District aims to develop leaders with Holdsworth partnership


On April 16, 2019, Judson ISD has been selected by the Holdsworth Center, a leadership institute developed by H-E-B Chairman and CEO Charles Butt, into their second cohort of six districts to be a part of their five-year partnership program.

The leadership program is designed to strengthen and support school leaders in order to create change and to improve the quality of education for students in Texas.

“What they want to do is really build capacity and good leadership at public school districts,” Superintendent Jeanette Ball said. “If you are selected, it’s five years of very intensive leadership training that you do to basically become the very best at what you do.”

Holdsworth Center President Lindsay Whorton and Managing Director of District Support Katie Jaron surprised the selected districts by scheduling video conferences with the superintendents.

“Dr. Cantu and I prepared for the meeting. We made sure we knew all our facts because we didn’t know what they were gonna ask us. The question that she had to ask us was if we were ready to be a part of Holdsworth and accept the challenge. By the video, you can tell that Dr. Cantu and I were the most excited,” Ball said.

The program will be helping the district out with personal leadership, effective teaming, systems and structures, and change leadership all for free.

“In June, myself and five others from the office are going to start our leadership training. They say it’s very intense. It’s like going to college again. There’ll be assignments that we have, there’ll reading that we have, there’ll be journals that we have, [and] collaborative work that we have to do together,” Ball said.

She hopes that the program will be able to expose the good and help school leaders to become better.

“I want people to know that we are good in so many things. I’m hoping that this program will help me become better, then I can help principals become better, then teachers become better, then students become better,” Ball said. “I’m hoping that it’s going to be like a ripple effect that just makes us all shine.”

Deputy Superintendent Milton Fields feels that being a part of the Holdsworth Center is the right thing to do at the right time.

“We’re in a position where we have a new superintendent and we’re trying to establish our leadership vision, and we have a company that has decades of leadership experience coaching us through this transitional process,” Fields said.

For the future, Ball hopes that Judson ISD will become unforgettable and recognized for its programs, high level of care, and enthusiasm shown by the people to become a better district.

“I think [the Holdsworth Center will] help us to be such a good institution that people don’t want to leave us, that people want to stay and teach at Judson ISD forever,” Ball said. “I’m hoping that one day that’s what we’re going to be known for by the parents, by the people coming to work here, that we have so many people that want to come to Judson ISD because it’s an awesome place to be.”