFCTX Sticker.png
LFWTX logo
Group photo of LFTX Board
Rob  Thronell at Board meeting 4.24.jpg
Kristina Feldner, Donna Shillinglaw and Jennifer Hiser

Images from the LFTX Board Meeting. Welcome New Board Members!

Shared Resources 

  • 806 Learning Summit- Connecting the Dots - June 5 - 7, Omni Frisco Hotel - 806 Technologies - Participate in an exceptional boutique conference meticulously curated to facilitate learning from esteemed educational leaders across the nation. This event is thoughtfully structured to equip attendees with actionable strategies specifically tailored for implementation within schools or districts. These strategies aim to bolster participants’ ability to CONNECT THE DOTS, resulting in heightened efficiencies and enhanced effectiveness. Read more

  • Calendarizing: The New Principal’s Superpower – 5 Reasons to Calendarize - Teaching Channel As a new principal, stepping into the leadership role of a school can feel like embarking on a journey with countless twists and turns. With so many responsibilities vying for your attention, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and lose sight of your priorities. However, there’s one tool that can serve as your guiding light through the complexities of school management: calendarizing. Read More

  • Nominate a Changemaker - Learning Forward - A changemaker is an educator whose professional learning leadership is making a positive difference in a school or educational system, leading to benefits for staff and most importantly, students. Click the button below to nominate a teacher, coach, administrator, superintendent, or other learning leader. Read More

2024 Professional Learning 

Professional Learning Opportunities 

Check out these professional learning opportunities for this spring and summer.

Tips and Tools 3 for Professional Learning 

May 6, 8:30 am - 4:00 pm

Mac Bernd Professional Development Center - Arlington ISD

1111 W Arbrook, Arlington, TX 76015 

Click here to register

Tips and Tools 1 for Professional Learning 

June 3, 8:30 am - 3:30 pm

Granbury ISD Administration Building

217 N. Jones St. Granbury, Texas 76048

Click here to register

2024 Learning Forward Texas Annual Conference 

June 10 - 12, 2024 

Hurst Conference Center, Hurst, TX

Click here to register

2024 conference logo.png

Have you planned your spring and summer Professional Learning?
Contact us to help! 

Contact Lisa Ham, Executive Director,

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

News from Learning Forward 

Annual business meeting

Learning Forward Business Meeting.png

Learning Forward recently held its annual meeting to present a snapshot of the state of the association at the end of 2023 and where we're going in 2024. Watch the video to hear CEO Frederick Brown's overview and staff updates that chronicle the work Learning Forward is doing to improve professional learning and positive outcomes for students.

Standards Week 2024 is over, but the learning lives on!

Standards week logo.jpeg

Standards Week 2024 featured 30-minute webinars showcasing practitioners from Georgia, Maryland, and Florida, who packed in valuable tips and insights about how they are working to create comprehensive professional learning systems that change educator practice and lead to success for students. 

The full collection of Standards Week 2024 webinars is now available! 

2024 Learning Forward Annual Conference

Registration is open - Learning Forward Annual Conference

Learning Forward’s Annual Conference will be at the Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center in Denver, CO, December 8-11th! The theme for 2024 is Reach New Heights for Students. 

Click here for more information 

Learning Forward Texas 

516 E. Byron Nelson Blvd., #1279

Roanoke, TX 76262

bottom of page