The program supports Texas school leaders as they work to meet increasingly tough expectations.
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LaTonia Amerson from Eisenhower Ninth Grade School is among the principals across the state headed to Harvard University for a s summer professional development initiative.


[dropcap color=”#888″ type=”square”]L[/dropcap]atonia Amerson’s summer includes intensive training. Raise Your Hand Texas chose Amerson to take part in a school leadership program. She will learn best practices for effective, positive change.

Amerson is among the nearly 100 applicants from across the state made the cut. RaiseYourHandTexas_large-2The selective process included a lengthy application, letters of recommendation and face-to-face interviews.

The selected principals received a grant from [icons icon_name=”icon-external-link” icon_size=”14px”]Raise Your Hand Texas. They will attend professional development programs. [icons icon_name=”icon-external-link” icon_size=”14px”]The Principals’ Center at Harvard Graduate School of Education offers six summer institutes. Each weeklong program is designed to empower school leaders. They will strengthen their leadership skills for greater impact.

The Harvard program started eight years ago. In that time, Raise Your Hand Texas will have sponsored more than 900 principals. Raise Your Hand Texas covers all expenses for those selected. The average cost is about $7,500 per attendee. Since the start of the program, the organization has provided more than $6 million in grants.

Eisenhower-Ninth-iASPIRE-Commitment-Night-14Raise Your Hand Texas is a nonprofit organization that supports public education. The organization invests in leadership grants and advocates for students. Dr. André Morgan is the program director.

We focus on building strong campus leaders,” said Morgan. “It is one of the fastest, most effective ways to improve education for all students.”


“From this experience, I have learned to be so much more thoughtful when making schoolwide change. I have learned to slow down, to ask questions, to collaborate with others, and then take action. I am a more thoughtful leader because of Raise Your Hand Texas.”

Jina Eksaengsri, Principal @ Riddle Elementary School in Frisco ISD
Raise Your Hand Texas Alumna ‘13 (Harvard – Improving Schools: The Art of Leadership)


Harvard Graduate School of Education — The Principals’ Center Summer Institutes

[ul class=”list list-search”] [li][icons icon_name=”icon-external-link” icon_size=”14px”]School Turnaround Leaders[/li] [li][icons icon_name=”icon-external-link” icon_size=”14px”]National Institute for Urban School Leaders[/li][/ul][ul class=”list list-search”] [li][icons icon_name=”icon-external-link” icon_size=”14px”]Improving Schools: The Art of Leadership[/li] [li]Eisenhower-Ninth-Principal-Latonia-Amerson-2Closing the Achievement Gap [/li][/ul][ul class=”list list-search”] [li]Family Engagement in Education[/li][/ul][ul class=”list list-search”] [li][icons icon_name=”icon-external-link” icon_size=”14px”]Leadership: An Evolving Vision[/li][/ul]

Amerson will attend the National Institute for Urban School Leaders. It is set for June 20 – 25 in Cambridge, MA. Harvard faculty and top experts in the fields of education lead training and workshops.

The [icons icon_name=”icon-external-link” icon_size=”14px”]National Institute for Urban School Leaders will refine principals’ leadership skills. It will broaden their understanding of effective teaching and learning. They will examine successful practices from urban settings. Principals will set high expectations for achievement and explore strategies that promote student engagement.

Investing the Future of Texas

Public education is a high-stake environment of accountability and [icons icon_name=”icon-external-link” icon_size=”14px”]limited [icons icon_name=”icon-external-link” icon_size=”14px”]resources. School leaders must be able to address urgent challenges from many constituencies. Research on effective schools continually points to the important role leaders play. They create the right conditions to increase student achievement.

National Institute for Urban School Leaders — Program Objectives

[ul class=”list list-search”] [li]Identify leadership roles and styles; improve teaching and learning in the instructional core[/li] [li]

Eisenhower-High-School-Grads-Give-Back-2015-59

Eisenhower Ninth Grade iASPIRE students attend Big Ike’s Grads Give Back event.

Examine the beliefs, cultural changes, teaching and learning strategies; promote high student achievement[/li][/ul][ul class=”list list-search”] [li]Consider the effects of race, class and culture on the learning community[/li] [li]Learn effective approaches for ensuring the inclusion of all students[/li][/ul][ul class=”list list-search”] [li]Explore practice-based techniques for closing the achievement gap[/li][/ul]

Amerson will network and connect with peers who face similar challenges. She and other school leaders will have the time they need to reflect, refocus and recharge.

IB_logoShe is grateful for the opportunity provided by Raise Your Hand Texas.

I feel honored to have been selected,” Amerson. “I have no doubt that the coaching will inspire me with new ideas when I get back to the campus. I will take what I learn to improve instruction and expand the knowledge of my leadership team. We owe it to the students to give them the best education possible. We need to ensure we are doing what we need to do so students are learning and succeeding.”

Raise Your Hand Texas Leadership Program

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Eisenhower Ninth Grade and Eisenhower High School are IB World Schools. The ninth grade campus offers the IB Middle Years Program.