Thursday, June 11
Concurrent Sessions

If there’s more than one session you’re interested in per time slot (and there will be!), participate live in one and catch up on the others later. Your registration gives you access to recordings of all sessions for 30 days after the conference!

Registrant Access to Video Showcase

All TASA Virtual SummerCon registrants were sent an email from Vimeo ( on Thursday, June 11, that said “Texas Assoc of School Admin shared a Showcase with you on Vimeo.” It included a link to the online showcase of session recordings as well as your personalized password (look for the red text). If you did not receive the email from Vimeo, please first check your spam/trash folders. If it is not there, please ask us to resend it.

10:15-11 am Central

Planning for Success: Learning through Literacy in the Wake of COVID-19

Scholastic’s Chief Education Officer Michael Haggen will share lessons learned from opening schools impacted by Hurricane Katrina and connect those experiences to help inform strategies for responding to the pandemic. He will discuss assessing student needs, fostering resilience, building capacity to adapt instruction over multiple platforms, and renewing relationships with families and the community. The session will focus on four areas: Teaching and learning, Social Emotional Wellness, Professional Learning, and Family and Community Engagement.

Michael Haggen

Scholastic Education

Eradicating Stress During the Pandemic and Beyond

As the pandemic set in, VLK Architects effectively started 10 new projects. Our in-house experts, adept at modern technologies, swiftly moved traditional face-to-face meetings to platforms, allowing no time to be lost, and actually increasing client and community participation. Experience approaches to meaningful design through the lens of new technologies, and hear from school leaders who refused to postpone needed projects during the pandemic. Important lessons learned will be shared that will impact our future.

Ken Hutchens

Chief Creative Officer
VLK Architects, Inc.

Rick Westfall

Keller ISD

Sloan Harris

Chief Executive Officer
VLK Architects, Inc.

Federal Education Update: COVID Edition

AASA’s Ellerson Ng will detail the latest goings on of Capitol Hill and how the Congressional response will impact public education and what it means for schools.


Noelle Ellerson Ng

Associate Executive Director, Advocacy and Governance
AASA, The School Superintendents Association

Creating Equitable Strategy for Distance Learning and Re-Entry to Schools

During the unprecedented transition to distance learning, there is the potential that inequities will deepen. To confront these challenges, district leaders and educators are finding innovative ways to support their students, families, and staff. Ector County ISD is checking on well-being and assessing community needs using Panorama Education’s Distance Learning surveys. In addition, the district is spearheading a regional effort to improve internet connectivity in Ector County, ensuring distance learning works for all students.

Scott R. Muri

Ector County ISD

Sarah Gertner

Texas Outreach Director
Panorama Education

Project Restore: Supporting Mental Health Needs of Students, Staff, and Families During Uncertainty

Due to this unprecedented time, the concern and energy around students’ mental health and emotional well-being is at its highest level, and school systems are looking for support and guidance. Through the CARES Act, the agency will launch Project Restore, which will provide mental and behavioral health supports for students across the state in response to COVID-19.

Niloy Gangopadhyay

Director of Special Populations

The Impact of COVID-19 on Your Teacher Pipeline

As COVID-19 disrupted both K-12 and university settings, teacher preparation functions such as student teaching, certification requirements, and new teacher support were impacted. What do these changes mean for school districts, specifically related to hiring first-year teachers, hosting student teachers, and maximizing retention opportunities for teachers whose preparation was disrupted? We address these and other questions related to how universities and districts work together to ensure a strong teacher pipeline in an era of uncertainty.

Stacey Edmonson

Dean, College of Education
Sam Houston State University

Lisa Huffman

Dean, College of Professional Education
Texas Woman’s University

Glenda Ballard

Dean, School of Human Development and Education
St. Edward’s University

Before the Crisis Hits: Leadership Lessons from Round Rock’s Response to COVID-19

Faced with the challenge of turning a 51,000-student organization on a dime, Round Rock ISD teaching and learning leaders Mandy Estes and Ryan Smith laid down some guiding principles for the work ahead. Many of the values that drove their thinking and decision-making – and the personal leadership practices that bolstered them when the struggle got real – were set in motion long before the crisis hit during learning sessions with The Holdsworth Center.

Lindsay Whorton

The Holdsworth Center

Mandy Estes

Chief of Teaching & Learning
Round Rock ISD

Ryan Smith

Executive Director of Teaching & Learning
Round Rock ISD

11:15 am-12 pm Central

Getting Back to Social: How COVID-19 Has Changed Learning

Districts were forced to pivot to virtual learning in response to the global pandemic. As a result, COVID-19 has impacted and changed many of the physical, social, and emotional aspects of learning. Explore best practices for districts to transform their learning model to achieve the desired learner outcomes while enhancing the learner experience. Best practices will include teaching and learning, engagement, and operations, as well as planning and design of learning environments.

John Shiver


Chris Everett

Systems Transformation Strategist

Mike Mattingly

Associate Superintendent
Denton ISD

New Assessment Resources for 2020-21

TEA staff will discuss optional beginning-of-year assessment and a formative assessment tool.

Iris Tian
Division Director, Student Assessment
Tyson Kane

Associate Commissioner, Strategy and Analytics

José Ríos

Director of Test Administration, Student Assessment

Julie Cole

Director of Policy and Publications, Student Assessment

Put Your Mask on First!

