The center offers a variety of professional development programs designed to empower and inspire school leaders. Having visited one of the top schools of education, Scott and Colson had the opportunity to connect and collaborate with school principals from around the country as well as learn the latest strategies for improving student performance by attending the program, Leadership: An Evolving Vision.
“The depth of knowledge experienced at an institute such as the one at Harvard, are essential in keeping strong leaders equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to keep their staff and students performing at their best,” Colson states.
Scott and Colson were selected among a competitive group through Raise Your Hand Texas, an organization that promotes education policy and practice at the campus, district and state levels through research-driven innovation. It focuses on identifying breakthrough ideas to improve public schools, anatomy and innovation, strong teachers and leaders as well as ensuring educational opportunities. The Tomball ISD duo attended at no cost to the district.
“The most powerful incentive to retain effective teachers is supportive leadership,” Raise Your Hand Texas states. “Once principals return from their transformative summer at Cambridge, we work to continuously support and develop them professionally as part of our statewide network of school leaders.”
The Tomball duo took part in a program that provided experienced school leaders an opportunity to reflect, stretch and strengthen their leadership skills. The leadership program, An Evolving Vision, allowed both Scott and Colson the opportunity to connect and study with experienced colleagues from across the United States and the world.
“This training allowed us to tell our story as leaders and 90 of the 160 participants were from outside the U.S. so hearing about how their education system and experiences were compared to mine really gave me a different perspective,” Scott recalls. “It made me realize we are all wrestling with similar issues, but one of the biggest impacts, for me, was reinforcing some of my current ideas and beliefs that challenge the way we traditionally educated students at the high school level.”
When reflecting on her experience, Colson brought back valuable knowledge to Tomball.
“The most powerful message throughout the institute was that as an educational leader we all face the same challenge, no matter where we are from, of insuring our students are receiving the best education possible. As leaders, we should always be willing to look at our practices through a new lens to provide the best environment for learning.”
Scott will begin his second year as Principal at Tomball High School and has over 10 years of education experience in Tomball ISD. He is a graduate of Tomball High.
Colson returns as Principal at Decker Prairie Elementary and has over 15 years of experience with the district.
“Having two campus leaders from Tomball ISD selected to participate in an opportunity at Harvard this summer shows how committed and driven our educators and leaders are at developing the overall learning experience for our students,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Martha Salazar-Zamora said.
The K-12 summer experience that these two established Tomball leaders took part in will allow for an innovative approach to learning as the 2018-19 school year begins.
“We were able to bring back tools to continue to look at the systematic practices that create success and address challenges that are a common thread in learning and I know these will immediately be helpful,” Scott said.
“I brought back a new insight on building our school culture in partnership with our community and planning more strategically towards our goals,” Colson said.