Educational administration has always been a demanding profession but the heat really got turned up three months ago. We all are experiencing varying levels of fear, uncertainty, and stress … and so are the populations we serve. Join us for a candid, timely conversation with two clinical psychologists who will share practical advice on how to lead through adversity without burning yourself out. This session is exactly what the doctor ordered!

Todd Whitthorne

Chief Inspiration Officer
Naturally Slim

Dr. Dana Labat

Clinical Psychologist
Naturally Slim

Dr. Kevin Gilliland

Clinical Psychologist
Naturally Slim

From Either / Or to Both / And

Far too often, educational systems are set up with an intervention mindset that leaves advanced and gifted learners fewer opportunities to grow. However, our school systems do not have to be an either intervention OR extension model. In this session, we will examine the factors that contribute to either / or thinking and then we will explore ways to move toward both / and thinking in a strengths-based approach to instructional design.

Monica Simonds

Director of Advanced Learning Programs and Services
Richardson ISD

The New Normal in Purchasing, Supply Chain, and Business

In the current COVID-19 environment, what are the steps districts need to be taking in the short term to prepare to open schools from the purchasing and business office perspective. Challenges in the supply chain can impact timely delivery of products. What can schools do to possibly mitigate the issue? What are the products and services that may need immediate attention for timely delivery?

Steve Fisher

Director of Cooperative Services
TASB BuyBoard

Jamie Spiegel

Senior Director of Business Process Improvement
Leander ISD

Mark Vechione

Executive Director, Purchasing & Contract Management
Northwest ISD

Returning to School Through Trauma-Informed Leadership

Times of crisis often serve as a unifying force in school communities. Sometimes, however, the stress and trauma of a crisis creates competing perspectives and divisions that take years to repair. We’ll explore the trauma-informed leadership practices that help leaders keep their communities unified and how to apply these practices to create a shared vision for returning to school.

Shelby McIntosh

Managing Parter
Education Elements

Quality Music Education in Any Environment

In the past three months, Texas music teachers have proven that providing a quality music education experience isn’t environment-dependent. While we believe that music is best experienced through ensemble performance, offering that method of instruction remains uncertain. The required music TEKS will continue to be delivered, and the social and emotional needs of our students will be inherently supported through their participation in music. The what will not change, only the how.

Robert Floyd

Executive Director
Texas Music Educators Association

Joe Coburn

Decatur ISD

Amanda Drinkwater

Director of Fine Arts
Lewisville ISD

Bruce Gearing

Leander ISD

12:30-1:15 pm Central

Texas Home Learning Update

TEA staff will provide information on summer learning plans and progress monitoring, content, and choice of materials. We will dive into the 6-12 math product to better understand the design and how use can support planning to address students’ learning gaps in the new school year.

Melissa Lautenschlager

Director of Instructional Materials and Implementation

Dana Moyer
Manager of Instructional Materials Implementation
Texas Resource Review
Early Childhood Education Updates

TEA staff will provide information on K-2 diagnostics – beginning-of-year screening and ongoing progress monitoring, as well as support for early learners in alternate environments.

Lauren Zbyszinski

Inter-Agency Deputy Director of Early Childhood

Natalie Flores

Education Specialist, Early Childhood Team

Scott Bodnar

Director, Early Childhood Team

After COVID: Special Ed, 504 and the Law

The pandemic has created some unique problems for public schools in serving students with special needs. The laws pertaining to these services remain in effect, but the reality is that services could not be provided as we had planned. So what now?

Jim Walsh

Walsh Gallegos Trevino Russo & Kyle, P.C.

Supporting Teachers as Public Education Returns to a New Normal

Join TASB HR Consultants as they discuss the importance of creating new supports for teachers for when they return to campus after extended school closures. Topics will include teacher retention strategies, professional development/training, resources for teacher self-care, and planning guidance for school administrators to help teachers adjust to a new normal in education.

Jennifer Barton

HR and Compensation Consultant
TASB HR Services

Cheryl Hoover

HR Consultant
TASB HR Services

Strategies from Raising Blended Learners

This session will help participants develop a clear understanding regarding the difference between technology-rich, fully virtual, and blended learning experiences, and learn how specific blended learning strategies can move classrooms closer toward true data-driven instruction. Participants will experience blended learning throughout the session and begin planning their district’s student experience using elements of blended learning best practices.

Jennifer Jendrzey

Vice President of Strategy and Evaluation
Raise Your Hand Texas

Cat Alexander

Director of Blended Learning
Raise Your Hand Texas

Tracy Clark

Raise Your Hand Texas

Safe Return to School: A Guide to Facility Readiness

Gain insight into the ways Joe McKenna and his team are leveraging checklists, assessments, screening options, and more into their facility readiness program. From physical distancing and flow to PPE and health checks, hear how Comal ISD is tackling these challenges and the tools they are using to create safe learning environments. Thom Jones, vice president of Navigate360, will some of the ways technology is supporting efforts to document, share, and report on these initiatives.

Joe McKenna

Director, Safety & Security
Comal ISD

Thom Jones

Vice President

School Calendar and Scheduling Texas District Discussion

Co-create through moderated discussion with fellow attendees and share your experiences and questions around 2020-21 schedules and calendars.

Tanya Larkin

Pampa ISD